What is the greatest one hour in the history of track and field? I would put forward the 45 minutes on May 25, 1935, when Jesse Owens, at the Big 10 Track and Field Championship run in Ann Arbor, Michigan, broke the world records in three events: the 220-yard dash, the 200-hurdles and the long jump. He also tied the world record in the 100-yard dash. Not a bad afternoon’s work.

Next month, Hanson Wade is putting on a conference in Houston which may be worthy of such a record. It is the “Oil and Gas Supply Chain Compliance” conference and the list of speakers is simply stunning. It includes the following Chief Compliance Officers (CCO): Dan Chapman, Parker Drilling; Brian Moffet, ENSCO, Jay Martin, BakerHughes; Julie Symon, KBR, Jan Farley, Dresser-Rand; John Sardar, Noble Drilling and a host of other luminaries in the field of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance, including, in his only Texas appearance, the FCPA Professor, Mike Koehler. Even if you live outside of Houston, the FCPA compliance talent at this event will rival any other event in the US and for such an event not held in Washington DC or New York City, it is simply outstanding.

Some of the panels and topics for discussion include: Performing Adequate Risk Weighted FCPA Due Diligence for Acquisitions and Joint Ventures; Special Due Diligence and Contracting Considerations in Managing FCPA Risk Associated with Major International Freight Forwarders; Fresh Insights Into Mitigating FCPA Compliance Risks Through Effective Auditing; Embedding a Compliance Culture into Your Organization: Proven Intelligence on the Impact of Good Training; and the ENI experience on How to Address Specific Concerns in Procurement. These are but some of the sessions and there are many other excellent panels, sessions and speakers which I have not mentioned.

Recently one of the star speakers, Dan Chapman, Chief Compliance Officer for Parker Drilling, visited with Sara Patella about some of the issues facing US companies when dealing with third parties. Recognizing that it may be difficult for companies to know precisely what their third party partners may be doing at a specific time, Chapman stated that “The goal of a good due diligence program isn’t necessarily to identify improper activities from a retroactive standpoint.  Instead, an effective due diligence program assesses the character and propensities for improper conduct of your agents and other representatives that may act on your company’s behalf before they are engaged and then again at periodic intervals.”

Chapman also spoke about the differences in risks between developing and developed countries. He noted that in a developing country, “the bureaucracy may be so stagnant and inefficient that in order to perform services for their clients, certain vendors may feel pressure to engage in improper conduct.” This is usually coupled with a lack of internal enforcement in the developing country for those government officials who accept bribes or are otherwise engaged in corruption. Conversely in a developed country, there are usually more resources to fight corruption and perhaps greater political will as well. Wherever you might be doing business Chapman advises that the current FCPA enforcement regime should “encourage companies to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.” For the full text of the Chapman interview, click here.

I hope that you can attend this most excellent FCPA conference next month. Very few FCPA conferences focus on the supply chain and the information that you will receive at this one should be first rate. Will your day be as good as the one hour Jesse Owens had in Ann Arbor those many years ago? Why don’t you attend the event and see for yourself. It should be well worth the price of admission.

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For complete information on the Hanson Wade Conference, “Oil and Gas Supply Chain Conference“, click here. For readers of this blog, a discount is offered by Hanson Wade. You can receive the discount by entering the online discount code: FOXLAW. You can also use this discount code if you register directly with Hanson Wade.

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This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2012

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