FCPA: From the Compact Model to the Luxury Model – Managing Your Third Party Risk

I am currently attending the Hanson Wade Oil and Gas Supply Chain Compliance conference in Houston. The event is excellent and the presentations have been ‘spot on’ for the nuts and bolts of how to do compliance. As the conference is in Houston, a number of the speakers and attendees are from energy companies but the concepts that are being discussed apply to all companies which have an anti-corruption or anti-bribery compliance program. One of the things that came through each of the presentations was that as compliance programs mature, many companies are developing programs which are more tailored towards the risks that companies face, which are ascertained through more sophisticated risk assessments and management of those risks.

This pattern is certainly consistent with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) FCPA Guidance which says that a company should assess its risks and manage its risks. From this starting position, a company can then put together a well thought out and reasoned approach to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance. Many of the presentations dealt with third parties and the differing responses and approaches companies have developed for the specific risks that they have uncovered.

Clearly third party risk mitigation through due diligence is key. How much due diligence is enough? One speaker said that it is a balancing call to determine the right amount. There were several presentations which spoke about the increasing use of technology to assist companies in this process. One speaker, a former federal prosecutor, said that one of the things that she looked for when a prosecutor was the ‘thoughtful analysis’ that the FCPA Guidance speaks about ...

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