“On behalf of the millions of businesses and organizations whose interests we represent …”
So began a letter from the International Chamber of Commerce to the DOJ and SEC complaining about the FCPA Guidance. Over 30 chambers of commerce and organizations from around the world signed on to the letter (available as a pdf here).
But a question: What about the compliance professionals working at those companies? Does the Chamber speak for them?
The letter has been correctly criticized for off-target “belly-aching.” For example, while the Chamber claims that the Guidance ignores the “threat” of the DOJ and SEC prosecuting a whole company for the bad acts of the single rogue employee, in fact the Guidance squashed the “threat” if it ever existed. (See Guidance pp. 56, FN 305, 65)
The Chamber apparently will not be satisfied until there is little or no enforcement. Most compliance professionals, however, would disagree; they believe that strong, fair enforcement by the DOJ and SEC is better for them, their companies and the public.
Compliance professionals need their own seat at the table to advocate about DOJ and SEC enforcement policies that effect them.
As the Chamber represents its interests, and as the world is filled with advocates and lobbyists of all kinds, compliance professionals also need to advocate from their unique experience and expertise about their compliance work and their careers.
Who represents and advocates for us?
Michael Scher is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog. He has over three decades of experience as a senior compliance officer and attorney. His work for major companies in New York and the Middle East includes military procurements, international trade contracting, supervision of national sales forces and training for compliance with related laws, like the FCPA or AML. Miami-based, he assists companies in training and work shops and FCPA-related projects or investigations. In addition to English, he speaks French and Hebrew. Contact him here.