On November 14, 2012, the long-awaited U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) guidance (the “Guidance”) was released. Styled “A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” this 130-page document represents the DOJ and SEC’s effort to answer critics of the Act and to clarify their interpretation of key provisions of the Act and the principles guiding their enforcement efforts.
The FCPA does not distinguish between for-profit corporations and nonprofit organizations with respect to its anti-bribery provisions. Regardless of the type of entity involved, the FCPA prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign government official to assist in obtaining or retaining business. “Business” has been interpreted broadly and would include all activities in furtherance of an organization’s nonprofit and tax-exempt purposes.
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