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The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

Below is some of the most recent Compliance Week coverage related to global anti-bribery rules, particularly The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Coverage includes recent opinions, global enforcement actions, and corporate practices for addressing the FCPA. Also see The Resource Exchange for FCPA policies, checklists, and tools submitted by other public company executives.

Guidance on Bribery Act Still Disappoints

October 12, 2010

The British government has begun to provide specific guidance on how companies can avoid prosecution under the country’s tough new anti-bribery laws, but it will be little comfort to compliance executives—especially those at U.S. companies, still unclear when they might face prosecution.

Dodd-Frank Causes New Oil & Gas Pains

August 24, 2010

A broad new disclosure provision tucked into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is poised to cause plenty of consternation for those in the energy industry.

How to Size Up, and Manage, FCPA Investigation Costs

August 17, 2010

Corporations worried about compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—which would be, like, all of them—have a few more glimpses into the costs of investigating and settling FCPA probes that might prove to be useful benchmarks.

Podcast: FCPA and Charitable Donations

August 06, 2010

We talk with Tom Fox, an independent FCPA compliance consultant and lawyer, about the Justice Department’s latest advisory opinion on the legality of “compelled giving” to charities overseas.

Editorial: SOX Gets Defeated, and That’s It?

August 01, 2010

Many years ago, T.S. Eliot closed his poem “The Hollow Men” with this famous, haunting stanza: “This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Audit Committee Checklist: Good Disclosure

July 20, 2010

Confession is good for the soul, and likewise, disclosure is good for the audit committee. And unfortunately, knowing exactly what to say can be difficult for both.

Audit Committee Checklist: FCPA Compliance

July 13, 2010

Audit committees have many concerns on their plates these days. But none, it seems, are as vexing and consequential as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

SEC Bounty Program May Complicate Whistleblowing

July 07, 2010

As compliance officers spend the summer poring over the 2,000-plus pages of Congress’ regulatory reform bill, they might want to pay particular attention to one provision about whistleblowing that could become a big deal for all public companies.

Aerospace, Defense Sectors Take Up Ethics Effort

June 29, 2010

Aerospace and defense companies are launching a new, transnational effort to improve ethical business conduct and fight corruption.

When the CCO Should Report to the General Counsel

Soriano, Guest Columnist John June 29, 2010

Can the chief ethics and compliance officer maintain the true independence and clout necessary to be effective while reporting to the general counsel—or to anyone else other than the CEO or the board of directors? The consensus of compliance experts and practitioners is decidedly indefinite. Basically, they all say, it depends.

More Proof of Global Anti-Bribery Crackdown

June 22, 2010

Enforcement officials have been hammering home the message for more than a year, but if any global corporations still want proof: A new report has more hard evidence that enforcement of anti-bribery laws is increasing, albeit slowly, around the world.

Managing, Mitigating Third-Party Risks

June 08, 2010

For most companies these days, working with third parties is critical to doing business. But at a time when anti-corruption enforcement has never been more stringent, those third parties can also pose huge risks.

Chipping Away at Effective Anti-Corruption Programs

June 02, 2010

Attendees at the Compliance Week 2010 conference last week got a refresher course in the compliance challenges and litigation risks stemming from bribery and corruption—and given the fast-changing regulatory landscape around corruption, Corporate America needs the extra help.

DoJ Warns on Heightened Fraud Enforcement

June 02, 2010

As the Justice Department ramps up its efforts to combat all forms of fraud, two of its top officials gave corporate compliance, legal, and risk professionals the straight dope on what they must do to keep their companies out of trouble.

White-Collar Crime Enforcement 101

June 02, 2010

A squadron of Justice Department officials appeared at the Compliance Week 2010 conference last week to talk about effective compliance programs, and they all drilled home one message: They have declared war on “paper programs.”

Shop Talk: Managing Third-Party Risks

May 11, 2010

On April 22, 2010, Compliance Week and SAI Global presented an exclusive editorial roundtable about strategies for managing third-party risks. The roundtable, held at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C., was moderated by Compliance Week Editor Matt Kelly and Christine Mills, senior vice president of SAI Global. Panelists included executives from Hewlett-Packard, Johnson Controls, Aramark Corp., among others. The following article provides readers with an in-depth look at their discussion.

