Argentina has been criticised by the OECD for its efforts to fight foreign bribery.
The OECD said the country still had no law to punish firms for foreign bribery and it was “seriously non-compliant with key articles of the Anti-Bribery Convention”.
The OECD said during a site visit to the country by its Working Group on Bribery, judges and prosecutors in charge of bribery cases failed to attend so “the working group therefore could not fully assess Argentina’s foreign bribery enforcement efforts”.
“The working group is gravely concerned about Argentina’s commitment to fight foreign bribery and how little progress Argentina has made since previous evaluations,” said the OECD in a report.
“Argentina still has no law to punish companies for foreign bribery or prosecute its citizens who commit this crime abroad.
“Widespread delays continue to plague complex economic crime investigations. Urgent action is needed to address these grave concerns.”
As a result a “high-level mission” will visit Argentina in early 2016 and a new evaluation will take place at the end of that year.
The working group has made recommendations including reducing the high number of judicial vacancies, “seriously” investigating and prosecuting all cases, encouraging firms to adopt measures to prevent bribery and improving protection for whistleblowers.
Since Argentina signed the Convention in 2001 10 allegations of Argentine individuals or companies bribing foreign officials have surfaced, according to the OECD. Three cases are under investigation, one allegation was not pursued due to a lack of information, two investigations ended without charges, and another was determined not to involve foreign bribery but other offences.
The other three cases were reported close to the publication of the OECD report and could not be confirmed.