Business Group Launches Anti-Bribery Website

WASHINGTON ~ Trace International, a non-profit group representing US multinational companies, launched an internet site this week aimed at fighting international bribery and extortion.

On the new multilingual website,, companies and individuals can anonymously report bribe demands by government agents, international organizations, security forces or state-owned companies.

The collection of such information eventually should allow the publication of detailed reports by country in the future, Trace said at a news conference.

“This is not a law enforcement tool,” Michelle Gavin, a researcher on the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank, and a Trace board member.

The aim of the Business Registry for International Bribery and Extortion (BRIBEline) is to “shine a light on the demand side of bribery” and not on companies’ bribe offers, she added.

Among the 14 companies identified by Trace as endorsing BRIBEline were Wal-Mart Stores, FedEx and International Paper in the United States, and Rolls-Royce of Britain.

Gavin acknowledged the new anti-bribery tool would not produce accurate statistics on bribery because it is based on information submitted on a voluntary basis.

And Trace will not attempt to verify the information submitted.

“There is some risk of malicious reporting,” said Trace president Alexandra Wrage, “although we think it is low.”

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