SEC and DOJ Issue Joint Guidance on FCPA Interpretation

On November 14, 2012, the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice announced the issuance of A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The 130 page guide addresses various topics that will be of interest to any company with activities outside the United States, including who and what is covered by the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions; the definition of  a “foreign official”; what constitute proper and improper gifts, travel and entertainment expenses; facilitating payments and a host of other topics as well.  The SEC, in its press release, said that “the guide takes a multi-faceted approach toward setting forth the statute’s requirements and providing insights into SEC and DOJ enforcement practices.” 

As previously noted by my colleagues Shawn M. Wright and James R. Billings-Kang in an article appearing in The National Law Journal, the DOJ and the SEC continue to be very active in enforcing the FCPA and as previously discussed in this blog, companies with operations outside the United States should consider their SEC disclosure obligations relating to the FCPA.  As such, the guide is sure to be a great resource to both companies with international operations and the legal community advising them with respect to the FCPA.  For additional resources relating to the FCPA, please visit our website.

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