The guide also makes it clear that a comprehensive compliance effort can influence whether the DOJ seeks to bring charges in a corruption case and what types of charges will be brought. The DOJ recognizes that even a solid compliance program may not prevent every act of corruption. The guide states that the DOJ “may decline to pursue charges against a company based on the company’s effective compliance program, or may otherwise seek to reward a company for its program, even when that program did not prevent the underlying FCPA violation that gave rise to the investigation.”
The guide does not outline requirements for an effective compliance program. Rather, according to the guide, “they employ a common sense and pragmatic approach to evaluating compliance programs.” The DOJ, says the report, will ask three questions: Is the program well designed? Is it applied in good faith? Does it work?
In a speech before the American Conference Institute’s 28th National Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer emphasized the importance his agency places on the FCPA and noted that enhanced enforcement efforts of the past few years will continue:
“As a result of our efforts over the past three-and-a-half years, robust FCPA enforcement has become part of the fabric of the Justice Department. Our global anticorruption mission has seeped into the Criminal Division’s core. And there is no turning back. The FCPA is now a reality that companies know they must live with and adjust to; and this nation is better off for it.”
photo by @jbtaylor/flickr