|Over 30 NGOs Call on Congress to Refrain from Introducing Legislation Amending FCPA|
Proposals to Amend Foreign Bribery Law Could Significantly Undermine Human Rights, Commerce, U.S. Standing in the World
WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today more than 30 civil society and business groups, including human rights and anticorruption organizations, sent a letter to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate expressing their opposition to any efforts to amend the world’s flagship anticorruption legislation, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The signatories, who include, among others1, Amnesty International, Calvert Investments, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, EarthRights International, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, Jubilee USA Network, Open Society Policy Center, Oxfam America, Revenue Watch Institute and Transparency International-USA are concerned that Members of Congress in both the House and Senate are considering introducing legislation that would weaken the decades old law.
The organizations stated in their correspondence that any narrowing of the law, which serves as the model for other international anticorruption conventions and foreign anticorruption laws, would have a negative effect on global commerce, human rights, and the standing of the U.S. in the world.
The letter reads:
The letter continues:
The full letter can be read here.
“Given that this is an anticorruption law, Members of Congress looking to amend the FCPA should consult with anticorruption and human rights organizations before considering the introduction of legislation,” said Global Financial Integrity Director Raymond Baker, who signed the letter on behalf of GFI. “It is critical that legislators comprehend that there is far more at stake than a local constituent’s short term bottom line.”
“It is important for Congress to understand that changes to the FCPA can send the wrong message and weaken the enforcement of anticorruption laws around the world,” added Claudia J. Dumas, President and CEO of Transparency International – USA, who also signed the letter and noted that the Department of Justice is working on guidance on the FCPA’s enforcement provisions.
"These proposals could deliver a devastating blow to the fight against human rights abuses and corruption across the globe," said Simon Taylor, founding Director at Global Witness. “Lawmakers should not underestimate the level of support for the FCPA. Efforts to undermine it will be extremely damaging to the reputations of those involved,” he concluded.
Notes to Editors:
Defending the FCPA - CSO Letter to U.S. House Jan 12, 2012