FCPA guidance well recieved
Well, it finally happened. The Justice Department released its long-awaited guidelines on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and it has been warmly received.
Corporate governance advocates have praised the roughly 130-page document, which some thought might not ever be released. Even some lobbyists are pleased. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce "was surprisingly upbeat," according to the WSJ, which quoted an executive who said that, "We're hopeful that this document will help companies seeking to comply with the law in good faith and prosecutors charged with enforcing it."
Business Insider opines that,"It would be a great resource even if it wasn't written by DOJ/SEC, but to have this straight from the enforcement authorities is extremely valuable. Not only does it cover the basics, but the guide also looks at all the major contentious issues that have been litigated in recent years, plus there is a discussion of best practices and compliance programs. What's not to love? In-house counsel types must be thinking that the holidays came early this year."
The detailed "resource guide" provides a wealth of case studies that illustrate what would and would not be considered a violation of the 1977 law. Importantly, the guide aims to provide insights as to exactly who is considered a foreign official for purposes of the anti-bribery law. The guide also provides insights into gift-giving, addressing when gifts to an overseas entity or officials can be considered a bribe.
Other key issues are discussed in depth, and I'd say the wait for the guide was worth it.