This month the SEC and the Department of Justice published a remarkable work, although its title is uninspiring: “A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”
The FCPA makes it illegal to bribe government officials overseas in order to get business. While there are the usual numerous legal issues, exceptions and confusions, the statute is really painfully simple in its intent, and it has been vigorously enforced of late by the SEC (civil fines) and by the DOJ (criminal fines, jail). American businesses are now acutely aware of their risks; the statute applies to both public and private enterprises.
The Resource Guide can be downloaded for free and is essential reading for any business, and any individual, operating or shipping abroad, as American businesses can be liable even for the improper actions of their agents. The Guide can be accessed by clicking here.