Shop Talk: Compliance in Life Sciences

April 13, 2010

Corporate compliance in the life sciences industry can be quite the headache these days.

Innospec Settlement Shows Latest FCPA Thinking

April 06, 2010

Ethics and compliance officers might want to pay special attention to the Justice Department’s recent settlement of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges against chemical company Innospec, which is emerging as the latest cautionary tale about overseas bribery, self-disclosure, and global anti-corruption enforcement.

OECD Anti-Bribery Guide as Path to FCPA Compliance

March 30, 2010

The compliance community is perking up to new anti-bribery guidance recently published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that could serve as a blueprint for stronger compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Proposals for Sentencing Guidelines Win Mostly Praise

March 23, 2010

Proposed changes to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, guidelines widely viewed as the de facto blueprint for corporate ethics and compliance programs, are drawing mixed reviews from the compliance community.

Podcast: Improving FCPA Compliance Programs

March 16, 2010

In this week’s podcast, Compliance Week editor Matt Kelly talks with Russ Berland of the law firm Stinson Morrison & Hecker about new guidance from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development that could be a blueprint for stronger FCPA compliance.

U.K. Bribery Bill Poses Daunting Compliance Challenges

March 16, 2010

British lawmakers are poised to approve the most sweeping reforms of anti-bribery law in the United Kingdom in more than a century, creating a new anti-corruption regime that many believe will be sterner than even the United States’ dreaded Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

DoJ and SEC Go All Out to Stop Fraud

March 09, 2010

When Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer was recently asked to comment on enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2009, he minced no words: “One can say without exaggeration that this past year was probably the most dynamic single year in the more than 30 years since the FCPA was enacted.”

DoJ Tells Pharma to Brace for FCPA

March 02, 2010

The Department of Justice has issued a strong warning in recent months to those in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries: find a way to deter fraud and other corporate corruption, or face hefty consequences.

Internal Audit’s Role in Preventing FCPA Violations

March 02, 2010

It seems like old news, but no matter how often Corporate America says it knows what to do, we just keep hearing about high-profile cases of violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Editorial: Hope, Compliance Spring Eternal

March 01, 2010

Every spring I write an editorial announcing the lineup of our annual Compliance Week lineup. As you might imagine, last year’s conference, in the shadow of recession and financial crisis, had a touch of gallows humor to the whole affair.

Podcast: Review of Latest FCPA Sting

January 22, 2010

Compliance Week editor Matt Kelly chats with Tom Fox, an independent lawyer and FCPA compliance consultant, about last week’s massive FCPA sting by the Justice Department.

Podcast: Big Pharma and FCPA

December 04, 2009

In this week’s podcast, Compliance Week editor Matt Kelly talks with Jonathan Halpern of the law firm Bracewell and Giuliani, about a possible new crackdown on FCPA compliance in the pharmaceutical industry.

Survey: How Mature Is Your Compliance Function?

November 10, 2009

Chief compliance officers apparently still have lots of work ahead to turn their compliance efforts into strong, mature programs that can handle the broad range of risks corporations face.

Editorial: Anatomy of an FCPA Violation

November 01, 2009

So I may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act while I was on vacation recently.

Britain Gets Serious on Corruption Enforcement

October 27, 2009

Earlier this fall, the United Kingdom scored its first-ever conviction against a company for overseas bribery, 10 years after the country first pledged to crack down on such abuse. Now more cases—and legislation—are on the way, and Britain may finally be delivering on its promise to get tough on corruption.

Facilitation Payments Still Leave Companies Vexed

October 20, 2009

As anti-bribery enforcement goes increasingly global, some companies are opting to ban facilitation payments entirely to avoid the tricky compliance issues they pose.

Global Enforcement, Cooperation on the Rise

September 29, 2009

U.S. and international regulators and law enforcement agencies are upping their game with increased resources and greater cooperation in response to the global financial crisis. Corporate compliance departments and counsel may want to do the same.

