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[Senate Treaty Document 105-39]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



105th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                      105-39
_______________________________________________________________________


 
               INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

  INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION (``THE CONVENTION''), 
 ADOPTED AND OPENED FOR SIGNATURE AT THE SPECIALIZED CONFERENCE OF THE 
 ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS) AT CARACAS, VENEZUELA, ON MARCH 
 29, 1996. THE CONVENTION WAS SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES ON JUNE 27, 
1996, AT THE TWENTY-SEVENTH REGULAR SESSION OF THE OAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY 
                     MEETING IN PANAMA CITY, PANAMA





 April 1, 1998.--Convention was read the first time and, together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                    The White House, April 1, 1998.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Inter-American 
Convention Against Corruption (``the Convention''), adopted and 
opened for signature at the Specialized Conference of the 
Organization of American States (OAS) at Caracas, Venezuela, on 
March 29, 1996. The Convention was signed by the United States 
on June 27, 1996, at the twenty-seventh regular session of the 
OAS General Assembly meeting in Panama City, Panama. In 
addition, for the information of the Senate, I transmit the 
report of the Department of State with respect to the 
Convention.
    The Convention was the first multilateral Convention of its 
kind in the world to be adopted. The provisions of the 
Convention are explained in the accompanying report of the 
Department of State. The report also sets forth proposed 
understandings that would be deposited by the United States 
with its instrument of ratification. The Convention will not 
require implementing legislation for the United States.
    The Convention should be an effective tool to assist in the 
hemispheric effort to combat corruption, and could also enhance 
the law enforcement efforts of the States Parties in other 
areas, given the links that often exist between corruption and 
organized criminal activity such as drug trafficking. The 
Convention provides for a broad range of cooperation, including 
extradition, mutual legal assistance, and measures regarding 
property, in relation to the acts of corruption described in 
the Convention.
    The Convention also imposes on the States Parties an 
obligation to criminalize acts of corruption if they have not 
already done so. Especially noteworthy is the obligation to 
criminalize the bribery of foreign government officials. This 
provision was included in the Convention at the behest of the 
United States negotiating delegation. In recent years, the 
United States Government has sought in a number of multilateral 
fora to persuade other governments to adopt legislation akin to 
the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This Convention 
represents a significant breakthrough on that front and should 
lend impetus to similar measures in other multilateral groups.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Convention, and that it give its advice 
and consent to ratification, subject to the understandings 
described in the accompanying report of the Department of 
State.

                                                William J. Clinton.


                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                        Washington, March 24, 1998.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to 
ratification, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption 
(``the Convention''), adopted and opened for signature at the 
Specialized Conference on Corruption of the Organization of 
American States (OAS) in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 29, 1996. 
The Convention was signed by the United States on June 27, 
1996, at the twenty-seventh regular session of the General 
Assembly of the OAS meeting in Panama City, Panama. I recommend 
that the Convention be transmitted to the Senate for its advice 
and consent to ratification.
    To date, twenty-three states have signed the Convention. 
Eight states (Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, 
Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Argentina) have deposited their 
instruments of ratification. The Convention entered into force 
on March 6, 1997.
    The Convention is the first instrument of its kind in the 
world to be adopted. It establishes a treaty-based regime of 
obligations among the OAS member states to combat corruption, 
including various forms of cooperation analogous to those that 
exist pursuant to a number of multilateral law enforcement 
treaties to which the United States is a party. The Convention 
will enhance the United States' ability to cooperate with, and 
receive assistance from, other countries in the hemisphere in 
connection with efforts to prevent, investigate, and prosecute 
acts of corruption. The Convention will not require 
implementing legislation for the United States. As further 
discussed below, the existing bodies of laws and regulations in 
the United States will be adequate to satisfy the Convention's 
provisions regarding requirements for legislation, and the 
other provisions contained in the Convention are self-executing 
and will not require additional implementing legislation.
    The Convention consists of a preamble and twenty-eight 
articles. Article 1 (``Definitions'') defines the following 
terms: ``public function,'' ``public official,'' ``government 
official,'' ``public servant'' and ``property.'' With respect 
to the definitions of the first four of the terms listed above, 
it was agreed by the negotiators that the term ``at any level 
of its hierarchy'', which iscontained in such definitions, was 
intended to clarify the ``vertical'' scope of application of the 
Convention; i.e., that the Convention would cover officials ranging 
from those at the very top of the government bureaucracy, such as 
Cabinet-level officials, to those at the lowest levels, such as clerks. 
The phrase was included at the behest of certain delegations who 
expressed concern that some of the corruption laws that exist in their 
countries do not reach officials at the very top levels of government, 
or, alternatively, those at the lowest levels.
    However, the negotiators expressly discussed and understood 
that the phrase ``at any level of its hierarchy'' was not 
intended in this Convention to define the scope of application 
of the Convention with respect to constituent units of federal 
states, nor was the Convention as a whole intended to impose 
obligations with respect to the conduct of state or local 
officials. To emphasize this point, upon conclusion of the 
negotiations at the final session of the specialized conference 
in Caracas, the head of the U.S. negotiating team read the 
following statement into the record:

