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On July 3, 2020, quietly and with little fanfare, the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released the 133-page Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corruption Practices Act, Second Edition (“the FCPA Resource Guide”). This came just a month after DOJ’s publication of its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs guidance, an update to the April 2019 guide.

The Resource Guide to the FCPA, Second Edition reiterates that a “one-size-fits-all” or “check-the- box“ approach to compliance will not be successful in combatting bribery or corruption, and will not be looked favorably upon by enforcement agencies. Compliance programs must not be static and must adjust, especially when high-risk parties are identified. With that in mind, Steele Compliance Solutions Inc., in its role to assist companies prevent corruption in the first instance, has identified the following key updates and takeaways from the second edition of the FCPA Resource Guide.

This white paper highlights:

  • Who is a foreign official? Defining department, agency or instrumentality of a foreign government.
  • How are payments to third parties treated?
  • The important context and meaning of the word “corruptly” in the FCPA Resource Guide.
  • Principles of corporate liability for anti-bribery violations: Successor Liability.