The FCPA states, “The FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions apply to corrupt payments made to (1) “any foreign official”; (2) “any foreign political party or official thereof”; (3) “any candidate for foreign political office”; or (4) any person, while knowing that all or a portion of the payment will be offered, given, or promised to an individual falling within one of these three categories. Although the statute distinguishes between a “foreign official,” “foreign political party or official thereof,” and “candidate for foreign political office,” the term “foreign official” in this guide generally refers to an individual falling within any of these three categories.” Government policies affect the commercial environment. A company is subject to legislation and regulation that affects how it conducts its business and generates value for its investors. Participating in the political process is part of a business strategy to protect a company’s interests.

Most international businesses have strategy to engage in the political process with a view to the long-term interests of the company and to promote and protect its interests. All political contributions and expenditures on behalf of the Company and management reports on these political contributions and expenditures should be reported to the Board of Directors annually. No political contributions may be made or promised unless written pre-approval has been obtained from the corporate compliance function

Three key takeaways:

  1. Political candidates are covered by the FCPA.
  2. What is the business purpose for the contribution?
  3. Do not make contributions towards candidates who can award your company business.