Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell recently gave her views on the proper scope of internal investigations regarding FCPA matters. In her views she noted:
Although we expect internal investigations to be thorough, we do not expect companies to aimlessly boil the ocean. Indeed, there have been some instances in which companies have, in our view, conducted overly broad and needlessly costly investigations, in some cases delaying our ability to resolve matters in a timely fashion.
For example, if a company discovers an FCPA violation in one country, and has no basis to suspect that violations are occurring elsewhere, we would not necessarily expect it to extend its investigation beyond the conduct in that country. On the other hand, if the same people involved in the violation also operated in other countries, we likely would expect the investigation to be broader.
She also noted:
To assist cooperating companies in appropriately targeting their investigations, to the extent possible, we will make clear to those companies our areas of interest. I tell my prosecutors that where possible, if it would not compromise our own investigation, we should share information about our investigation with a cooperating company to help focus the company’s internal inquiry. I encourage an open dialogue between company counsel and our prosecutors about the progress of the internal investigation. Companies that truly demonstrate a commitment to cooperation will find that this dialogue comes easily.