DoJ Expands Scope of Bribery Prosecutions

August 25, 2009

A handful of recent enforcement actions brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act signal that the Justice Department is expanding the scope of its bribery prosecutions, keeping true on its promise that enforcement will intensify.

More Details on SEC Enforcement Overhaul

August 18, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently unveiled more details about its plan to invigorate enforcement, with the announcement of sweeping changes aimed at bringing and resolving cases more quickly.

Lessons From Latest FCPA Conviction

August 04, 2009

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act recently came into stark relief again, this time in the form of a criminal trial and conviction—a relatively rare thing in FCPA enforcement—that underscored the importance of due diligence.

State Secrets, Business Information in China

July 28, 2009

The broad contours of the dispute between mining conglomerate Rio Tinto and the Chinese government—hardball business tactics, espionage charges, four Rio employees under arrest—are enough to leave any compliance officer unsettled. The spat itself is likely to be settled via quiet diplomacy between China, Australia (Rio Tinto’s home country), and Rio’s boardroom.

Enforcing Employee Ethics in Online Social Networks Era

May 27, 2009

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with a manager from a community credit union. His staff included many enthusiastic and energetic young employees. They enjoyed each other’s company at the office and often socialized outside of work. And sometimes their socializing got a little out of hand.

Updating Your Gift & Entertainment Policy

April 14, 2009

It’s 2009. Do you know where your gift and entertainment policies are?

Editorial: Compliance Week 2009: Meet, Strategize for Tough Times Ahead

April 01, 2009

Every April, I write an editorial announcing the lineup of our annual Compliance Week conference and encourage readers to attend. We’ve always had a stellar lineup of speakers and discussions, and this year will be the same.

Helping GRC Education, Communication Get Noticed

L. Mitchell Scott March 31, 2009

As regulatory demands and cost-cutting pressures increase, executives want to know how education and communication in compliance risk can be made more effective and more efficient.

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

March 31, 2009

Among the many, many tales of ethical lapses at Enron, one of the more poignant and painful episodes involved an employee meeting that happened just before the company fell to pieces in late 2001.

Boosting Control With Third-Party Codes of Conduct

March 24, 2009

Despite increased risks posed by supply chains, companies still have a long way to go when it comes to establishing ethics and compliance standards for their vendors, suppliers, and other business partners. So says a recent benchmarking survey by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Once Feared, China Labor Law Eases Its Bite

March 10, 2009

The Chinese Labor Contract Law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008, amid suspicions that it might be used to force Western companies into compliance with the whim of whatever Chinese regulator happened to use it.

More Rules on EU Data Privacy, but Will They Help?

March 10, 2009

New guidance on shipping sensitive electronic data across borders may not be all that much help to global companies grappling with various nations’ compliance regimes, experts say.

U.S. Regulatory Arm Stretches to U.K.

March 03, 2009

The long arm of U.S. regulatory compliance is now reaching ever more deeply into overseas corporations—even, when necessary, reaching over the shoulder of local regulators not enforcing their own standards to U.S. liking.

Roundtable Discusses Supply Chain Risks

February 18, 2009

These days, compliance executives may be fretting about the risks posed by the people outside of their organization just as much as (or more than) the potential dangers from their own employees. With news like the recent peanut salmonella outbreak grabbing headlines, it seems those fears are well founded.

Hopes for More Clarity in Deferred Prosecution Deals

January 27, 2009

Deferred prosecution agreements were the hip new accessory for companies under investigation during the Bush Administration. Now they may become fashionable on a permanent basis.

Take Time to Convene the Audit Committee

January 27, 2009

It can’t be easy for compliance executives to talk with the audit committee these days. Just two quarters ago, many of you probably met with the committee to discuss conditions in a slowing economy, but nothing so dire as to leave boards alarmed or panicky.

Siemens Teaches Cos. FCPA Dos & Don’ts

January 20, 2009

Good news for compliance officers: You now have solid evidence that the benefit of implementing an effective compliance program far outweighs the cost, in the form of the massive Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlements swallowed by Siemens AG and three of its foreign subsidiaries.
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