Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Under the FCPA Microscope in Indonesia

A number of large multinational companies are allegedly under investigation for FCPA violations in Indonesia.  That should not be a surprise.  The United States and Indonesia have established cooperative arrangements to investigate bribery. 

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission ("KPK") has been a victim of its own success -- rival law enforcement agencies and a small number of businesses have launched challenges to KPK's authority and aggressive prosecution of corruption.

An FBI agent was quoted as stating that there are ongoing FCPA investigations in Indonesia.  Another FBI agent stated that the FBI and the KPK are working closely, and share similar objectives and goals.  The FBI and the KPK have an established cooperation agreement which allows information sharing and cooperative investigations. 

The FBI agents would not disclose the names of the US companies being investigated but confirmed they were publicly traded in the United States.

The Justice Department has focused on bribery allegations in Indonesia involving tobacco, chemicals and communications firms.  Indonesia ranks 110 on the corruption perception index. 

1 comment:

  1. Corruption in Indonesia is endemic, a way of life and promoted and supported by foreign companies and their management. Peter Jennings and Innospec highlighted the "Indonesian way of doing business". A mentality openly voiced and adhered to by shoulder to shoulder expats in Jakarta and across the islands. There isn't a bar, restaurant or gathering where the breadth and level of corruption that expatriates aren't discussing this socially accepted element of doing business in Indonesia. Interesting enough, a particular oil and gas service company who recently freed themselves of a monitor, in a heartbeat ran off their expat compliance counsel in-country in Jakarta so they could get on with business again, disgraceful. The Innospec provides great insight into the level of corruption that occurs within institutions like MIGAS and BPMIGAS where public officials at the highest level provide their approvals on conditions of personal gain. It is unfortunate that deals are nudge across the line by agents, business partners, service providers or simply put "bag men" so multi-nationals get their projects and deals across the line. Having recently been run off for shouting as loud as possible to stop corruption within Indonesia, my biggest battle and foes were the expats who were blinded by their own self gain, bonuses. Companies may be to blame for creating such conflicts of interest although greed and self interest is hard to fight. it takes years to over throw a dictator, it takes just as long to over throw a corrupt management. Sadly I am a lone voice in the woods who now seeks a new job with bad memories behind me. I praise the whistleblower rules although strongly believe that a whistleblower should follow the procedures internally prior to going to the SEC. Companies must be afforded an opportunity to investigate and act accordingly. The risk of course is that more can and will be uncovered and the likelihood of retaliation is higher, no one likes a dobber. By the way, I was legal counsel and still got worked because they didn't want to listen. It doesn't help when outside counsels report is handed to those in management at the heart of the problem and they decide the fate of the whistleblower.