What travel & entertainment policies should I have in place to ensure my global sales organization is in compliance?
Video 9: Special Topics Under the FCPA?
What travel & entertainment policies should I have in place to ensure my global sales organization is in compliance? Tom examines best practices for handling gifts, business entertainment, business courtesies and travel for your prospective clients. He also covers facilitation payments, which are exceptions under very specific circumstances for “facilitating” or “expediting” payments, made to ensure or speed the proper performance of a foreign official’s duties.
Gifts, Business Entertainment and Business Courtesies
Gifts, dinners, business entertainment to generate goodwill and giving away of business courtesies are not prohibited under the FCPA. However the amount of any such items must be relatively low. You must take care to make certain that one government official does not receive a large aggregate over a year. Also remember that most governments have their own rules about such Gifts, Business Entertainment and Business Courtesies so make sure that you are not violating those rules as well.
It is not uncommon that official want to come to the US or other location to view your manufacturing process. Payment or reimbursement for such travel is not prohibited under the FCPA. However, such travel must be bona fide and the key is that the primary purpose must be business related.
There are exceptions under very specific and extremely limited circumstances for “facilitating” or “expediting” payments, made to ensure or speed the proper performance of a foreign official’s duties. The duties must be essentially clerical and must not require the official to use any discretion or judgment. To fall under the exception, the payments
- Must be for small amounts-but there is no magic number;
- Many local laws forbid facilitating payments;
- These payments MUST be recorded properly; and
- Some countries, with laws similar to the FCPA, do not allow facilitating payments .