On Thursday, September 17th, we kicked off our 2015-16 event season at a new venue where Tracey Anthony, Chief Compliance Officer for Crane Worldwide joined us to discuss compliance and FCPA in today's current environment.
Tracey began by clarifying her role. She stated that her role in the company was to, "protect the company, its customers, and its employees". She went on to remind everyone that the responsibility for compliance falls on everyone, but the ultimate responsibility is on the shipper to be compliant.
To do this, she suggests that in addition to keeping documentation for five to seven years as required by law, you should only work with companies, such as a freight forwarder, that can be considered a 'trusted advisor'. She also suggested that every company should screen its customers to ensure they are someone who is worth doing business with and would be considered a 'good' company.
When asked how often companies screened its customers, she remarked that in her opinion only a very small percentage are consistent with screening their customers.
Before closing her time, she wanted to discuss FCPA. FCPA stands for the Foreign Corrupt Policies Act. Tracey's opinion was that the F stood for 'Fund' and not 'Foreign' as the penalties levied on companies were often times astronomical. FCPA is regulated by the Department of Justice in the US and the United Kingdom has a more strict equivalent called the "UK Anti-Bribery Act". Both of these are in place to prevent unfair practices in international business. A violation of these acts can be on a large spectrum, from an extraordinarily lavish dinner as persuasion to do business to cash payments, 'donations' to college funds, and promises of employment for friends and relatives. All of these things are against the rules and regulations set forth in both of these acts.
We would like to thank Tracey for joining us and sharing some insight into what it means to be in compliance in everything we do. We would also like to thank everyone who was able to make it out and we look forward to seeing all those who were unable to attend at our next local event in October. Check the events page for more information.