Managing FCPA Exposure: Are Your Books in Order?

October 2010Articles Bloomberg Law Review
Many associate the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) with its provisions that prohibit the bribery of overseas public officials. While they enjoy a relatively lesser public profile, the FCPA provisions governing publicly traded companies’ books and records practices and accounting controls warrant significant attention in any FCPA compliance program. In fact, enforcement actions related to FCPA books and records and accounting controls provisions are much more common than, and may also lead to, anti‐bribery enforcement actions. Indeed, failure to maintain adequate books and records and accounting controls can facilitate bribery activity. Even without actual bribery, violation of the FCPA books and records and accounting controls provisions can prompt civil and criminal enforcement activity by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).