Avoiding the Threat of International Corruption

Corruption in overseas markets is endemic. Cases prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have surged in recent years, with fines in 2014 totaling $1. 56 billion and prison sentences for corner-office offenders becoming more common. Other nations have also begun to vigorously enforce their own anti-corruption laws.
Engineering firms can be especially vulnerable to corruption cases because the FCPA and similar laws in other countries focus broadly on illicit interactions with government officials. Firms with international projects often work closely with foreign officials, whether to win a contract bid or secure a permit. International engineering work is also often performed by teams that include firms from local nations, which raises the issue that different cultures can have differing perspectives on what constitutes corruption.

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