For anyone growing up in the 1960s, you will recall the television show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” was one of the coolest around. It starred Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, the American half of an international team dedicated to fighting an organization seeking world subjugation (code-named T.H.R.U.S.H.).
The show’s trademark was the pairing of the American Solo with a Soviet agent, Illya Kuryakin, who was played by David McCallum, at the height of the Cold War. The episodes were rollicking good fun and provided some interesting social commentary. It was so popular that a new movie based on the 1960s series and with the same name will hit movie theaters this month.
Today, I begin a blogging series for Compliance Week as The Man From FCPA. I want to thank Matt Kelly for the opportunity and forum and Aarti Maharaj for the editorial oversight going forward. Our goal is to provide you with up-to-date information on all things related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-corruption overall. I will cover FCPA issues that have a U.S.-centric focus, and also other anti-corruption issues and finally topics that impact the FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act and other anti-corruption regimes going forward.
Many of the articles and postings will seem self-evident as to their FCPA and other anti-bribery/anti-corruption focus. In other postings, I will draw lessons learned from other compliance disciplines such as anti-money laundering, fraud, import/export or other arenas for the compliance practitioner. Finally, I will use some analogies that I find to be interesting and thought-provoking as well. As with the television show which is the inspiration for the name of this new blog, I hope to have some fun writing it, and you should have even more fun reading it.
The “U.N.C.L.E.” in the show’s title was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. I think this is an appropriate way to think about how we envision this blog going forward. While the United States has clearly led the way in combating bribery and corruption on the worldwide stage over the past decade, it truly is becoming a global enforcement priority. One only need to look at the saga of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in China; the ever-burgeoning investigation in Brazil of Petrobras, which has seemingly metastasized into something much broader; and the indictments in the United States in June for multiple representative of FIFA for wide-ranging allegation of bribery and corruption around the world’s most popular sporting event.
I hope you will join me in the adventure.