On 14 November 2012, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued their long-awaited Resource Guide on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Guide addresses a wide variety of topics, including:

  • who and what is covered by the FCPA’s anti-bribery and accounting provisions;
  • the definition of a “foreign official”;
  • what constitute proper and improper gifts, travel and entertainment expenses;
  • facilitation payments;
  • successor liability;
  • the hallmarks of an effective corporate compliance program; and
  • the types of civil and criminal resolutions available in the FCPA context.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) – the UK department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud and corruption – has reviewed its policies on facilitation payments, business expenditure (hospitality) and corporate self-reporting. The purpose of this review was to restate the SFO's primary role as an investigator and prosecutor of serious or complex fraud, including corruption, to ensure there is consistency with other prosecuting bodies, and to meet certain recommendations made by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. As a result of the review, the SFO has withdrawn its previously issued guidance in respect of facilitation payments, business expenditures, and corporate self-reporting, effective as of 9 October 2012.