          The U.S. would like to reaffirm for the record the 
        statement made earlier by the President of the Working 
        Group for the article on definitions that the 
        conclusions of the Working Group reflect the fact that 
        countries with federal systems of government may not be 
        able to bind their states and municipalities to the 
        obligations under the Convention.

    This statement was seconded at the conference by the 
delegation from Canada and from other States with federal 
systems. To confirm our understanding on this point, I 
recommend that the following understanding to Article I be 
included in the United States instrument of ratification:

          The Government of the United States of America 
        understands that the phrase ``at any level of its 
        hierarchy'' in the first and second subparagraphs of 
        Article 1 refers, in the case of the United States, to 
        all levels of the hierarchy of the federal government 
        of the United States, and that the Convention does not 
        impose obligations with respect to the conduct of 
        officials other than federal officials.

    Article II (``Purposes'') describes the purposes of the 
Convention, which are to promote and strengthen the development 
by each of the States Parties of the necessary mechanisms to 
prevent, detect, punish, and eradicate corruption; and to 
promote, facilitate, and regulate cooperation among the States 
Parties to ensure the effectiveness of measures and actions 
against corruption in the performance of public functions and 
acts of corruption specifically related to such performance.
    Article III (``Preventive Measures'') sets forth a list of 
measures that the States Parties ``agree toconsider the 
applicability of '' within their own institutional systems, for the 
purpose of advancing the goals specified in Article II. These include 
measures to ``create, maintain, and strengthen,'' inter alia, the 
following: standards of conduct for the correct, honorable, and proper 
fulfillment of public functions and mechanisms to enforce such 
standards; instruction to government personnel to ensure proper 
understanding of their responsibilities and ethical rules; systems for 
registering the income, assets and liabilities of government officials; 
open, equitable, and efficient systems of government hiring and 
procurement of goods and services; government revenue collection and 
control systems that deter corruption; laws that deny favorable tax 
treatment for expenditures made in violation of anti-corruption laws; 
systems for protecting public servants and citizens who, in good faith, 
report acts of corruption; oversight bodies to implement modern anti-
corruption mechanisms; and deterrents to the bribery of domestic and 
foreign government officials, such as requirements for publicly held 
companies and other types of associations to maintain books and records 
that accurately reflect the acquisition and disposition of assets, and 
to have sufficient internal accounting controls.
    Article IV (``Scope'') states that the Convention is 
applicable provided that the alleged act of corruption has been 
committed, or has effects, in a State Party.
    Article V (``Jurisdiction'') enunciates obligations imposed 
on the States Parties to establish their jurisdiction over 
offenses covered under the Convention. Specifically, this 
Article obligates each State Party to adopt such measures as 
may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the 
offenses it has established in accordance with this Convention 
when the offense in question is committed in its territory. The 
Article also obligates each State Party to establish 
jurisdiction over covered offenses by individuals who are in 
its territory but whom it declines to extradite on the grounds 
of the nationality of the alleged criminal. In addition, the 
Article enables, but does not require, each State Party to 
establish jurisdiction over offenses covered by the Convention 
when such offenses are committed by its nationals or persons 
who habitually reside in its territory. Finally, the Article 
makes clear that this Convention does not preclude the 
application of any other rule of criminal jurisdiction 
established by a State Party under its domestic law.
    Article VI (``Acts of Corruption'') is one of the key 
provisions of the treaty, as it specifies the acts of 
