When it was signed into law in 1977, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was very much an American approach to a global problem: how corruption in general and bribery in particular was skewing international business.
In the last 10 years, spurred in part by the financial crisis, enforcement actions really hit the afterburners both in frequency and severity.
But as we approach the FCPA’s 40th anniversary, regulatory uncertainty grips Washington, with changes in leadership at both the DOJ and the SEC.
At the same time, Hui Chen, the DOJ’s resident expert on compliance since November 2015, has impacted the landscape through guidance for building anti-corruption safeguards within an organization.
Meanwhile, the SEC continues to operate with only two acting Commissioners — Michael Piwowar and Kara Stein. Stein’s term ends this year, and Piwowars’s term ends next year. SEC rules state that no more than three Commissioners should be from any single political party, to maintain a sense a balance. But given the supercharged environment in Washington, it is unclear who these new Commissioners will be, and how they might see FCPA enforcement going forward.
There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the FCPA’s future at the upcoming Compliance Week 2017 conference on May 22-24 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Compliance Week has made the FCPA a topic of special interest this year, and has devoted a number of keynotes and panels to it.
We’ve invited Kara Brockmeyer, chief of SEC’s FCPA Unit, and FBI Supervisory Special Agent George McEachern to discuss the past, present and future of the FCPA at Happy Birthday FCPA! A Toast to the Next 40.
At Beyond the FCPA: Global Anti-Corruption Regulation and Enforcement, State Department alum Alan P. Larson, World Bank VP of Institutional Integrity Leonard McCarthy, and former Deputy-Minister, Office of the Comptroller General of Brazil Luiz Navarro will discuss how the FCPA has helped to drive global anti-corruption efforts which are now manifesting themselves through UKBA, Sapin II, and the Brazil Clean Company Act.
And at Common Compliance Issues and Effective Programs, DOJ compliance counsel Hui Chen herself will join Kimberly-Clark Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer Kurt Drake, and DOJ chief of the Strategy, Policy and Training Unit of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section Pablo Quiñones, on how proactive compliance efforts can avoid FCPA difficulties altogether.
We hope to see you in Washington in May!
Bill Coffin, pictured above, is the Editor in Chief of Compliance Week. His work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Fortune. He can be contacted here.