The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a law, aimed at transparency in international transactions, especially between business organizations and government. The interesting aspect about this law is for those firms who are operating in the US, is that if they violate this law in any foreign country, they have to face charges in US. Another aspect is that it makes the organization liable even for the actions committed by its third party agents. Let us see the following cases for more clarity.
- An allegation was made by the United States Security Exchange Commission (SEC), on an American global manufacturing company that its subsidiary in Russia used “marketing agreements” to pay millions of dollars to government officials through offshore companies. Inspite of being aware of such FCPA violations, the Organization did not respond. As a result, it had to pay 28 million dollars to settle the charges for violating the FCPA law to SEC.
- In another case reported by Guardian, a famous UK based pharmaceutical company had to pay 3 billion US dollars to US authorities, for influencing the doctors to prescribe their drugs. US attorney Carmin Ortiz stated that the sales force was involved in bribing physicians to prescribe their products.
- In yet another case reported by New York Times, a German engineering company was fined by US and European authorities for violating the FCPA laws, to secure the contracts in other nations like Bangladesh, Venezuela and Argentina. Here the company is not an American company, but operating in US, and had to face charges for its actions, even though these were committed abroad.
It is clear from the above cases that any firm operating in the U.S, has to be vigilant about their activities, not only in the U.S, but also in other countries. If the rules are violated at any part of the world, by any employee or third party firm, the company has to face financial charges and other repercussions in the U.S. The company may also lose its reputation among its stakeholders worldwide.
It has therefore, become very important to the firms to train their employees from the level of board members to sales associates to third party firms and it became necessary for them to implement the training program globally.
In implementing such global training programs, the companies face several challenges as shown below:
- Training the work group in each and every location they operate, is difficult and involves a lot of travel.
- Delivering the standardized content, uniformly throughout the globe, may not be possible, as all the trainers may have different levels of competence.
- Producing the proof or records regarding the completion of such training, to the regulatory authorities is mandatory. For this the company has to maintain adequate records regarding training sessions including attendance, logs, assessments and materials distributed, which requires a complex set of activities and proves to be a costly affair.
In my opinion, eLearning would address most of these challenges. The uniform delivery of standardized content is possible. Once designed, it can be translated into respective languages and deployed multiple times. This addresses the recurrent and globalized training needs also. Training can also be rolled out quickly, to the globally dispersed workforce. Any changes and updates in the laws, can be updated and conveyed quickly.
Moreover, when these courses are rolled out through LMS, the tracking of the learners will be easy and the reports generated by the LMS are accepted by most of the regulatory authorities.
So, if you are contemplating FCPA training then eLearning is a good choice.