Parker Drilling Company, a Houston-based, publicly traded drilling company, has resolved civil and criminal FCPA charges pursuant to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) in which the government emphasizes specific elements of compliance programs, policies and procedures, and demonstrates its increased reliance on self-reporting mechanisms in lieu of external monitors. See “When and How Should Companies Self-Report FCPA Violations? (Part Two of Two)
,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Jun. 20, 2012). The charges resulted from Parker Drilling’s authorization of payments to an intermediary that Parker Drilling knew would be used to corruptly influence the decisions of a Nigerian government panel reviewing the company’s adherence to Nigerian customs and tax laws. In addition to discussing the facts and circumstances relevant to the granting of the DPA, and providing details of the Nigerian bribery scheme, this article includes a detailed discussion of the specific ways in which the DPA requires Parker Drilling to enhance its FCPA compliance program. The various required enhancements serve as a checklist of what the DOJ expects to see in an FCPA compliance program – and thus serves as an important benchmark against which companies can compare their own compliance efforts.