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DOJ’s McFadden And Sessions Nicely Articulate The Policy Rationale For An FCPA Compliance Defense

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As highlighted in the article “Revisiting a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance Defense” the value and efficacy of an FCPA compliance defense is not just limited to more just and fair results when it comes to “hard enforcement” of the FCPA by the DOJ and SEC.

More importantly, an FCPA compliance defense will also increase “soft enforcement” of the FCPA. Soft enforcement generally refers to a law’s ability to facilitate self-policing and compliance to a greater degree than can be accomplished through “hard” enforcement alone.

Stated differently, the goal of the FCPA is to prevent bribery of foreign officials and that goal is best accomplished not solely through ad hoc “hard” enforcement actions, but by also better incentivizing corporate compliance designed to prevent improper conduct. Numerous prior posts (here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) have highlighted this dynamic including how the DOJ has long recognized the importance of “soft enforcement” of the FCPA.

In recent speeches, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Trevor McFadden (as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions) nicely articulated the policy rationale for an FCPA compliance defense. However, actions speak louder than words and the DOJ (and SEC) have continually failed to support the best positive incentivize to maximize “soft” enforcement of the FCPA.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Ryan McConnell Regarding FCPA Compliance

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash podcast episode is a conversation with Ryan McConnell (founder of the boutique Houston law firm R. McConnell Group). McConnell recently authored an article titled “Watching Which Way the Wind Blows: You Need Good Forecasting to Build Good Compliance,” and in the podcast he discusses: (i) how many company risk assessments are fundamental flawed; (ii) how best to forecast FCPA risk; (iii) and whether the DOJ and SEC’s approach to enforcing the FCPA is fair to certain companies.

FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.

FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Former DOJ FCPA Chief Joseph Covington

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joseph Covington (Smith Pachter and former head of the DOJ’s de facto FCPA unit in the early 1980’s). The podcast is a must listen for anyone seeking a better understanding of the DOJ’s “early” enforcement of the FCPA. In the episode, Covington also offers a candid assessment of how FCPA enforcement has changed; whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objective of reducing bribery; and why he continues (see here for the prior FCPA Professor guest post) to support an FCPA compliance defense.

FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.

DOJ Highlights 11 Factors Relevant In Evaluating A Corporate Compliance Program

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Last week the DOJ released this document highlighting 11 factors relevant in evaluating a corporate compliance program.

The factors should be familiar to compliance professionals well-versed on best-practices policies and procedures (whether in the FCPA context or otherwise) and there is really nothing new about the document (indeed the document cites to sources long in the public domain). Yet the document, the origins and purpose of which are not known, was released by a “new” DOJ with new leadership and is thus worthy of highlighting.

Organizing the existing body of best practices in one document is all fine and dandy. The more important question however is what should happen if a business organization acts consistent with the factors but an employee nevertheless exposes the entity to legal liability. Consistent with the FCPA-like laws of many peer countries, this should be relevant as a matter of law and not merely in the opaque, inconsistent, and unpredictable world of DOJ decision making. (See here).

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Joseph Warin

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joseph Warin (Gibson Dunn & Crutcher). Warin is the lead author of an article that recently caught my eye titled “Refusing to Settle: Why Public Companies Go to Trial in Federal Criminal Cases.” The article is not specific to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, but several of the factors identified in the article about why companies refuse to settle are certainly relevant to FCPA enforcement.

In the podcast, Warin discusses: (i) why so few companies under FCPA scrutiny refuse to settle; (ii) the de facto compliance defense that companies have successfully invoked in other federal criminal trials; (iii) why the terms of NPAs or DPAs may be worse for companies compared to going to trial; and (iv) whether the current FCPA enforcement environment would look the same if more business organization opted to put the DOJ or SEC to its burden of proof.

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