Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: DOJ Launches FCPA Enforcement “Pilot Program”

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - April 6, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) yesterday announced that its Criminal Division’s Fraud Section would be implementing a “pilot program” designed to provide additional guidance for prosecutors investigating potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and to motivate companies to disclose voluntarily potential misconduct, cooperate with the DOJ in its investigation, and take appropriate remedial steps with respect to the companies’ anti-corruption compliance policies.  The pilot program expands upon earlier DOJ guidance in describing what the DOJ considers to be necessary and complete voluntary self-disclosure, cooperation, and remediation.  The announcement also lists the criteria that companies must satisfy to be eligible for fine reductions and other incentives, and quantifies certain of those incentives.  The DOJ’s announcement makes clear that the pilot program and accompanying guidance expand on and clarify, rather than modify or supplant, existing principles of prosecution, including the Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations articulated in the United States Attorneys’ Manual and in previous publicly released memoranda from the DOJ, including the so-called “Yates Memo” regarding liability of individuals, which was issued in September 2015.