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Gaining Access To Confidential Documents In The Government’s Possession Is Often The End Result When Things Of Value Are Offered Or Provided To “Foreign Officials”


In several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions, the end result of things of value being offered or provided to alleged “foreign officials” is the company gaining access to confidential documents in the government’s possession.

Which ones?

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United Technologies

As highlighted here, the 2018 enforcement action included findings that a division of the company “made unsupported payments to an agent, disregarding the high probability that at least some of the money would be used to make unlawful payments to a Chinese official to obtain confidential information to sell engines to a Chinese state-owned airline.”


As highlighted here, the 2018 individual enforcement action against Lawrence Parker included allegations that “Foreign Official A, on behalf of Setar [an alleged instrumentality of the Aruba government], requested price quotations on certain mobile phones and accessories from Parker and others. In addition, on occasion, Foreign Official A , without the knowledge of, or approval from his employer Setar, provided Parker and his co-conspirators with proprietary, confidential business information via email.”


As highlighted here, the 2018 enforcement action included allegations that company employees “engaged in a scheme to retain consultants for improper purposes other than for providing actual consulting services” including a consultant “to obtain confidential non-public business information about the airline, including information about its negotiations with PAC competitors.”

SBM Offshore

As highlighted here, the 2017 enforcement action included allegations that corporate entities “obtained confidential information from Petrobras officials [through the third party] in its efforts to obtain or retain business.”

Rolls Royce

As highlighted here, the 2017 enforcement action included allegations that a company subsidiary “made approximately $1.2 million in corrupt commission payments to Intermediary 2, knowing that Intermediary 2’s commission payments would be used to bribe foreign officials at Sonangol in order to obtain confidential information and win contracts for Rolls-Royce and [the subsidiary].”


As highlighted here, the 2016 enforcement action included allegations that a Brazilian physician “on Brazil Hospital #1’s tender committee, and who had received and would continue to receive improper benefits from [company entities] provided confidential tender information to [subsidiary] employees, specifically that an Olympus competitor would be filing a challenge to the tender specifications as biased towards Olympus. On that basis, [the subsidiary] prepared a response to the Olympus competitor’s expected objections and provided it to the physician to use in ensuring that the tender was awarded to Olympus.”


As highlighted here, the 2015 enforcement action including findings that a company subsidiary bribed a Qatari official and that “in return, Foreign Official provided PBS&J Int’l with access to confidential sealed-bid information and pricing information on the two government contracts that helped PBS&J Int’l tender bids that had a greater likelihood of being awarded, including a government contract for which the Foreign Official was the project manager.”


As highlighted here, the 2011 enforcement action included allegations that a company joint venture provided various things of value to South Korea officials in exchange for, among other things, providing “certain confidential information regarding the product specifications on [an alleged government entity’s] request for procurement.”


As highlighted here, the 2011 enforcement action including allegations that a company subsidiary made payments totaling approximately $230,000 to a consultant and that the consultant “likely used a portion of these payments to bribe certain key [Empresa Nicaraguense de Telecomunicaciones S.A. (“Enitel”] officials in order to influence Enitel to award the two contracts to Alcatel, to obtain confidential information about competing bids, and to secure favorable financial terms.”


As highlighted here, the 2011 enforcement action included allegations involving commission payments to an Uzbekistan agent to receive confidential bidding documents in connection with tenders conducted by alleged Uzbekistan state-owned or state-controlled companies.


As highlighted here, the 2002 individual enforcement action against Richard Pitchford included allegations that “Pitchford obtained confidential information from the bids of the British Company’s competitors for the CAAEF Turkmenistan project and delivered the information to the British Company through the Foreign Government official. The British Company used the confidential information to tailor its bid to include the extra $200,000, but still remain under the bids of its competitors.”

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