Should Companies Turn a Blind Eye to Bribes?: Greenberg
The elephant in the room in the wake of the Wal-Mart fiasco is whether we should accept, cover-up or no cover-up, the concept of bribes, graft and outright corruption as simply a way of doing business abroad?
The government says no — sort of — in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Honestly, after reading through the FCPA, this much is clear: You can drive a truck through the gray areas of the law.
What’s the difference between a bribe and a legal “facilitating” payment? You read it and tell me.
After saying (in thick legalese) that bribes are illegal, the law also says:
Subsections (a) and (g) of this section shall not apply to any facilitating or expediting payment to a foreign official, political party, or party official the purpose of which is to expedite or to secure the performance of a routine governmental action by a foreign official, political party, or party official.
Either way, it would be hard to argue that bribes aren’t all ethically bad.
But are they avoidable?
I wondered as much
The comments, not surprisingly, were along the lines of this
But then this from
And this from
And there were quite a few like this from
And remember the question about the difference between facilitating fees and bribes?
Sounds great...in principle. Good luck trying to track down the non-paper trail!
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