Only around half the countries that signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) anti-bribery convention actually investigate or pursue foreign bribery cases, anti-corruption group Transparency International said Thursday.
"Twenty-two of the forty-one OECD anti-bribery convention countries have failed to investigate or prosecute any foreign bribery case during the last four years, violating their obligation to combat cross-border bribery," TI said in a statement.
"By signing up to the OECD anti-bribery convention, governments commit to investigate and prosecute cross-border corruption, yet nearly half of signatory governments are not doing so," complained TI chief Jose Ugaz.
"The OECD must ensure real consequences for such poor performance. Violation of international law obligations to counter cross-border corruption cannot be tolerated."
The anti-corruption group said that 20 countries "have not brought any criminal charges for major cross-border corruption by companies in the last four years."
By contrast, four countries -- Germany, Switzerland, Britain and the United States -- had completed 215 cases and started 59 new ones from 2011 until 2014.
"The 20 countries with little or no enforcement make up 20.4 percent of world exports," TI said.
"These countries are failing to investigate and prosecute cross-border bribery due to a lack of political will and inadequate resources allocated toward enforcement measures and investigations," it said.
In 12 convention countries, including some "old democracies, effective political influence or its risk hinders the work of the criminal justice system," TI complained.