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Are You Ready For Some Football? How A Successful Football Organization Can Inform FCPA Compliance In A Business Organization

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Are you ready for some football?

For most U.S. readers, the answer is likely “yes” as the football season is arguably the most anticipated sports season and one that transforms the weekends of many (not to mention Monday nights and with increasing frequency Thursday nights).

For Foreign Corrupt Practices Act professionals, understanding the game is not just a professional diversion, but one that can actually add professional value as well.

The reason is because understanding what makes a football organization successful can also inform FCPA compliance in a business organization.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With David Simon Regarding Cost-Effective And Difference-Making 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 the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with David Simon (Foley & Lardner). In the episode, Simon discusses a disconnect between where FCPA compliance resources are being spent (specifically third-party issues and gifts, travel and entertainment) and where meaningful anti-bribery compliance progress can actually be made.

While some may view the general discussion of cost-effective and difference-making FCPA compliance to be provocative, it is an essential conversation to have that impacts real companies competing in good faith in the global marketplace, often in the face of seemingly inconsistent and counterproductive enforcement agency guidance.

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Thoughts Regarding “Principles And Practices Of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs”

If Only

Recently, the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) released this “Principles and Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs.” As stated in the report, the ECI convened a group of 24 thought leaders and challenged them to identify the qualities that distinguish … ‘high-quality’ ethics and compliance programs.”

I have no doubt that the thought leaders worked hard and in good faith in drafting the report. However, the report was disappointing unless of course one loves checklists, charts, bullet points, vague generalities and other Compliance 2.0 (or has Compliance 3.0 arrived) buzzwords.

More substantively, as highlighted below, the report contains an asserted best practice that few (including former high-ranking DOJ officials) are likely to agree with.

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Thoughts On “Corporate Governance In An Era Of Compliance”

If Only

It’s that time of year when articles go from my “reading stack” to “just read stack.”

One such article was “Corporate Governance in an Era of Compliance” by Professor Sean Griffith and recently highlighted on the FCPA Blog.

There are several assertions in the article I agree with and indeed I, and others, have highlighted for several years such as: (i) “DPAs/NPAs … have a strong signaling effect on firms not party to the immediate settlement, pushing them to adopt compliance mechanisms similar to those upon their peers”; (ii) “it remains difficult to demonstrate the effectiveness of the compliance function;” (iii) government enforcement actions are often “foisted upon firms through an opaque settlement process, where the government has the whip hand, and the company accedes to its demands …”; (iv) “there is no serious judicial oversight of the [settlement] process” of government enforcement actions; (v) “prosecutors are larding firms with [compliance] cost for uncertain benefit” and that certain compliance mandates “merely amount to a wealth transfer from the firm to the third party [service provider].”

Yet, as described in this post, I have a fundamental disagreement with the thesis of the article. In addition, I propose a better solution (to those proposed in the article) to the problems highlighted in the article.

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“Compliance Officer” / Dad

Compliance Officer Dad

Yesterday was Father’s Day.

With twin 8-year old boys, Father is just one of my titles. Referee and Compliance Officer being the others. As to the later, I guess Co-Compliance Officer along with my wife is the more accurate title (I wonder what the “Compliance 2.0” folks would say about this structure)?

Father’s Day is a chance to reflect and to be sure being a Dad has informed my view of many things including compliance.

When you really think about, compliance and parenting have a lot in common.

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