As highlighted in this recent post, earlier this month the White House released a fluffy “United States Strategy On Countering Corruption” that represented little more than bureaucratic, political gobbledygook.
Watching the flow of information bursting from FCPA Inc. regarding this fluffy development has been as predictable as the sun rising in the east and dogs barking.
For instance, this law firm alert has the headline “Expect more FCPA enforcement: Biden administration names corruption a national security interest,” and states: “we anticipate an increase in FCPA enforcement actions, so now is a good time to review your compliance programs and make any necessary improvements.”
Likewise, this law firm alert has the headline “FCPA Enforcement Appears Primed to Reemerge” and states: “given the expectation that FCPA compliance will soon grow more demanding, compliance teams should emphasize FCPA compliance.”
Similarly, this law firm alert has the headline “DOJ’s new anti-corruption strategy signals significant uptick in enforcement” and states: “Businesses should anticipate several significant changes to enforcement tactics following this announcement.”
All of this has the look and feel of the National Association of Barbers predicting an uptick in haircuts based on [insert fluffy development]. Is that very meaningful? They are barbers after all! They cut hair for a living!
My question upon reading these (and several other FCPA Inc. marketing pieces) is: more FCPA enforcement compared to what? Primed to reemerge compared to what? A significant uptick compared to what?
Facts are facts and with approximately one week left in 2021, there have been four core corporate FCPA enforcement actions this year. Should this number hold (and with history as a guide there may indeed be additional FCPA enforcement actions announced yet this year), it would be the lowest number of core corporate enforcement actions in approximately 15 years.
Is this what the law firm alerts are alluding to?
More FCPA enforcement compared to (what appears to be) the slowest year in FCPA enforcement in approximately 15 years? Primed to reemerge compared to (what appears to be) the slowest year in FCPA enforcement in approximately 15 years? A significant uptick compared to (what appears to be) the slowest year in FCPA enforcement in approximately 15 years?
In any event, the many FCPA enforcement year in review posts to be published on these pages next month will be a relatively easy exercise compared to recent prior years.