Global anti-corruption enforcement has never been more active. The Yates Memo, increased incentives for whistleblowers through Frank-Dodd, the SEC’s “broken window” policy toward large and small violations, and the Department of Justice’s U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Pilot Program have led to a significant increase in enforcement and penalties.
In 2016 FCPA enforcement led to actions against 27 corporations, resulting in $2.41 billion in penalties. In March of 2018 the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) successfully prosecuted the first “failure-to-prevent” case under the UK Bribery Act. FCPA compliance is not just for business conducted on foreign soil—it requires “books and records” and an internal controls provision that applies to all publicly listed companies. The SEC continues to push an expansive view on the internal controls provision of the FCPA where adequate controls in centralized accounting functions are no longer enough.