Business Corruption and FCPA Issues in China: Compliance Issues and Risks Associated With Doing Business In China

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Education is power! There are not many other industries, where this concept could not be truer. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is the most important contributor for fair business dealings with and in the country of China. The idea of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is to make it illegal for companies and their supervisors to influence anyone with any personal payments or rewards. The FCPA applies to any person who has a certain degree of connection to the United States and engages in foreign corrupt practices. The Act also applies to any act by U.S. businesses, foreign corporations trading securities in the U.S., American nationals, citizens, and residents acting in furtherance of a foreign corrupt practice whether or not they are physically present in the U.S. This is considered the nationality principle of the act. Whenever businesses decide to follow the unethical road, there are consequences including high financial penalties. Any individuals that are involved in those activities may face prison time. This act was passed to make it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. In the case of foreign natural and legal persons, the Act covers their deeds if they are in the U.S. at the time of the corrupt conduct. This is considered the protective principle of the act. Further, the Act governs not only payments to foreign officials, candidates, and parties, but any other recipient if part of the bribe is ultimately attributable to a foreign official, candidate, or party. These payments are not restricted to monetary forms and may include anything of value. This is considered the territoriality principle of the act.

Course Objective

Given the frequency with which these scenarios arise in China, MNCs need to deal with FCPA risks now by immediately implementing an effective on the ground FCPA compliance program in China. To be clear, the purpose of the program is not to teach the FCPA to employees; most employees in China business entities owned by MNCs would admit if they were being honest, that they do not really care about the FCPA or that their conduct might cause the MNC to be in violation of the FCPA; what they do care about is being fired. A compliance program must clearly set forth what is acceptable behavior, what is not, with many examples, and the consequences for failing to observe the rules, including termination. Then the rules must be strictly enforced. China's rise as a global economic power and its culture, which tolerates many forms of corruption in business, indicate that many more FCPA cases involving China will rise in the future. MNCs need to take forceful measures now to avoid problems that may later arise.

Learning objectives include:
  • Why corruption is a big issue in China?
  • Tips for spotting corruption / FCPA issues
  • Corruption risks associated with doing business in China
  • FCPA issues and strategies related to mergers and acquisitions, as well as on-going operations
  • Compliance program essentials and best practices
  • Appreciating the root causes of why companies often become the subject of FCPA scrutiny as well as the typical origins of FCPA enforcement actions

Course Outline

  • When and Why was the FCPA enacted?
  • What are the FCPA's main provisions?
  • Has the FCPA been amended since 1977?
  • Who is subject to the anti-bribery provisions?
  • What does "foreign official" mean?
  • What does "anything of value" mean?
  • What does "obtain or retain business" mean?
  • Does the FCPA have any exceptions or affirmative defenses?
  • What do the books and records and internal control provisions prohibit?
  • Which agencies enforce the FCPA?
  • Why has FCPA enforcement generally increased?

Target Audience

  • Bank and Financial Institution Auditors
  • Controllers and Corporate Human Resources Managers
  • Forensic and Management Accountants
  • Accounts Payable and Financial Analysts
  • Governance, Risk Management and Compliance Officers
  • Internal and External Auditors, CPAs and CAs
  • Certified Fraud Examiners and Other Anti-Fraud Professionals
  • Employees of State, Municipal and Federal Agencies
  • Loss Prevention and Security Professionals
  •  Detectives and Private Investigators
  • Attorneys, Legal Professionals and Law Enforcement Personnel 
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