Global Financial Integrity

 

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Under Attack

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Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222

House Judiciary to Hold Hearing on Changes to Key Anti-Bribery, Corruption Law

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Judiciary Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow to consider whether to amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the nation’s flagship anti-corruption legislation. Among other things, the hearing will specifically consider amendments proposed to the act by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which FCPA-proponents charge will significantly weaken the anti-corruption legislation and undermine efforts to tackle corruption and illicit financial practices abroad.

“The Chamber’s proposed changes would seriously undermine one of the most important anti-corruption statues we have on the books,” said Global Financial Integrity (GFI) legislative affairs director and legal affairs council Heather Lowe. “This is a blatant attempt by the business lobby to limit accountability and reduce a company’s risk of prosecution for paying bribes.   It is a real threat to global efforts to stamp out corruption and foster economic development.”

The hearing will include testimony by: the Honorable Michael Mukasey, Former Attorney General and Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Greg Andres, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. George Terwilliger, Partner at White & Case LLP, and Ms. Shana-Tara Regon, Director of White Collar Crime Policy and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

“With the exception of Mr. Andres, the witness lineup represents commercial interests,” said Ms. Lowe. “There is no witness on the panel representing those who are working to fight corruption without a commercial interest or government policy driving their testimony.  Members of Congress need to have an opportunity to hear those voices as well.”

GFI will have spokespersons available for commentary including Ms. Lowe and Mr. Raymond Baker. Ms. Lowe is an expert in FCPA, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering efforts. Mr. Baker is the director of Global Financial Integrity and the author of “Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System.”

Additional reading:

For more information on tomorrow’s hearing, visit the House Judiciary Committee website.

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[UPDATE] Click here (PDF | 104KB) to read GFI’s formal submission to the Hearing held on June 14, 2011 by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.