Corruption is a global problem, and virtually every country in the world prohibits bribing of government officials, as well as bribery in commercial transactions. However, cultural norms and practices differ in many parts of the world, so bribery persists. For U.S. companies, the principal anti-corruption law is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA).
The FCPA bribery provisions prohibit payments to a foreign official for the purpose of securing an improper advantage or obtaining or retaining business. Companies traded publically on U.S. stock markets are also subject to certain “accounting provisions,” requiring companies to keep accurate books and records (i.e., not have off-book accounts), and to have adequate accounting controls to prevent bribery.
Violation of the FCPA is a criminal rather than civil offense, and companies have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle cases with the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies. Before flying internationally, consult NBAA’s new resource, “Identifying and Avoiding Compliance Risk in International Aviation Operations,” for guidance on how to ensure your operation is compliant with this regulation.