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Are FCPA Third-Party “Best Practices” Xenophobic?

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There is often discussion of “victims” of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Yet, I genuinely  believe that one of the seldom-discussed “victim” categories of this new era of FCPA enforcement and resulting compliance “best practices” is foreign third parties.

For starters, a business organization can be exposed to FCPA anti-bribery violations based on the conduct of various third parties (assuming the “knowledge” component of the third-party payment provisions is met). Moreover, based on current enforcement theories, the mere “improper” recording of foreign third-party transactions may constitute a books and records violation and the enforcement agencies frequently find internal controls violations based on various alleged deficiencies concerning a business organization’s relationship with foreign third parties.

Because of these legal provisions (and aggressive and dubious enforcement of these provisions), an extensive and elaborate series of “best practices” have developed around pre-engagement, engagement, and post-engagement of foreign third parties.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Jonathan Drimmer (VP & Deputy GC of Barrick Gold Corp.)

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 Jonathan Drimmer (V.P. & Deputy General Counsel of Barrick Gold Corp. a Canadian company with shares traded in the U.S.). During the podcast, Drimmer answers which law (the FCPA or Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act) and its enforcement keeps him up more at night; the challenges of compliance including third party due diligence; and training best practices including whether there is compliance fatigue.

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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 – indeed the first game of the NFL regular season is tonight).

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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You Be The Judge

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The game is baseball is simple. You score more runs than your opponent, you win. Your opponent scores more runs than you, you lose. To score runs, batters have to get on base. A batter gets on base by getting a hit, getting hit by a pitch, or getting walked. The worst possible thing a batter can do is strike out. Striking out represents failure by a batter.

Recently, New York Yankees player Aaron Judge set a Major League Baseball record for batter failure. As highlighted here, over the weekend Judge struck out in his 36th consecutive game breaking the record held by a National League pitcher. (For good measure, Judge also struck out on Sunday pushing the record to 37 consecutive games).

By this metric, Judge is a failure as a batter.

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“Domestic Workers Who Have No Involvement In Foreign Sales Probably Don’t Need Training In The FCPA” – WRONG!

Wrong

Navex Global claims to be the “ethics and compliance experts” and offers training courses that presumably seek to minimize a business organization’s FCPA risk.

However, in this recent post Navex asserts that “domestic workers who have no involvement in foreign sales probably don’t need training in the FCPA.”

This assertion is wrong on so many levels and if followed actually increases – not decreases – a business organization’s FCPA risk.

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