An Interview with Judge Stanley Sporkin, the “Father of the FCPA” (Part One of Two)

The FCPA Report recently had the privilege of conducting a wide-ranging interview with the esteemed Judge Stanley Sporkin, who is widely credited with developing the books and records provision of the FCPA in the 1970s.  Judge Sporkin, a former federal judge in the District of Columbia, was Director of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC from 1974 to 1981, and General Counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1986.  He now advises private companies on compliance and is the Ombudsman for BP America.  Judge Sporkin was a driving force behind the creation of the FCPA, and this interview is perhaps the deepest conducted to date with a person whose depth on the topic cannot be surpassed.  In light of the length of our interview, we are publishing the transcript in two parts.  In this first part, Judge Sporkin offers valuable insight into, among other things: the origins of the FCPA following the Watergate hearings; his contemporaneous view on the difficulty of substantiating anti-bribery claims; the origins of internal investigations; the pro-business orientation of the FCPA; and more.  The second part will include Judge Sporkin’s comments on: self-reporting; the new FCPA Unit at the SEC; his proposal for amnesty (or a “flu shot,” as he calls it); the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to corruption; the movement to amend the FCPA; the potential importance of ombudsmen; and combining anti-corruption audits with annual audits.

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