Many come to The FCPA Blog seeking compliance guidelines. That’s good, because our aim is to help people comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Some seekers, however, have noticed that our posts and resources don’t include any out-of-the-box compliance programs, at least not yet. A number of specimens are available on the Internet, of course, and a Google search will turn up at least a half dozen programs already used by well-known companies.
But The FCPA Blog doesn’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that a model program always equals model compliance. It doesn’t. Compliance is a matter of substance, not form, and springs from management’s commitment to obey the law. A compliance culture protects against FCPA disasters; model programs adopted for their good looks do not. Camouflaging a cultural bald spot with a compliance toupee broadcasts that the effort is a cover-up and a sham. It can do more harm than good. But we digress.
We meant to say that those seeking compliance guidelines often arrive here from small private companies, doing business internationally for the first time. Where should they start? A good place is the “Lay Person’s Guide to FCPA.” It’s a plain-English explanation of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions from the U.S. Department of Justice. And it’s written especially for “potential exporters and small businesses that are unable to obtain specialized counsel on issues related to the FCPA.” Another good resource — although a bit more technical — is Chapter 8, Part B of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines. It describes what it takes to have an effective compliance and ethics program, and how small companies can leverage the tools on hand to meet the requirements. Finally, visitors are always welcome to contact The FCPA Blog and our sponsor for more help.
View the “Lay Person’s Guide to FCPA” Here.