Most companies understand that certain business relationship present more risk than others. This situation is also present under the FCPA. In its 2008 Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Survey, KPMG noted that 76% of the respondents reported that assessing FCPA risk was “challenging”. Further 82% of respondents reported that performing effective due diligence on third parties was noted to be “challenging”. This information was reported from a survey of 103 business executives who have direct responsibility for FCPA compliance within their organizations.

This is in contrast to some companies such as GE and HP which make clear upfront that they demand robust compliance business practices from the third parties with which they do business; including vendors, suppliers and channel operations business partners. GE states in its Integrity Guide for Suppliers, Contractors and Consultants, “Suppliers that transact business with GE are also expected to comply …and adhere to the standards of business conduct consistent with GE’s obligations as set forth in the ‘GE Compliance Obligations…”. In October, 2009, HP sent an announcement out to its over 155,000 channel partners that they had to complete compliance training (and pay for it) by the end of October or risk losing their status with HP.

What is your compliance relationship with business partners?

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