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Government Contracts Monitor

New FCPA Guidance Coming

November 17, 2011

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer recently announced that in 2012, the Department of Justice will release detailed new guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) civil and criminal enforcement provisions.  In simple terms, the FCPA prohibits bribery of foreign government officials.  However, in practice, FCPA compliance is anything but simple.  For example, it can be unclear whether something constitutes a bribe or a legitimate business expense.  It may also be difficult to determine if the foreign party is a government official or employee, as defined by the Act.   Because most bribery cases result in settlements, there is very little case law available to provide needed direction.  It is expected that this proposed guidance will provide answers to many of the complicated issues facing companies who do business with foreign governments.   Additionally, Breuer announced that the DOJ has further developed its “lay person’s guide” to the FCPA, which can be found here, along with other information about the Act such as statutes and regulations, legislative history, and related enforcement actions. 

Look for information regarding the upcoming guidance here when it becomes publicly available.


Katie Calogero is the attorney responsible for the content of this article.


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