Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In most of our islands, our Attorneys-General are political. Many of our countries have no Director of Public Prosecutions. The Attorney-General then decides who should be prosecuted and who should be excused. He is not supposed to show any favouritism. He is supposed to not maliciously prosecute those who oppose the government. The Constitution says he is to act independently of political influence. So is the DPP, where one exists. But, what is written and what happens in the real world have ever been two different things. It is not that our officials are necessarily biased. The real problem is lack of initiative and zest for the job. Most of us in the
Relief may yet come from an unusual angle. Corrupt as much of the public administration in the
The Act is not new. It was originally enacted thirty years ago. It prohibits the bribery of foreign government officials by US persons and companies. The term “foreign official” includes people we do not normally think of as being an official, such as a foreign political party or a candidate for political office.
The history of this Act is well known to those of us of a certain age. The
The FCPA has its own blog which you can access by clicking here. There are several cases discussed. They include payments made by a Westinghouse subsidiary in
Not all corrupt payments are punishable under the Act. It is only an offence to bribe a foreign government official for the purpose of obtaining business. There are limits to its effectiveness. Not included are bribes paid to persons who are not governmental officials. In
The FCPA is not perfect. But, until we adopt strong and effective anti-corruption laws of our own, and until we appoint courageous and independent prosecutors, we in Anguilla shall have to rely on foreign assistance of this type if we are to have any chance at all of stopping foreign companies attempting to corrupt our own officials.