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The Difficulty of Reconciling Existing Legal Authority And Even Enforcement Agency Guidance With Certain FCPA Books And Records And Internal Controls Enforcement Actions


This recent FCPA Flash podcast episode focused on the SEC’s “unlawful” enforcement, in certain instances, of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions.

Off-the-rails SEC FCPA enforcement is a topic frequently discussed on these pages (see here among numerous other posts) and sometimes it is important to take a step back and review actual legal authority, as well as even prior enforcement agency guidance, relevant to the books and records and internal controls provisions.

Upon reviewing the below information, ask yourself whether it is possible to reconcile this legal authority and other sources of information with enforcement theories advanced in certain FCPA enforcement actions.

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The FCPA Turns 40


Today our favorite statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, turns 40.

During this 40th anniversary year, posts will be published regarding various aspects of the FCPA at 40. For posts already published, see here, here and here.

If you have some unique and candid thoughts about the FCPA at 40, please consider submitting a guest post for publication consideration.

President Jimmy Carter’s December 20, 1977 signing statement stated in full as follows.

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Selfish Foreign Policy Reasons, Not Altruism, Is Why Congress Enacted The FCPA In 1977


As the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act nears its 40th anniversary, it is perhaps neither here nor there 40 years later whether Congress in enacting the law was motivated by altruistic, do-good intentions or selfish, foreign policy goals.

But then again, it is important not to reinvent history or look at historical conduct through rose-colored glasses. Indeed, there are numerous accounts of history that ignore what really happened in favor of accounts that sound better.

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Looking Back At The Senate’s FCPA Hearing

Capital Hill

Seven years ago this week, the Senate held a hearing titled “Examining Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

(See here for the full hearing transcript, here for the video).

It was the first congressional hearing on the FCPA during its new era of enforcement (to be followed by a June 2011 FCPA hearing in the House) and the first FCPA hearing in Congress since the FCPA was amended in 1998.

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