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On Wednesday, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission jointly released their long-awaited report, A Resource Guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The guide features exemplar cases, recommendations, more detailed explanations of some topics, and other commentary that is relevant to companies and compliance officers.
The new guide features more in-depth explanations of important concepts, such as the definition of who constitutes a foreign official in determining if possible bribes were made, and it explicitly states that prosecutors will take into consideration whether or not a company quickly and voluntarily disclosed information about possible violations of the law. Timely notification of possible violations is only achievable when a company has a compliance program in place so that employees and management can recognize possible violations and utilize reliable communication channels to make their concerns known.
Every organization that does business in a foreign country should become familiar with the newly released guidance and incorporate it into their existing compliance programs. If you do not already have a robust compliance program in place, now is definitely the time to begin to implement one, since the new guidelines make it clear that the DOJ and SEC will continue to vigorously enforce the provisions of the FCPA. Failing to implement a compliance program to minimize the risk of FCPA violations leaves your company dangerously exposed to the uninformed and sometimes accidental actions of any of your employees who might run afoul of the regulations.
Guidepost Solutions has a large team of experts in FCPA compliance, investigations, and monitoring who are already analyzing the new guidance to help clients incorporate the new information into their existing programs.