The Department of Justice updated its Corporate Enforcement Policy in the first quarter of 2023 to reflect its continued focus on corporate accountability and transparency. The policy provides guidelines as to how the Criminal Division handles corporate criminal matters, including those related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as highlighted in the case study below. The recent updates place significant emphasis on self-disclosure, cooperation, and remediation in order to reduce the risk of hefty monetary penalties, prosecution, and reputational damage. These changes to the policy demonstrate DOJ’s commitment to working with companies in the fight against corruption and fraud and providing greater incentives for companies to do so.
ABC Corp is a multinational medical device company, operating across multiple globe jurisdictions, including those with a high risk of corruption according to the corruption perceptions index. Recently, a whistleblower informed ABC’s compliance team, via ABC’s whistleblower hotline, alleging that the finance manager at one of the company’s subsidiaries in a foreign country had paid facilitation payments to local officials to obtain licenses and permits to operate. The company’s compliance and legal team, along with external consultants, investigated the matter and voluntarily disclosed the allegation to the DOJ.