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… Because FCPA Enforcement Actions Often Involve “Normal” Activity

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This recent FCPA Blog post asks: “why do ‘normal’ employees violate the FCPA?”

Sure, there will always be Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violators like Richard Bistrong (an FCPA Blog contributor and a “training partner” of the FCPA Blog’s owner) who – in the words of the Africa Sting jury foreman – “freely admitted on the stand more illegal acts than the entire group of defendants was accused of, yet was able to plead to only one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.” Bistrong himself has stated: “When I am asked, ‘what could have stopped you? My response is quite simple: nothing.”

There is little compliance programs can do as to these sorts of actors. Nevertheless, let me raise my hand and offer a partial answer to the question posed by the FCPA Blog: “normal” employees may violate the FCPA because FCPA enforcement actions often involve “normal” activity.

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With Survey Results Like These, Can We Truly Say That The FCPA Has Been Successful?

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In this the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s 40th year, it is appropriate to ask the salient question of whether the FCPA has been successful.

Granted, politicians are known for making aspirational statements, nevertheless during the FCPA’s enactment Congressional leaders stated – among other things – “the legislation before the committee … would end corporate bribery” and “the goal [of the FCPA] is the elimination of foreign bribery.”

Yet, recent survey results seriously call into question whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objectives.

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Do Your Hiring And Employment Practices Live Up To The DOJ’s New Expectations?

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An aspect of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance that likely drives many compliance professionals crazy is that the FCPA’s internal controls provisions lack specifics and are thus, for the most part, standardless.

The provisions state that issuers shall “devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that” certain limited financial objectives are met.

This standardless aspect of the internal controls provisions was highlighted in the notable World-Wide Coin decision (believed to be the only substantive judicial decision to construe the internal controls provisions). In the decision, the judge stated:
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Friday Roundup

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ISO 37001 airball, from the Inspector General report, scrutiny alert, good lord, marketing an impossible dream, root causes, and yes it is. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

ISO 37001 Airball

If you have an interest in the non-story of ISO 37001 check out this podcast in which Alexandra Wrage (Trace International) asks some very good questions of a Microsoft representative.

To use a basketball analogy, the Microsoft’s reps answers were air balls full of buzzwords and cliches. 

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“Compliance Officer” / Dad

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Yesterday was Father’s Day.

With twin 10-year old boys, Father is just one of my titles. Referee and Compliance Officer being a few others. As to the later, Co-Compliance Officer along with my wife is the more accurate title (I wonder what the “Compliance 2.0” [or are we on to 3.0 now] 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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