Recently, on April 8, 2016, I wrote a post about the new DoJ Fraud Section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Plan and Guidance. Here is a link to that post and the Plan and Guidance CLICK HERE.
I did not at that time provide comments about the Plan and Guidance, which is only 9 pages in length. Whereas audit committees definitely should read and understand the Plan and Guidance, and take it into consideration for the purpose of pre-policies, processes and practices, and then also if an event or occurrence happens, my additional overview comments are as follows.
As you read through the Plan and Guidance, unfortunately I believe that you will find that for the most part it vaguely says that you should conduct an investigation of everything and everyone who might be relevant to the event or occurrence, that you should self report everything that you find (except for attorney-client information and materials, but of course the Fraud Section might argue about what qualifies as being attorney-client privileged), and that the Fraud Section will then consider what benefits it will grant, if any, to you for doing so. In that regard, I have to say that the Plan and Guidance is noncommittal, vague and overly broad, and might be considered heavy-handed, and as such isn’t particularly helpful or not nearly as helpful as it might have been.
The Plan and Guidance also only applies to the Fraud Section – thus, it does not apply to any of the other numbers of governmental entities, divisions, departments or sections that might also be looking into the event or occurrence. But, please do read and understand the Plan and Guidance anyway.
And the following is a link to my Excellent Audit Committee Guide – read it and pass it around, CLICK HERE.
Best, Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco/California)