Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

How does the FCPA work?
  • The FCPA applies to Yale, any member of the Yale community and anyone working on behalf of Yale (including vendors and consultants).
  • Violations of the FCPA contain three elements:  (1) A payment or something of value is offered, promised, or given (2) to a foreign official, political party, party official, or candidate (3) for a corrupt purpose.
  • You cannot make a payment to a third party if you know (or should know) that some or all of that payment will be used in a way that violates the FCPA.  In other words, you cannot legally ask or hire someone else to do something you are not legally allowed to do yourself.

A violation of the FCPA is considered to have occurred even if the effort does not work out (e.g., something of value is given for a license that is denied or the offer to provide something of value is rejected by the foreign official); the activity is not tied to the government directly (or to a government contract or project); or the attempt to improperly influence is carried out through a third party (with or without direct knowledge of its happening if you should have known).

For more insight into how the FCPA can apply to your interactions with foreign persons, read the examples provided for a U.S.-based activity and an overseas activity.

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