In this article, Protiviti Managing Director Scott Moritz recaps the perspectives from Protiviti's FCPA Compliance Success Stories panel. One of the more interesting threads was a discussion of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) crackdown on hiring the offspring of foreign officials to gain business advantage. Employee referrals are often encouraged and even institutionalized. The rules are different, however, when the employment offer could be construed as “something of value” that has been offered in exchange for an unfair business advantage.
The FCPA prohibits companies from improperly influencing foreign officials with anything of value, including cash payments, gifts, or jobs or internships. From a compliance perspective, the key to avoiding trouble is to have a structure in place to prevent such conflicts.