In terms of global anti-bribery compliance, attorneys, international lawyers, in-house counsel, accountants, consultants and others providing advice, the guidance issued by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) relative to implementing adequate internal controls needs to be kept in mind. In that regard, the FSA has pointed out that policies and procedures should not be simply adopted from another firm or model forms. Instead, policies and procedures should be carefully tailored to address the particular needs of a firm.
Policies and procedures should be reviewed at a senior level. They also should be reviewed regularly and updated to reflect new risks or external events. To be effective, policies and procedures must be readily accessible, effective and understood by all relevant staff. Steps need to be taken to ensure that policies and procedures are understood by staff.
A firm should not rely “on passages in [its] staff code of conduct that prohibit improper payments [with] no other controls.” The “effectiveness of policies, procedures, systems and controls” should be monitored. Care also needs to be exercised to ensure that [the] policies and procedures “are applied consistently and effectively.” Similarly, there should be “unambiguous consequences for breaches of [a] firm’s anti-corruption policy.”
The guidance issued by the FSA on internal controls also has relevance to compliance programs associated with the FCPA, UK Bribery Act, CFPOA, and other anti-bribery regimes. The factors cited by the FSA are directly relevant to the degree to which compliance programs can be made effective. Regardless of the legal regime, the concepts are fundamentally the same.