corruption to which the Convention applies. In summary terms, 
such acts are: the solicitation or acceptance by, or the 
offering or granting to, government officials of bribes or 
benefits in exchange for any act or omission in the performance 
of his public functions; any act or omission by a government 
official in the discharge of his duties for the purpose of 
illicitly obtaining benefits for himself or for a third party; 
the fraudulent use or concealment of property derived from any 
of the acts contemplated in this Article; and participation in 
the commission of, attempt to commit, or any association or 
conspiracy to commit, any such acts. The Article also renders 
the Convention applicable with respect to any other act of 
corruption as agreed to between or among two or more States 
Parties.
    Article VII (``Domestic Law'') requires that the States 
Parties, to the extent they have not yet done so, adopt the 
necessary legislative or other measures to establish as 
criminal offenses under their domestic law the acts of 
corruption described in Article VI, as well as to facilitate 
cooperation among themselves pursuant to the Convention.
    At various times during the negotiations, the U.S. 
delegation described the extensive network of laws already in 
place in the U.S. that address the various acts of corruption 
covered under theConvention. Based on the discussions held at 
the negotiating sessions, the U.S. negotiators do not believe that it 
is the expectation of any of the other negotiating delegations that the 
United States would be required to enact any laws beyond those that it 
already has in place. Indeed, the opinion was voiced that one of the 
objectives of the Convention is to have the rest of the nations of the 
hemisphere develop a body of laws on corruption comparable to that 
which exists in the United States.
    There is, however, no single federal anti-corruption law in 
the United States that uses exactly the terms used in this 
Convention. Moreover, the network of United States anti-
corruption laws is extensive, but not every federal employee is 
subject to criminal prosecution for every act that could 
conceivably fall within the definition of the ``acts of 
corruption'' in the Convention. In particular, there is no 
general ``attempt'' statute in U.S. federal criminal law, 
although federal statutes make ``attempts'' criminal in 
connection with specific crimes. The practical effect of this, 
however, is debatable. The ``acts of corruption'' described in 
Article VI (1) (a) and (b) are defined in such a way as 
effectively to embrace the acts constituting an attempt within 
the crime since it is the mere solicitation, acceptance, 
offering or granting of a bribe which is a crime, without any 
consummation of an act of bribery or even an agreement to 
bribe. The literal terms of subparagraph (c), on the other 
hand, would embrace a situation in which an individual took 
some preparatory action unknown to anyone, with the ``purpose'' 
of profiting illicitly at some future point. Under U.S. law, 
this would not be criminalized as such, although the conduct in 
question in a given case might well be prosecutable in the 
context of some other crime. It should also be noted, with 
respect to subparagraph (e), that the reference to 
``instigator'' is not intended to require the United States to 
create a new crime of association denominated ``instigation,'' 
but rather was included in the Convention merely as an 
illustrative form of the types of ``participation'' that the 
provision intends to cover. Although the U.S. legal system does 
not recognize the offense of ``instigation'' as such, it does 
contemplate equivalent but differently denominated offenses, 
such as aiding or abetting.
    Despite the above, the existing network of laws in place in 
the United States can reasonably be deemed to satisfy the 
obligations imposed under the Convention with respect to the 
enactment of legislation. During the negotiations, the U.S. 
delegation provided considerable information toother 
delegations on the nature and content of U.S. law, and it was the 
understanding of all delegations that Article VII would not be 
understood to require new legislation in the U.S. substituting the 
broad wording of Article VI for specific U.S. laws currently in place.
    In light of the foregoing, I recommend that the following 
understanding to Article VII be included in the United States 
instrument of ratification:

