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Release 10-01 Is Here

The Justice Department yesterday issued the first FCPA Opinion Procedure Release of 2010, and the first since August 2009.

A U.S. company submitted a request on February 24 this year, with supplemental information on March 19. Here are the facts:

The Requestor contracted with a U.S. government agency to design and build a facility in a foreign country. The contract required the Requestor to hire a local individual designated by the U.S. government to serve as facility director. But the individual was also serving as a paid officer for an agency of the foreign country and was therefore a “foreign official” under the FCPA.

Would hiring and paying the facility director / foreign official violate the FCPA?

No, said the DOJ. Because the Requestor was contractually bound to hire and pay the individual “as directed by the U.S. Government Agency,” and because the Requestor played no role in the individual’s selection, and won’t gain any advantage in obtaining or retaining work through the individual, there’s no FCPA violation.

Short and sweet — the Requestor’s dilemma was solved in less than 700 words.

Download DOJ Opinion Procedure Release 10-01 dated April 19, 2010 here.

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