Amending the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Repealing the Exemption for “Routine Government Action” Payments


Abstract: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) exempts small scale payments for “routine government action” from its reach. This article suggests that the FCPA be amended in order to forbid these payments as well. As currently formulated, the FCPA does not address the very real damage caused by low-level corruption. Amending it to include small scale bribes would lead symbolic and practical benefits that outweigh potential objections. This is particularly the case if the change is accompanied with a modified enforcement and penalty scheme.


International Law

Date of this Version

March 2006