Biden Administration Increases Efforts in Corruption Fight
By: Daniel P. Wotherspoon
Given the Biden Administrations National Security Study Memorandum, as well as the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now an opportune time for companies to review their compliance protocols and training in order to avoid investigations and potential enforcement actions.
In June, the Biden Administration issued a National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM), which established the fight against corruption as a core national security interest of the U.S. The NSSM directed more than a dozen government agencies to conduct a 200-day interagency review and to issue reports and recommendations on how the U.S. government could better combat corruption in five (5) major areas:
- Modernizing, improving, and increasing resources for intelligence collection and analysis of corruption at home and abroad.
- Curbing elicit financing by establishing “beneficial ownership” to prevent illicit actors from hiding the proceeds of corruption behind shell companies, limiting the ability of illicit actors to buy residential real estate anonymously, and closing loopholes in existing regulatory regimes.
- Holding corrupt individuals and transnational criminal organizations accountable by building upon existing anticorruption sanctions such as the Global Magnitsky Act, bolstering criminal or civil enforcement actions, and increasing support to grow the capacity of civil society, the media, state and local bodies, international partners, and other oversight and accountability actors.
- Building and maintaining relationships with like-minded international partners through the UN, G7, Financial Action Task Force, and similar bodies to counteract corruption from autocratic and kleptocratic governments, foreign state-owned or affiliated enterprises, and transnational criminal organizations.
- Improving enforcement measures and focusing on anticorruption best practices in the implementation of foreign assistance programs and security cooperation.
Given this new guidance, as well as the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are well-advised to review their compliance protocols and training to avoid investigations and enforcement actions.
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP has significant experience in the defense of FCPA and Qui Tam matters and assists companies and their leadership in conducting internal investigations to proactively enhance compliance in the ever-changing landscape of government enforcement actions. We assist clients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and abroad.