In this article, Marc Alain Bohn and Michael Skopets discuss the decrease in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement cases, due in part to a rise in the number of declinations. "This slow-down seems to be attributable in part to a greater emphasis on declinations by the U.S. enforcement agencies, particularly the U.S. Department of Justice," the authors said. "However, coupled with this drop in resolved enforcement is also an apparent decline in newly disclosed FCPA investigations."
The low number of known investigations might suggest that many companies have implemented stronger compliance mechanisms. "A more likely explanation is that companies are reluctant to disclose a government investigation if they do not have to, especially if they are conducting a confidential internal investigation and cooperating in an attempt to gain credit from the agencies," the authors said. "This reduction could also indicate that the agencies are simply initiating fewer cases than they have in years past, that companies are being more selective in what they choose to voluntarily disclose to U.S. enforcement authorities, and/or that companies are taking a more narrow view of what types of investigations are material enough to warrant reporting in a securities filing."
This article excerpts Miller & Chevalier's FCPA Summer Review 2015, which is available here.