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Senators Urge Holder To Provide ‘Predictability’ In FCPA Guidance
Posted By Rachel G. Jackson On February 16, 2012 @ 5:39 pm In USA | Comments Disabled
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) sent a letter  to the Justice Department Thursday urging the agency to provide “clarity and predictability” in its upcoming guidance on enforcement of U.S. foreign bribery laws.
The senators, who said last week  they were waiting on Justice Department guidance before introducing potential legislative amendments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, pressed Attorney General Eric Holder to specific issues “to allow law-abiding companies to comply with the FCPA more effectively, while not diminishing the government’s ability to enforce the law.”
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in November the Justice Department would introduce guidance on the FCPA, which prohibits payments to foreign officials to win business. The statute has been the subject of a high-profile industry lobbying campaign, spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushing for legislative amendments to “clarify” the law since October 2010.
Klobuchar and Coons both pressed the DOJ to “seek out the participation of U.S. corporate stakeholders when formulating its guidance.”
“Engagement with the stakeholder community ought to occur prior to the release of guidance,” they wrote. “In the alternative, guidance should be issued in draft form and finalized after a comment period of sufficient length.”
The full list, excerpted from the letter, is provided below:
“[W]e believe that the Department of Justice must provide clear and concrete guidance on:
The campaign to amend the FCPA faces opposition from the Justice Department and from anti-corruption groups, who argue legislative changes are an attempt to weaken the anti-bribery law.
“To be clear, it is both necessary and desirable that companies pay adequate attention to compliance efforts, and in certain cases, adequate anti-corruption initiatives may require a significant corporate commitment,” Klobuchar and Coons wrote. “Over-compliance, however, can have a negative effect on product development, export promotion, and workforce expansion.”
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