          Article VII of the Convention sets forth an 
        obligation to adopt legislative measures to establish 
        as criminal offenses the acts of corruption described 
        in Article VI(1). There is an extensive network of laws 
        already in place in the United States that criminalize 
        a wide range of corrupt acts. Although United States 
        laws may not in all cases be defined in terms or 
        elements identical to those used in the Convention, it 
        is the understanding of the United States, with the 
        caveat set forth below, that the kinds of official 
        corruption which are intended under the Convention to 
        be criminalized would in fact be criminal offenses 
        under U.S. law. Accordingly, the United States does not 
        intend to enact new legislation to implement Article 
        VII of the Convention.
          There is no general ``attempt'' statute in U.S. 
        federal criminal law. Nevertheless, federal statutes 
        make ``attempts'' criminal in connection with specific 
        crimes. This is of particular relevance with respect to 
        Article VI(1)(c), which by its literal terms would 
        embrace a single preparatory act done with the 
        requisite ``purpose'' of profiting illicitly at some 
        future time, even though the course of conduct is 
        neither pursued, nor in any sense consummated. The 
        United States will not criminalize such conduct per se, 
        although we would expect significant acts of corruption 
        in this regard to be generally subject to prosecution 
        in the context of one or more other crimes.

    Article VIII (``Transnational Bribery'') obligates the 
States Parties, subject to their Constitutions and the 
fundamental principles of their legal system, to prohibit and 
punish the offering or granting of a bribe, directly or 
indirectly, by its nationals, residents, and businesses 
domiciled there, to a government official of another State in 
connection with any economic or commercial transaction in 
exchange for any act or omission in the performance of that 
official's public functions. This Article was included at the 
behest of the United States, and was intended to obligate the 
States Parties to have in place legislation similar to the U.S. 
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
    There are small differences, however, between the wording 
of Article VIII and that of the FCPA, and a literal reading of 
Article VIII could suggest that the U.S. would need to revise 
its laws in some respects to comply with the obligations 
imposed in the Article. For example, the FCPA specifically 
excepts from coverage ``facilitating payments,'' i.e., small 
gratuities sometimes paid to foreign government officials to 
secure or expedite performance of routine government action. 
See Title 15, United States Code, Sections 78dd-1(b) and 78dd-
2(b). Article VIII, however, contains no such exception. Also, 
the FCPA applies only to payments made to obtain or retain 
business, while Article VIII requires criminalization of all 
payments made ``in connection with any economic or commercial 
transaction,'' an arguably larger universe. Since Article VIII 
was included at the behest of the U.S. in order to require 
other OAS states to enact laws similar to the FCPA, none of the 
negotiating delegations expected that the U.S. itself would 
enact new legislation to comply with Article VIII.
    In order to be clear on the scope of the U.S. commitment 
under Article VIII, I recommend that the following 
understanding be included in the United States instrument of 
ratification:

          With respect to Article VIII, the Government of the 
        United States of America notes that current United 
        States law provides criminal sanctions for 
        transnational bribery. It is the understanding of the 
        Government of the United States of America that no 
        additional legislation is needed for the United States 
        to comply with the obligation imposed in Article VIII.

