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Encyclopedia > Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq.) is a United States federal law requiring any company that has publicly-traded stock to maintain records that accurately and fairly represent the company's transactions; additionally, requires any publicly-traded company to have an adequate system of internal accounting controls. The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal Law of the United States. ... A public company is a company owned by the public. ... Accountancy (British English) or accounting (American English) is the process of maintaining, auditing, and processing financial information for business purposes. ...


As a result of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations in the mid-1970s, over 400 U.S. companies admitted making questionable or illegal payments in excess of $300 million to foreign government officials, politicians, and political parties. The abuses ran the gamut from bribery of high foreign officials to secure some type of favorable action by a foreign government to so-called facilitating payments that allegedly were made to ensure that government functionaries discharged certain ministerial or clerical duties. Congress enacted the FCPA to bring a halt to the bribery of foreign officials and to restore public confidence in the integrity of the American business system. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, commonly referred to as the SEC, is the United States governing body which has primary responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the securities industry. ... Bribery is a crime defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. ... Congress in Joint Session. ...


The Act was amended in 1998 by the International Anti-Bribery Act of 1998 which was designed to implement the anti-bribery conventions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)." The International Anti-Bribery Act of 1998 is a United States federal law that amends the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by implementing the provisions of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developments Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. ... The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ...


The antibribery provisions of the FCPA make it unlawful for a U.S. person, and certain foreign issuers of securities, to make a payment to a foreign official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person. Since 1998, they also apply to foreign firms and persons who take any act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment while in the United States. Securities are tradeable interests representing financial value. ...


The FCPA also requires companies whose securities are listed in the United States to meet its accounting provisions. See 15 U.S.C. § 78m. These accounting provisions, which were designed to operate in tandem with the antibribery provisions of the FCPA, require corporations covered by the provisions to make and keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect the transactions of the corporation and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls.


Regarding payments to foreign officials, the act draws a distinction between bribery and facilitation or "grease payments", which may be admissible if they are not against local laws. A company's legal department generally still has to approve such payments. The primary distinction is that grease payments are made to an official to expedite his performance of the duties he is already bound to perform.


Notable cases of the application of FCPA are with Lucent Technologies and Invision Technologies. On September 30, 1996, AT&T spun off its Systems and Technology units (AT&T Technologies, Inc. ... InVision Technologies, Inc. ...


External links

  • US Department of Justice page on the FCPA, including a lay person's guide
  • Indictments allege bribes were paid for Kazakstan oil 2 Americans accused -- but not U.S. firms, by Marlena Telvick, April 2003
  • Governance Focus issues in governance worldwide, in English & Español

  Results from FactBites:
 
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (527 words)
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq.) is a United States federal law requiring any company that has publicly-traded stock to maintain records that accurately and fairly represent the company's transactions; additionally, requires any publicly-traded company to have an adequate system of internal accounting controls.
The abuses ran the gamut from bribery of high foreign officials to secure some type of favorable action by a foreign government to so-called facilitating payments that allegedly were made to ensure that government functionaries discharged certain ministerial or clerical duties.
The antibribery provisions of the FCPA make it unlawful for a U.S. person, and certain foreign issuers of securities, to make a payment to a foreign official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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