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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Dispatch from the KPK: ‘Like David’s war against Goliath’

Image courtesy of the KPKRegular readers of the FCPA Blog know we’re a big fan of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

In 2013, the agency won the Ramon Magsaysay Award — known as Asia’s Nobel Prize. The award citation described the KPK as “one of the world’s most admired campaigns against corruption” with an amazing 100% conviction rate in several hundred high-profile cases.

The citation said the award to the KPK “recognizes its fiercely independent and successful campaign against corruption in Indonesia, combining the uncompromising prosecution of erring powerful officials with farsighted reforms in governance systems, and the educative promotion of vigilance, honesty and active citizenship among all Indonesians.”

The KPK, in other words, makes it look easy. But fighting graft is never easy.

We were reminded of that by a note last week from someone from the KPK. They said:

Thank you for being the KPK’s big fan and following our stories and news. Yes, we did many great works here, as people say. But I realize that this is not enough and great enough to change the country’s attitude and paradigm about corruption and to transform us into a clean and prosperous nation.

What we did was like David’s war against Goliath, through our cases. But the KPK surely cannot fight Goliath all alone. We need all support and hands to help us. This is what we have tried to do during these past 10 years — find friends and allies in every government agency, and among the public and society.

In an earlier note to FCPA Blog senior editor Mike Scher, the KPK correspondent talked about the challenge of understanding the array of international laws and enforcement practices and how they compare and contrast with Indonesia’s laws and the KPK.

I’m writing because I need your kind favor. I really need your input and advice regarding some issues of the FCPA.

Currently I’m doing research on the FCPA and how the United States manages and controls bribery and enforces corporate governance. I’ve read the FCPA, a few books and articles about the FCPA, UKBA, and other legislation related to foreign bribery such as the OECD Convention and the UNCAC.

This is quite confusing actually, I have to admit it, since I’m not familiar with the FCPA nor the works of the DOJ and SEC when they’re investigating and prosecuting misconduct.

I’ll be grateful if you could help me on this matter.

Mike Scher’s generous response made some suggestions — read and study the FCPA Guidance, talk with Tom Fox and Michael Volkov and any of the other FCPA Blog editors, see Dean Jessica Tillipman’s resource list, join the SCCE, and stay close to the IACA.

Mike concluded his note: “I hope I have not given you too much information. But I am very hopeful for your efforts and for your personal commitment to what you were doing. Congratulations to you for making anti-corruption a reality.” 


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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