    Article IX (``Illicit Enrichment'') is structurally 
analogous to Article VIII, and was included at the insistence 
of a number of the Latin American nations. The Article refers 
to the offense known as ``illicit enrichment,'' which is 
defined as a significant increase in the assets of a 
governmentofficial that such official cannot reasonably explain in 
relation to his lawful earnings during the performance of his 
functions. Like Article VIII, compliance with the obligations imposed 
under this Article is subject to each State's Constitution and 
fundamental legal principles.
    Although there is no offense of ``illicit enrichment'' as 
such in U.S. law, there are a number of laws and regulations in 
the United States that penalize the same substantive conduct 
which this article is intended to reach and which is proscribed 
by the ``illicit enrichment'' laws that exist in some nations. 
However, in an illicit enrichment statute of the sort 
contemplated by the statute, the defendant must bear the burden 
of establishing the legitimate origin of the assets in 
question. The Article therefore by its terms calls for States 
Parties to make the described conduct criminal without 
requiring an affirmative showing by the State of wrongdoing on 
the part of the defendant. Since under the U.S. legal system 
the State must in all cases affirmatively prove that an 
individual has engaged in wrongdoing before it can impose 
criminal sanctions on such person, compliance with the literal 
terms of Article IX would impose on the United States an 
obligation that would be inconsistent with its Constitution and 
the fundamental principles of its legal system.
    Accordingly, the explicit exception contained in Article 
IX, which renders compliance with the obligation therein 
subject to each State's ``Constitution and the fundamental 
principles of its legal system,'' is applicable to the United 
States.
    This interpretation is consistent with that which was 
voiced by the U.S. delegation during the negotiations, and 
which was understood by the other delegations. The negotiators 
discussed Article IX in detail, and understood that the Article 
would not require the United States to enact new legislation. 
To emphasize this point, at the final session of negotiations, 
the head of the U.S. negotiating delegation read the following 
statement for the record:

          I stress that we remain perfectly happy to offer 
        assistance and cooperation to those OAS states that 
        have enacted illicit enrichment legislation. However, 
        we do wish to reiterate . . . that we may be unable to 
        adopt such legislation ourselves for constitutional 
        reasons. In addition, we may be obliged to take a 
        reservation to this article because our legislature may 
        not wish to adopt such legislation for reasons 
        unrelated to constitutional law or ``fundamental 
        principles,'' such as the fact that we deal with this 
        issue fully through other laws already in force.

The other delegations accepted this statement, and no 
objections or dissenting views were voiced.
    In order to leave no doubt about the scope of the U.S. 
commitment under Article IX, I recommend that the following 
understanding regarding Article IX be included in the United 
States instrument of ratification:

          Article IX obligates the States Parties, subject to 
        the Constitution and fundamental legal principles of 
        their respective legal systems, to establish as an 
        offense the act of ``illicit enrichment,'' as defined 
        in the Article. With respect to this Article, the 
        Government of the United States of America believes 
        that the establishment of such an offense would be 
        inconsistent with the United States Constitution and 
        the fundamental principles of the United States legal 
        system. The United States therefore understands that 
        Article IX does not require the United States to 
        establish a new criminal offense of illicit enrichment. 
        However, the United States intends to provide 
        assistance pursuant to the Convention in accordance 
        with this Article, to the extent permitted by its 
        domestic law.

