DOJ Expected to Issue FCPA Guidance Soon
The Wall Street Journal and other observers expect that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue new guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as soon as sometime this week.
The FCPA prohibits U.S. companies and individuals from bribing foreign officials for business purposes. For a long time, business groups have been seeking more clarity about the law, which they say is too vague. The DOJ was expected to issue guidance more than a year ago, but that didn’t happen.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with 30 trade groups, is lobbying Congress to change the FCPA. The desired changes include adding an affirmative defense for companies with effective compliance programs and creating a narrower definition of who qualifies as a foreign official. However, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, said last year that the Department had “no intention whatsoever of supporting reforms whose aim is to weaken the FCPA and make it a less effective tool for fighting foreign bribery.”
Observers predict that the DOJ will not ease up on enforcement or change the definition of foreign officials, but they do see a trend in recent enforcement actions towards relaxing the policy on successor liability for firms that have previously violated the FCPA, which they expect will be reflected in the guidance.
Although the 1988 FCPA amendments required guidance, the DOJ has yet to provide any in the 24 years since the amendments were enacted.
WeComply’s 35-minute online Foreign Corrupt Practices Act training course explains the FCPA and global anti-corruption measures in a clear, understandable way, so that employees can appropriately respond to key real-world issues, including the scope of the FCPA, red flags, intent, due diligence, compliance and penalties.Categories: International Compliance