Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977
Makes it unlawful to bribe a foreign official in an effort to obtain or retain business. The FCPA's anti-bribery provisions apply to people and businesses in the United States, to some foreign issuers of securities, and to foreign businesses and people who engage in bribery-related activity while in the U.S.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Criminal Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA)
USA
A federal law prohibiting US citizens and permanent residents, both public and private US companies and certain non-US individuals and entities from bribing foreign government officials in order to obtain a business advantage (15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq.). Under some circumstances, the FCPA's jurisdiction extends to non-US individuals and companies, such as those who use the US capital markets, or those who use US communications or banking networks in furtherance of improper payment schemes.
The FCPA has two elements:
• Anti-bribery provisions. Enforced by both the DOJ and the SEC (against US "issuers"), these prohibit giving or offering money, gifts or "anything of value" to a foreign government official to obtain or retain business.
• Accounting provisions. Enforced by the SEC, these require subject companies to maintain adequate "books and records" and "internal controls" over financial transactions. Significantly, violations of these accounting provisions do not need to have any connection to improper payments at all, and can be charged even if there is no violation of the anti-bribery statute.
For more information on the requirements of the FCPA, see Articles, Beyond Reproach: Achieving Best Practice in FCPA Compliance (www.practicallaw.com/2-500-8453) and The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: US legislation with global implications (www.practicallaw.com/4-384-0243).

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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