A Corporate Self-Compliance Program for the FCPA? Volkov's Proposal

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At the “Examining Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” hearings on November 30, 2010, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, Michael Volkov presented an interesting idea which he believes will maximize incentives for companies to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In his prepared statement, and testimony before the sub-committee, Volkov indicated that the current Department of Justice (DOJ) policy of self-disclosure places companies in the Hobson’s choice of trying to divine the benefits of self-disclosure to the DOJ. Volkov stated that the DOJ only offers “vague promises of benefits and little to no certainty as to the results” all done with the DOJ preserving its discretion to impose any penalty as they see fit. Put another way, should a company self-disclose to the DOJ with no certainty as to the result or punishment that it might receive or should they attempt to investigate and resolve the problem internally and then implement a more robust compliance regime while it runs the risk that the DOJ may learn of past violations.

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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.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

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