    Article X (``Notification'') obligates those States Parties 
that adopt legislation regarding transnational bribery or 
illicit enrichment to notify the OAS Secretary General, who in 
turn shall notify the other States Parties. The Article further 
specifies that, for a State Party that makes such a 
notification, the crimes of transnational bribery and illicit 
enrichment shall be considered acts ofcorruption, for purposes 
of the Convention, thirty days following the date of notification.
    Article XI (``Progressive Development'') lists a number of 
acts the criminalization of which the States Parties ``view as 
desirable and undertake to consider'' so as to foster the 
development and harmonization of their domestic legislation and 
the attainment of the purposes of the Convention. Such acts 
include the improper use by a government official of classified 
or confidential information, or of property belonging to the 
State or to any firm or institution in which the State has a 
proprietary interest; any act or omission by any person who 
seeks to obtain a decision from a public authority to obtain 
illicitly a benefit or gain for herself or for another person; 
and the improper diversion to an independent agency or to an 
individual by a government official of any property, funds, or 
securities belonging to the State, that such official has 
received by virtue of his position for purposes of 
administration, custody, or for other reasons. The Article 
further states that, for those States Parties that have 
established these offenses, such offenses shall be considered 
acts of corruption for the purposes of the Convention. Any 
State Party that has not established these offenses shall, 
insofar as its laws permit, provide assistance and cooperation 
with respect to these offenses as provided in the Convention.
    Article XII (``Effect on State Property'') clarifies that 
it shall not be a requirement for application of the Convention 
that the acts of corruption harm State property.
    Article XIII (``Extradition'') sets forth standard 
provisions on extradition which are found in other multilateral 
treaties on law enforcement matters. The Article applies to the 
offenses established by the States Parties in accordance with 
the Convention. It states that each of the offenses to which 
this Article applies shall be deemed to be included as 
extraditable offenses in any extradition treaty existing 
between or among the States Parties. Morever, the States 
Parties undertake to include such offenses as extraditable 
offenses in every extradition treaty to be concluded in the 
future. The Article also provides that, if a State Party makes 
extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty, it may 
consider the Convention as a legal basis for extradition to a 
State with which it does not have an extradition treaty, with 
respect to any offense to which the Article applies. In 
addition, the Article establishes that States Parties that do 
not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty 
shall recognize offenses to which the Article applies as 
extraditable offenses between themselves.
    Article XIII further provides that extradition shall be 
subject to the conditions provided for by the law of the 
Requested State or by applicable extradition treaties, 
including the grounds on which the Requested State may refuse 
extradition. If extradition for an offense to which this 
Article applies is refused solely on the basis of the 
nationality of the person sought, the Parties are obligated to 
submit the case to their authorities for the purpose of 
prosecution, unless otherwise agreed with the Requesting State. 
Finally, this Article enables the Requested State, when the 
circumstances so warrant and are urgent, to take into custody a 
person whose extradition is sought or take other appropriate 
measures to ensure such person's presence at extradition 
proceedings.
    Article XIV (``Assistance and Cooperation'') contains 
obligations regarding mutual legal and technical assistance. It 
stipulates that, in accordance with their domestic laws and 
applicable treaties, the States Parties shall afford one 
another the widest measure of mutual assistance by processing 
requests from law enforcement authorities of other States 
Parties, for the purpose of obtaining evidence and taking other 
necessary action to facilitate legal proceedings and 
measuresregarding the investigation or prosecution of acts of 
corruption. The Article further provides that the States Parties 
provide to each other the widest measures of mutual technical 
cooperation on the most effective ways and means of preventing, 
detecting, investigating, and punishing acts of corruption. This 
provision also requires the States Parties to foster exchanges of 
experiences by way of agreements and meetings between competent bodies 
and institutions, with special attention to methods and procedures of 
citizen participation in the fight against corruption.
    Article XV (``Measures Regarding Property'') stipulates 
that the States Parties are to provide to each other, in 
accordance with their domestic laws and applicable treaties or 
agreements, the broadest possible measure of assistance in the 
identification, tracing, freezing, seizure, and forfeiture of 
property or proceeds obtained, derived from, or used in, the 
commission of corruption offenses. The Article also directs 
each State Party that enforces its own or another State Party's 
forfeiture judgment to dispose of property or proceeds related 
to corruption offenses in accordance with its laws. Finally, 
the Article contains an asset-sharing clause, which provides 
that each State Party may, to the extent permissible under its 
laws, transfer all or part of forfeited property or proceeds to 
any other State Party that assisted in the underlying 
investigation or proceedings.
    Article XVI (``Bank Secrecy'') provides that the Requested 
State shall not invoke bank secrecy as a basis for refusal to 
provide assistance sought under the Convention by the 
Requesting State. The Article states that the Requested State 
shall apply this Article in accordance with its domestic law, 
procedural provisions, or international agreements with the 
