Summary: Dorsey partners Kent Schmidt and Mandana Massoumi discuss in The Los Angeles Daily Journal the regulatory impact of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) on U.S. companies doing business overseas. Under the FCPA, U.S. companies and their subsidiaries, officers, directors, employees and agents are prohibited from providing anything of value (including money, entertainment, goods and gifts) to a "foreign official" to assist the company for an improper advantage. In February 2007, a subsidiary of an offshore oil field equipment manufacturer paid $26 million in fines, one of the largest criminal fines issued under the FCPA. Other companies have been fined up to $1 million for improperly recording expenses.

Schmidt and Massoumi present a series of steps designed to help ensure compliance with the statute. First, they recommend preparation of a written policy that strongly prohibits any conduct implicating the FCPA. They also advise regular training sessions for company executives and managers on the requirements and scope of the policy. Finally, Schmidt and Massoumi suggest implementing an FCPA-compliant accounting program, that carefully documents marketing and other expenditures.

The full article is available for download at the PDF link above.

"Greasing Global Palms" was published by The Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 11, 2008. Republished with permission.