DOJ and SEC Release FCPA Guide

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today released A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The 120-page Guide provides a detailed analysis of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and closely examines the DOJ and SEC’s approach to FCPA enforcement.

The Justice Department, in announcing the release, said,

The Guide provides helpful information to enterprises of all sizes – from small businesses doing their first transactions abroad to multi-national corporations with subsidiaries around the world.  The Guide addresses a wide variety of topics, including who and what is covered by the FCPA’s anti-bribery and accounting provisions; the definition of a “foreign official”; what constitute proper and improper gifts, travel and entertainment expenses; facilitating payments; how successor liability applies in the mergers and acquisitions context; the hallmarks of an effective corporate compliance program; and the different types of civil and criminal resolutions available in the FCPA context.  On these and other topics, the Guide takes a multi-faceted approach toward setting forth the statute’s requirements and providing insights into DOJ and SEC’s enforcement practices.  It uses hypotheticals, examples of enforcement actions and matters DOJ and SEC have declined to pursue, and summaries of applicable case law and DOJ opinion releases.

The Guide is available to the public free of charge online at and at