The Danger in Becoming Lax with FCPA Policy Enforcement

In the current economic crisis, the global recession, many individuals and companies are under pressure to maintain current business associates, and are still required to bring in new clients.  This tension and responsibility can become overwhelming for the people working under such conditions.  The temptations to commit corruption, to bribe an official or to accept a bribe are greatly increased nowadays.  This aspect of the current global situation has come into play with another aspect of business and international relationships.

Executives, while they may not be the ones who are the tempted into corruption sort, may be tempted to either become lax or to ignore the enforcement of the policies, regulations and laws of the FCPA.   This particular temptation may be due to a couple different factors.  One, they may not follow the rules of compliance due to the fact that their perspective clients or associates are insulted by the procedure of the thorough investigation of their business practices.

This has become an issue in the current years as the activities and pursuance of investigations by members of the Foreign Corrupt Policies Act have themselves become more diligent in their efforts, and more successful in their accomplishments.  Many foreign governments and officials see this kind of investigation as an accusation, or as a question to their moral and ethical character.  Executives may agree to lower their standard of practice in regards to compliance in order to not lose out on a potential business deal.

And secondly, they may intentionally ignore compliance measures, un-provoked, simply to make it easier in attaining those foreign partnerships and business deals.  If they feel that in following due diligence they may hinder a deal, or cause too much of a fuss, and if they are either pressured from above, or greedy themselves they may become lax on following the policies, only to claim in then that they were not aware should those companies or deals be corrupt.  But ignorance is not a defense, in fact it is much like a passive form of corruption (http://www.u4.no/document/treaties.cfm) and should they be investigated and found guilty, they would be prosecuted just the same.

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