Skip to comments.What is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?
Posted on 01/21/2010 8:11:21 PM PST by marktwain
Earlier today, we looked at the arrest of company executives and employees attending the SHOT Show in Las Vegas for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The Department of Justice has posted a "Lay-Person's Guide" on its website. Now would be a good time to review some of the highlights:
The FCPA makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. With respect to the basic prohibition, there are five elements which must be met to constitute a violation of the Act:
A. Who -- The FCPA potentially applies to any individual, firm, officer, director, employee, or agent of a firm and any stockholder acting on behalf of a firm. Individuals and firms may also be penalized if they order, authorize, or assist someone else to violate the antibribery provisions or if they conspire to violate those provisions...
B. Corrupt intent -- The person making or authorizing the payment must have a corrupt intent, and the payment must be intended to induce the recipient to misuse his official position to direct business wrongfully to the payer or to any other person...
C. Payment -- The FCPA prohibits paying, offering, promising to pay (or authorizing to pay or offer) money or anything of value.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
Enforcement has always been rather selective, since a case is hard to prove: there is the requirement of a “corrupt intent,” which means that just handing someone some cash doesn’t automatically make you a crook.
The FCPA DOES put American companies at a distinct disadvantage as compared to say the French when it comes to making deals with African or Arab governments.
Those of us who worked overseas for US companies had to sign statements every year that we hadn’t violated this act.
That was to protect the higher ups.
The act came about after the bribery of the Prime Minister of Japan, Tanaka was paid off by Lockheed to purchase Lockheed aircraft. Tanaka signed a famous receipt for 14 “peanuts”.
3 or 4 years ago DOJ announced a greater emphasis on and more resources devoted to FCPA enforcement.