ULG's Language Services Blog

Minimizing FCPA Risk Through Effective Translation


Since 1977, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has been the leading anti-corruption legislation for companies in the U.S. and those that trade on U.S. financial exchanges.

The law lays out strict anti-bribery provisions, specifically prohibiting “certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.” The FCPA also paved the way for other international anti-corruption laws, such as the UK Bribery Act and the 1998 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Together, these acts govern multinational organizations around the world and cultivate a culture of compliance and ethical business dealings.

The Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act states that an anti-corruption compliance program requires a three-pronged approach: prevention, detection, and remediation for FCPA violations.

With multinational companies, the ability to translate compliance documents and potential violations into new languages quickly and efficiently is of paramount importance in upholding those three pillars. Here are a few ways that quick and accurate translations can minimize the risk of FCPA violations and ensuing investigations, and how a Language Solutions Partner can help.



Preventing Corruption



Awareness is the first step in preventing corruption. The Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act states, “Indeed, it would be difficult to effectively implement a compliance program if it was not available in the local language so that employees in foreign subsidiaries can access and understand it.”

FCPA further explains that by localizing compliance-related documentation and training in all the languages associated with the company’s branches, multinational organizations can inform employees about potential violations and how to avoid them. Specifically, global businesses may have to localize documents that include codes of conduct, anti-bribery policies, anti-corruption policies, third party due diligence questionnaires, and contracts.

Localizing these documents may sound like a lot of work, but the right technology can expedite the process. A Language Solutions Partner (LSP) specializes in translating and localizing documents through the use of Machine Translation (MT) and translation memories, which automatically apply previously translated words and phrases to new documents and thus save time and money while complying with FCPA regulations and preventing violations.



Detecting Corruption




After implementing preventative measures, a company needs to be able to detect corruption.

Because the number of documents and materials involved in an allegation can range from thousands to millions, an organization must determine which documents are essential to the case and dedicate time and resources to translating those.

FCPA investigations require a strict code of ethics and compliance, so using a trusted and certified translation provider is necessary rather than an in-house consultant or online translator like Google Translate. An LSP like ULG is certified to issue a Certificate of Accuracy (COA), which confirms that the documents have been translated to convey the exact meaning of the English-based ethics and compliance policies.

LSPs use a combination of language identification, foreign language keyword search, MT, summary translations, and human translations to ensure that only the necessary documents are translated, that the translation is performed in a timely fashion, and that a human linguist has reviewed any machine translation for quality control purposes. An LSP can issue a COA after all these steps have been completed.




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Finding the Right Language Solutions Partner


Organizations will want to work with LSPs that have experience in anti-corruption legislation and working with the documents associated with compliance. By partnering with an experienced LSP, organizations will adhere to the best compliance practices laid out in the Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, while also saving time and money.

To learn more about the FCPA and how an LSP can help, download the e-book From “Detect” to “Prevent”: How to Use Translation Solutions As a Preventative Tool.









Topics: Translation, Service