Suspension of FCPA in Haitia NOT the Solution


Should enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) be suspended for those US companies now working in Haiti? This topic has been in discussion for a few weeks. It began with a statement by Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Anastasia O'Grady in a piece entitled "Democrats and Haiti Telecom". Ms. O’Grady cited “an American entrepreneur” for the quote “We did not bother with Haiti as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act precludes legitimate U.S. entities from entering the Haitian market. Haiti is pure pay to play”.

As the lead editorial in its Sunday, March 28 edition, the New York Times urged that Haiti “will need to sweep out the old, bad ways of doing things, not only those of the infamously corrupt and hapless government, but also of aid and development agencies, whose nurturing of Haiti has been a manifest failure for more than half a century”. The piece suggested the following ideas to further this goal: Transparency, Accountability and Effectiveness; Haitian Involvement, Self-Sufficiency; Tapping the Diaspora and De-centralization as some of the keys for a successful rebuilding of Haiti. These ideas applied to groups both inside the country and out. But it is clear that the Times did not suggest that cow-towing to a “pay to play state” by suspending the enforcement of the FCPA was a way to move forward.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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