US Assitant Attorney Gen. Responds to Proposed FCPA Reforms

On November 8, 2011, Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Lanny A. Breuer, speaking at the 26th National Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), responded indirectly to calls by the business and criminal justice communities to reform the FCPA.  He said that the U.S. government will not support reforms whose purpose is to diminish the FCPA and make it more difficult to fight foreign bribery.  He noted that world trend towards strengthening anti-corruption (i.e., the UK Bribery Act that took effect in July and the Russian recent enactment of an anti-bribery law as well as the Russian ratification of the UN Convention against corruption and its anticipated accession to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

In an apparent response to criticisms, among others by the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Mr. Breuer promised to develop a "lay person's guide" to the FCPA and in 2012 to release detailed new guidance on the FCPA's criminal and civil enforcement provisions.  At a hearing on June 14, 20111 of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and homeland Security, the business and legal community said parts of the FCPA were ambiguous and without sufficient guidance.  See Bruce Zagaris, U.S. Congress Holds Hearing on Reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 27 Int'l Enforcement L. Rep. 850 (Aug. 2011).


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