Requesting State. The Article also provides that the Requesting 
State shall be obligated not to use any information received 
that is protected by bank secrecy for any purpose other than 
the proceeding for which the information was requested, unless 
authorized by the Requested State.
    Article XVII (``Nature of the Act'') provides that, for 
purposes of Articles XIII-XVI of the Convention, the fact that 
the property obtained or derived from an act of corruption was 
intended for political purposes, or that it is alleged that the 
act of corruption was committed for political motives or 
purposes, shall not suffice in and of itself for the act to 
qualify as a political offense or as a common offense related 
to a political offense.
    Article XVIII (``Central Authorities'') establishes that, 
for the purposes of international assistance and cooperation 
provided under the Convention, each State Party may designate a 
central authority or may rely upon such central authorities as 
are provided for in any relevant treaties or other agreements. 
The central authorities shall be responsible for making and 
receiving the requests for assistance and cooperation under the 
Convention. Because in the United States there are numerous 
agencies that may have authority over a particular corruption 
matter, the U.S. negotiating team proposed that the designation 
of a central authority be rendered optional. It is expected 
that the U.S. agency designated as the central authority for 
our mutual legal assistance treaties (the Department of 
Justice) shall be the central authority in connection with 
requests for mutual legal assistance relating to corruption 
issues. Other types of requests will be handled by the 
appropriate agency in the U.S. with responsibility for that 
particular matter or type of request.
    Article XIX (``Temporal Application'') provides that, 
subject to the constitutional principles and domestic laws of 
each State, and to the existing treaties between the States 
Parties, the fact that the alleged act of corruption was 
committed before this Convention entered into force shall not 
preclude procedural cooperation in criminal matters between the 
States Parties. The Article clarifiesthat this provision shall 
not affect the principle of non-retroactivity in criminal law, nor 
shall application of this provision interrupt existing statutes of 
limitations relating to crimes committed prior to the date of entry 
into force of the Convention.
    Article XX (``Other Agreements or Practices'') states that 
no provision of the Convention shall be construed as preventing 
the States Parties from engaging in mutual cooperation within 
the framework of other international agreements, bilateral or 
multilateral, that are currently in force or may be concluded 
in the future, or pursuant to any other applicable arrangement 
or practice.
    Article XXI-XXVIII contain the final clauses. Article XXI 
(``Signature'') provides that the Convention is open for 
signature by the Member States of the OAS. Article XXII 
(``Ratification'') states that the Convention is subject to 
ratification and that the instruments of ratification shall be 
deposited with the General Secretariat of the OAS. Article 
XXIII (``Accession'') provides that the Convention shall remain 
open for accession by any other State, and that the instruments 
of accession shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of 
the OAS.
    Article XXIV (``Reservations'') stipulates that the States 
Parties may, at the time of adoption, signature, ratification, 
or accession, make reservations to the Convention, provided 
that each reservation concerns one or more specific provisions 
and is not incompatible with the object and purpose of the 
Convention.
    Article XXV (``Entry into Force'') provides that the 
Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day 
following the date of deposit of the second instrument of 
ratification. This Article also stipulates that, for each State 
ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of 
the such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
    Article XXVI (``Denunciation'') states that the Convention 
shall remain in force indefinitely, but that any of the States 
Parties may denounce it. Any instrument of denunciation must be 
deposited with the General Secretariat of the OAS. The 
Convention shall cease to be in force for the denouncing State 
one year from the date of deposit of the instrument of 
denunciation.
    Article XXVII (``Additional Protocols'') stipulates that 
any State Party may submit for the consideration of other 
States Parties meeting at a General Assembly of the OAS 
additional draft protocols to the Convention to contribute to 
the attainment of the purposes of the Convention. The Article 
further provides that each such additional protocol shall 
establish the terms for its entry into force and shall apply 
only to those States that become Parties to it.
    Finally, Article XXVIII (Deposit of Original Instrument'') 
states that the original instrument of the Convention, the 
English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese texts of which are 
equally authentic, shall be deposited with the General 
Secretariat of the OAS, which shall forward an authenticated 
copy of its text to the United Nations Secretariat for 
registration and publication. This provision also states that 
the General Secretariat of the OAS shall be responsible for 
notifying its Member States and the States that have acceded to 
the Convention of signatures, of the deposit of instruments of 
ratification, accession, or denunciation, and of reservations, 
if any.
    It is my belief that this Convention would afford 
substantial benefits to the United States, and would be 
consistent with existing United States legislation. The 
Departments of Justice and Commerce, the Office of Government 
Ethics, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Securities and 
Exchange Commission join the Department of State in 
recommending that the Convention be transmitted to the Senate 
at an early date for its advice and consent to ratification, 
subject to the understandings described above.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                    Strobe Talbott.