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The FBI has trained a special investigative unit for FCPA violations.
FCPA enforcement officials currently have more than 150 criminal and 80 civil investigations underway.
New FCPA whistleblower provisions increase risks.
In 2010, 52 individual businesspeople were indicted, sentenced, or convicted and are awaiting sentencing for FCPA violations.
Enforcement officials resolved 6 FCPA enforcement actions in 2002. In 2010, they resolved 71.
In 2010 alone, five FCPA settlements exceeded $100 million.
The amount of FCPA penalties tripled between 2009 and 2010.
Individuals are facing significant FCPA fines and jail time for authorizing improper payments.
FCPA actions are increasingly brought against small and medium-sized companies as well as high-profile multinational corporations.
Matteson Ellis Law, PLLC works with companies to assess corruption risk and to design, update, and implement compliance programs to manage that risk.
Corruption Risk Assessments:
Companies confront varying degrees of corruption risk depending on their governance, sales, operational structures, lines of business, geographic areas, and regulatory environments. Interactions with government officials are not the only source of potential risk; other business operations not directly involving government can present unexpected risks. Companies must understand their particular risk profiles in order to adequately respond with appropriate policies, guidelines, and compliance programs. Risk assessments consider the geographic locations where companies work as well as other factors like the company’s existing internal policies and business practices, attitudes of management, incentive and discipline structures, and uses of third parties.
Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs:
Compliance programs should be uniquely tailored to a company’s particular risk profile. Enforcement officials repeatedly stress that there is no “one size fits all” program and “check the box” programs are inadequate. Best practice standards continue to evolve as enforcement officials conclude new cases, make public statements, and release guidance memoranda. A properly designed compliance program should include policies, guidelines, trainings, approval processes, contract clauses, financial and accounting controls, due diligence processes, internal reporting mechanisms, and periodic reviews and audits.
Anti-Corruption Policies and Guidelines:
Compliance programs often include a general ethics policy and detailed guidelines establishing procedures for specific business situations. Guidelines should address areas such as gift giving, entertainment and travel of foreign officials, use of third party agents, charitable contributions, facilitating payments, customs clearance, and regulatory permitting. They should include accounting provisions to ensure that payments are correctly recorded in a company’s books and records. They should implement sufficient internal controls to reduce the possibility of misuse of company funds.
Companies need to effectively communicate their compliance programs to their executives, managers, employees, and agents. Training should be tailored to specific audiences. Depending on the situation, training can be conducted in person or online and can utilize different languages to reach various global audiences. Training should address areas like anti-corruption legal standards, company sales approval and accounting procedures, understanding of corruption “red flags,” and use of anti-corruption reporting hotlines.