Over the last year and a half, Canadian corporate culture has been undergoing significant change in response to new and vigorous enforcement of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Crown prosecutors. The widely publicized guilty plea of Niko Resources Ltd. in June of last year and ongoing RCMP investigations into the activities of a number of other Canadian companies serve as stark warnings of the costs of non-compliance. With an additional 30 or so RCMP investigations underway, Canadian companies are moving quickly to implement and enforce specially designed anti-corruption policies and procedures as well as transactional risk-mitigation strategies.
On November 14, 2012, these efforts received welcome assistance through the publication by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) of the ‘Resources Guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’ (the Guide). At 120 pages, the Guide is a comprehensive collection of DOJ and SEC precedent and policy in respect of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), complimented by hypothetical case studies as well as summaries of U.S. FCPA jurisprudence.
Although the Guide does not contain any surprises, it is a very helpful tool for Canadian companies with overseas operations. While they are different statutes that are enforced by different national regulators, in many respects the CFPOA and the FCPA mirror each other closely in substance. There has also to date been every indication, including numerous elements of the order issued by the Court reviewing the Niko Resources guilty plea (the Niko Order), that Canadian and US authorities work together closely in their anti-corruption enforcement efforts.
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