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It’s Been A While Since A DOJ FCPA Opinion Was Released

waiting

The FCPA, when enacted, directed the Attorney General to establish a procedure to provide responses to specific inquiries by those subject to the FCPA concerning conformance of their conduct with the DOJ’s “present enforcement policy.”

However, it’s been a while since a DOJ FCPA opinion was released. To be specific, the last time the DOJ issued a so-called FCPA opinion procedure release was November 7, 2014. This represents the longest gap in the history of the program.

This post provides a general overview of the DOJ’s FCPA Opinion Procedure Release Program and highlights reasons why it has largely been viewed as a useless program despite DOJ efforts (including recently) to encourage greater use.

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Deputy Assistant AG Miner On M&A Issues, The DOJ’s Opinion Procedure Program, And Other Issues (With Rebuttal)

miner

As highlighted in this prior post, while in private practice Matthew Miner criticized the “Yates Memo,” DOJ transparency, the deficiencies of DOJ guidance as a solution in the FCPA space, and the FCPA’s “foreign official” element.

Now that he is Deputy Assistant Attorney General and – in his words – “wear[ing] a different hat,” Miner largely read from the DOJ’s FCPA script in this speech yesterday.

This post excerpts Miner’s speech and provides various rebuttal points.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Alice Fisher Regarding DOJ FCPA Enforcement And Policy

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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 Alice Fisher (Latham & Watkins and former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ’s Criminal Division). During the podcast, Fisher discusses: the DOJ’s recent non-binding policy discouraging “piling on”;  the DOJ’s FCPA Opinion Procedure program in light of her 2006 comments as Assistant AG that the program should “be something that is useful as a guide to business”; whether the DOJ’s long-standing efforts to encourage voluntary disclosure have failed (for instance in the same above-linked speech Fisher stated: “I can tell you [companies] in unequivocal terms that you will get a real benefit” for voluntary disclosure; whether FCPA enforcement (in terms of resolution vehicles, enforcement theories, DOJ/SEC policy, etc.) has evolved for the better or the worse since her time at the DOJ; and what about the FCPA (the actual statute) or FCPA enforcement (DOJ/SEC enforcement policy, resolution vehicles, etc.) should change and why.

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It’s Been A While Since A DOJ FCPA Opinion Was Released

waiting

The FCPA, when enacted, directed the DOJ Attorney General to establish a procedure to provide responses to specific inquiries by those subject to the FCPA concerning conformance of their conduct with the DOJ’s “present enforcement policy.”

However, it’s been a while since a DOJ FCPA opinion was released. To be specific, the last time the DOJ issued a so-called FCPA opinion procedure release was November 7, 2014.

This post provides a general overview of the DOJ’s FCPA Opinion Procedure Release Program and highlights reasons why it has largely been viewed as a useless program.

Continue Reading

Democratic Senator Asks The DOJ, “As Rapidly As Possible,” To Issue An Advisory Opinion “Whether Executives Of The Trump Organization And Related Companies – Including President Trump Himself” Are Violating The FCPA

blumenthal

Last Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) issued this press release (with an accompanying letter) asking the DOJ, “as rapidly as possible,” to issue an advisory opinion “whether executives of The Trump Organization and related companies – including President Trump himself” are violating the FCPA.

As highlighted in this post, there are certain deficiencies in Senator Blumenthal’s letter. Moreover, while the FCPA expressly authorizes the DOJ to issue FCPA advisory opinions, Senator Blumenthal clearly does not qualify as a requestor.

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