Anti-corruption compliance: Meeting the global standard
Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 7:28AM
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Keith M. Korenchuk, partner, Arnold & Porter LLP

While much attention is paid to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, an array of other anti-corruption laws apply to multinational companies.

For example, the so-called "BRIC" countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- all recently enacted, and have begun taking initial steps to enforce, more stringent anti-corruption laws.

Meanwhile, 40 countries have signed the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which requires criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials and prescribes measures for the implementation of domestic legislation.

Designing an effective anti-corruption compliance program that meets the requirements of many different jurisdictions seems like a daunting task. Multinational companies should take note of the broad global consensus that has developed around what governments and international organizations expect of corporate anti-corruption compliance programs. While there is no one-size-fits-all program -- and a company must bear in mind applicable local laws -- this global standard is welcome news.

The most appropriate starting place may be the "Good Practice Guidance for Companies," published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions (the "OECD Guidance").

Many countries around the world have at least implicitly endorsed these guidelines. The DOJ's and SEC's Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA Guide) identifies "hallmarks" of an effective anti-corruption compliance program that bear striking resemblance to the good practices set forth in the OECD Guidance. National authorities in the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Japan and South Africa have encouraged many of the same good practices, and the World Bank, International Chamber of Commerce and Transparency International have recommended them as well.

The commonly accepted core components of an effective anti-corruption program include:

This post is a shortened version of an article that appeared in Bloomberg BNA's Corporate Law & Accountability Report on April 25. That version can be found here.


Keith M. Korenchuk is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter LLP; Samuel M. Witten is counsel in the firm's Washington, D.C. office and Daniel Bernstein is an associate in the firm's New York office.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (
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