Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. This Act restricts assets from being transferred to a foreign official for improper purposes. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits gifts and transfer of anything of value, including delivery of information, to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing the individual to conduct business or to obtain an improper advantage in securing or retaining business.

The Act also prohibits making any payment to any third party if it is known that any portion of this payment will go to a foreign official for such purposes.
Examples of a thing of value are cash payment for bribes, lavish meals, airfare upgrades for an official and his or her family members, payment to entertainment events, or transfers of information.

A “foreign official” can include a foreign government employee or a contractor of a foreign government, an officer of a state-owned company, a political party, or candidate for office. It can also include a local tax auditor, a customs agent, or an employee of the World Bank. The Act may also cover other nongovernmental employees where it is known that any portion of the thing of value will be given to a foreign official, foreign party, party official, or candidate.

Questions involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act should be referred to the Office of the General Counsel at (401) 863-3122.

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