FCPA Compliance: The Vanishing “Facilitating Payments” Exception?

April 08, 2010
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) explicitly exempts from its prohibitions so-called facilitating payments, small amounts--also called grease payments--that are paid to a governmental official to induce that official to expedite fulfillment of a non-discretionary duty. Nevertheless, the recent global trend among national governments, inter-governmental bodies, and private companies is to move toward prohibiting such payments or narrowing the circumstances under which they are permitted. This article examines recent international and U.S. enforcement efforts regarding facilitating payments.