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Lexology.com recently posted an article about the Walmart bribery scandal and its effects on FCPA reform efforts. As we have previously discussed on this blog, there are certain individuals and groups that would like to see the provisions of the FCPA be relaxed so that companies do not have to expend so many resources on FCPA compliance, while others would like to see the stricter regulations remain in place.
Fortunately for those individuals who support the strict regulations, the reform efforts to relax the regulations have been weakened by the recent coming-to-light of the Walmart corruption scandal in Mexico. Walmart allegedly used bribes extensively to expand its business in Mexico and then covered up these actions for quite some time. Members of Congress have called for official investigations into the matter, and the widespread negative publicity will most likely mean that any efforts to pass laws to reform the FCPA will not gain the necessary support this year.
The bottom line: FCPA compliance is absolutely critical and companies should not be slow to implement compliance programs in the hope that the FCPA regulations will be weakened in the near future.
Andrew J. O’Connell serves as president of the Investigations and Private Client Protection practice at Guidepost Solutions. He is a former federal prosecutor and federal agent with expert investigative and security consulting experience. Mr. O’Connell oversees and conducts private investigations and security assessments throughout the United States and the world.