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When A Government Customer Does Not Pay – Asia Edition

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A guest post today from Owen Hawkes, a partner in KPMG’s forensic practice in Singapore.

Professor Koehler’s recent post “When A Government Customer Does Not Pay” examines FCPA enforcement actions where payments were made to foreign officials to expedite the receipt of liabilities from governments.

The post brought to mind a recording quoted in the media coverage of PT MAXpower Group (“MAXpower”), an Indonesian-based gas-fired power plant operator, which was alleged to have made corrupt payments to officials in Indonesia.  The quote, from a recording of a meeting of Directors in 2015, reads:

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When A Government Customer Does Not Pay

past due

Examining the root causes of certain Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions is not meant to rationalize or condone the conduct at issue, but just to better understand the circumstances given rise to the enforcement action in the first place.

For instance, like several other FCPA enforcement actions highlighted in this post, a root cause for a portion of the conduct alleged in the recent PDVSA related individual enforcement action is that Venezuela was unable to pay its bills and that alleged “foreign officials” offered to pay the outstanding bills (among a stack of many no doubt) in exchange for things of value.

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