Why the Current Regime Is Effective at “Busting Bribery”: An Interview with Professor Dan Danielsen, Co-Author of the Open Society Foundations’ Report on Corruption

The Anti-Corruption Report recently had a wide-ranging conversation with Dan Danielsen, a Professor at Northeastern University School of Law and former general counsel of Europe Online Networks, S.A. and partner at Foley Hoag LLP.  Professor Danielsen, along with David Kennedy, Professor at Harvard Law School and Director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, authored the report “Busting Bribery: Sustaining the Momentum of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (Report).  The Report was commissioned by the Open Society Foundations as a response to the Chamber of Commerce’s report, which argued for amendments to the FCPA.  Danielsen and Kennedy had complete academic freedom as to the content and conclusions drawn in the Report.  In our interview, Professor Danielsen discussed, among other things: why the costs of bribery, given the evolving global scheme, outweigh the benefits; the effectiveness of the DOJ Opinion Procedure; why a good faith compliance defense is inconsistent with the scienter requirement in the statute; how agreements with the government, such as DPAs and NPAs, are creating a regulatory jurisprudence similar to no-action letters in the securities context; companies’ reluctance to go to court and obtain judicial scrutiny; the reasonableness of the current “knowing” standard in the statute; and the need for flexibility in the definition of “foreign official.”

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