Global Anti-Corruption Resources

US Law and Amendment to the FCPA

Title Notes
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act(Title 15, USC Section 78dd – 77ff)Originally published 1977, current as of July 2004Download Full Text Here  Passed into law in the United States in 1977, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, was the first law in the world to criminalize the bribing of foreign officials for business purposes. The law forbids any US company from bribing or offering to bribe any “foreign official,” as defined under the law, in order to gain or retain business. Since 1998 it also covers foreign companies who use the US financial system in making bribe payments. The law also contains a number of accounting requirements that mandate accurate bookkeeping and internal accounting controls.
The International Anti-Bribery and Fair Competition Act of 1998Published November 1998Download Full Text Here An amendment to the FCPA that instituted changes to bring the law into line with the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Among other changes, the amendment widened the prohibition on bribes to include payments made to secure “improper advantage,” and expanded the law to cover foreign individuals or companies that make prohibited payments in US territory or using the US financial system.

Supporting Documents and Guides on the FCPA from the US Department of Justice

Title Notes
“Layman’s Guide” to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from the Department of JusticeDownload Here Provides the Justice Department’s general explanation of the FCPA. Intended for “potential exporters and small businesses” that may not have access to specialized legal advice on FCPA issues.
Chronological Listing of “Opinion Procedure Releases” from the Department of JusticePublished 1993 – 2011View Here Opinion procedures allow US companies and non-profit organizations to obtain an opinion of the Justice Department as to whether certain “specified, prospective–not hypothetical—conduct” conforms with present enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They offer companies guidance on real-life FCPA issues. 34 have been issued since 1993.
Regulations on Opinion Procedures from the Department of JusticePublished July 1999Download Here Explains the purpose of opinion procedures and describes rules for US companies on how to request one from the Justice Department.