FCPA Opinion Procedure Release 97-01 came from a U.S. company whose wholly owned subsidiary is submitting a bid to a foreign government-owned entity to sell and service certain high technology equipment. In connection with its bid, the requestor has entered into a Representative Agreement with a privately held company Representative in the same foreign country.
Subsequently, the requestor learned of an allegation that more than fifteen years ago the Representative, or a person associated with the Representative, was involved in an improper payment transaction with an official of the foreign government. The requestor undertook further due diligence, which included, among other things, the hiring of an international investigative firm to conduct an extensive investigation of the allegations, and interviews with principals of the Representative, the Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in the foreign country, a former U.S. ambassador to the foreign country, and other persons with extensive commercial and other experience in the foreign country. Although these additional inquiries failed to substantiate the alleged misconduct, they did reveal that a number of persons might have been motivated, for political reasons, to disparage the Representative or its associated person.