Marc Bohn Discusses Facilitating Payments on the FCPA Blog

"Small (Bribe) Talk From The Editors"
The FCPA Blog
08.02.12Marc Bohn comments on his opposition to facilitating payments, stating, "I typically advise companies to either prohibit or strictly curtail and control the use of facilitating payments as part of their corporate compliance programs. Such payments: (1) send mixed signals to local employees about the appropriateness of unreceipted payments; (2) are rarely legal under local law; and (3) continue to pose risk under U.S. law, inter alia, because of unsettled questions regarding their use. For instance, how large can facilitating payments permissibly be? For what purposes can they be used? Nevertheless, I think having a narrow facilitating payments exception in anti-corruption statutes has some value, as it provides companies which operate in challenging markets with a measure of reassurance that they will not be prosecuted for occasional small payments made to expedite non-discretionary decisions, as long as those payments are properly recorded. In today's enforcement environment, the requirement that facilitating payments be transparently recorded on a company's books serves as an important check on the facilitating payments exception, since it tends to discourage the use of such payments."
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