Anti-Bribery Efforts

Anti-bribery efforts

April 12, 2016 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Anti-bribery efforts are expected to step up in the United States.

The US Department of Justice is hiring another 10 prosecutors for its unit that enforces the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This will double the size of that unit.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for a US company, citizen or resident to offer anything of value to a foreign government official, political candidate, or employee of a state-owned company or international public organization in an effort to win or retain business. The US also prosecutes foreign companies for bribery outside the United States if the company paying the bribe has raised money in US capital markets.

Other countries are not working as hard as the United States to prevent cross-border bribery by their citizens, according to a report by TRACE International in March.

The United States had 126 investigations of potential bribery of foreign officials underway at the end of December, compared to a total of 125 investigations in the 26 other countries tracked in the survey. The US brought 16 enforcement actions in 2015 compared to a total of four in all the other countries.