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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Issue to ponder, scrutiny alert, laughable, silly, $50 million spent in approximately 9 months, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Issue to Ponder

If the FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act “have been broadly effective in addressing and remediating corrupt practices within … companies [subject to the laws]” as asserted in this article, then why – generally speaking – is there more (not less) enforcement actions under these laws over time? 

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A Focus On Angola

Angola

Angola is probably not a country that tops most people’s list of the location of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions.

Yet, Angola is the second largest oil producing country in Africa. This means that oil and gas and related service companies are doing business in Angola. Add in the fact that control of the oil industry is overseen by Sonangol (a state-owned / state-controlled enterprise) and throw in some trade barriers and distortions, such as local content requirements, and you have the right conditions for FCPA issues to arise.

And arise they have. As highlighted in this post, the recent FCPA enforcement action against Halliburton was the 11th FCPA enforcement action involving, in whole or in part, conduct in Angola. (10 of the 11 actions have occurred since 2007).

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Once Again, Rebooting A Long-Standing FCPA Proposal, This Time In The Aftermath Of A Recent Disclosure By MTS Systems

MTS

This post two weeks ago addressed the same topic as today’s post and quite frankly I am growing tired of writing this same general post for what seems like the umpteenth time. However, until things change I will keep writing it which means I will probably keep writing this same general post long into the future.

The proposal is this: when a company voluntarily discloses an FCPA internal investigation to the DOJ and/or SEC and when one or both of the enforcement agencies do not bring an enforcement action, have the “declining” enforcement agency publicly state, in a thorough and transparent manner, the facts the company disclosed and why the “declining” agency did not bring an enforcement action based on those facts.

As highlighted in this March 2012 post, Minnesota-based MTS Systems Corp., a global supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors, disclosed:

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The FCPA’s Conversational Waters Are Muddy

muddy water2

There are some issues in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space that really should be simple.

For instance, the question “what is an FCPA enforcement action” really should be simple.

However, as highlighted in the article “A Common Language to Remedy Distorted FCPA Enforcement Statistics” various FCPA Inc. participants have adopted (for self-interested reasons perhaps) creative and haphazard counting methods regarding “what is an FCPA enforcement action.” The end result is a muddy conversation about many FCPA enforcement issues and the creative and haphazard counting methods infect the quality and reliability of FCPA enforcement and related statistics of interest to many in the legal and business communities.

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Mulling Over Moser’s Recent FCPA Remarks

people thinking

Recently Sandra Moser (Principal Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, DOJ) delivered these remarks (provided to me by the DOJ) at an event titled “Global Forum on Anti-Corruption in High Risk Markets.”

This post provides commentary on the remarks ranging from how best to incentivize compliance, the U.S. “piling” on foreign law enforcement actions, individual accountability, DOJ transparency in resolving FCPA enforcement actions, and the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program.

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