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A Focus On Third-Party Practices

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Navex Global recently released this report titled “2017 Ethics and Compliance Third-Party Risk Management Benchmark Report.” I am always a bit skeptical of such survey data given that the results often seem to dovetail nicely with the product offering of the company publishing the survey. Indeed, a section of the report is titled “About Navex Global’s Third-Party Risk Management Solution.”

Moreover, I often wonder whether such surveys are even statistically valid. For instance, the survey was based on 427 survey respondents, with approximately 40% of respondents coming from large companies, and approximately 15% of respondents coming from the banking/financial services.

In any event, as highlighted below there are certain survey findings which caught my eye.

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Fresh Off Its 2016 FCPA Enforcement Action, SAP Is Again Under FCPA Scrutiny

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As highlighted in this previous post, in February 2016 SAP (a German company with American Depository Shares registered with the SEC) resolved an FCPA enforcement action based on conduct in Panama. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s finding’s in an administrative order the company agreed to pay approximately $3.9 million and the SEC ordered the company to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls case.

Fresh off this 2016 FCPA enforcement action, SAP is again under FCPA scrutiny.

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Jay Jorgensen On Walmart’s Enhanced Ethics & Compliance Program

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Recently Jay Jorgensen (Walmart Executive V.P. and Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer) delivered a keynote address at The FCPA at 40 symposium hosted by Texas A&M University School of Law on October 12th.

Portions of Jorgensen’s address are published below with permission. Jorgensen’s entire keynote address will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Texas A&M Law Review. In the excerpted portion, Jorgensen talks about the transformation of Walmart’s ethics and compliance program with a focus on anti-corruption. Specifically, Jorgensen discusses Walmart’s approach to: third-party due diligence and payments; licenses and permits; donations and charitable contributions; financial controls; and enhanced training.

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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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