AFC® will not tolerate bribery of any kind. Bribery is illegal whether you are a United States citizen or not, and whether your activity happens in the U.S. or elsewhere. As a company doing business abroad, AFC is also subject to the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), which is designed to prevent the bribery of foreign officials by U.S. citizens and companies, to improve record-keeping and internal accounting controls in order to detect illegal payments, and to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the American business system.
- Any action that could be considered an improper or illegal payment or bribe of any official or private individual either in the United States or abroad is strictly prohibited, including, but not limited to, those activities covered by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- AFC maintains complete and accurate records of all transactions.
As a result:
AFC employees and agents are prohibited from offering or giving anything of value to any foreign officials to:
- influence them in an official capacity;
- secure any improper advantage; or
- cause them to influence the foreign government, in order to obtain or retain business.
The term "improper advantage" refers to something, to which the Company was clearly not entitled, for example, an operating permit for a factory that fails to meet the statutory requirements. The law defines the term "foreign official" broadly, to include officers or employees of a foreign government, its departments, agencies or instrumentality's, as well as any person acting in an official capacity or on behalf of any government. The definition includes a member of a legislative body or a royal family. It also includes officials or employees of public international organizations, such as the United Nations, or persons acting in an official capacity on behalf of such an organization. The term "foreign official" has been interpreted to include directors, officers, or other officials of state-owned or controlled business enterprises (e.g., a national oil company or national airline).
- AFC employees and agents who are foreign nationals may be prosecuted if some element of the illegal activity occurred within the United States.
- AFC foreign affiliates and/or employees can be held liable, including our foreign agents, foreign subsidiaries and their non-U.S. citizen employees.
- AFC can also be prosecuted for any bribery activity-taking place wholly outside the U.S.
- Corrupt payments through third-party intermediaries, such as agents or joint venture partners, are unlawful.
The FCPA accepts "grease payments," defined as "facilitating payments" for "routine government action," such as:
- obtaining permits, licenses, or other official documents;
- processing governmental papers, such as visas and work orders;
- providing police protection, mail pick-up and delivery, phone service, and power and water supply;
- loading and unloading cargo, or protecting perishable products; or
- scheduling or inspections associated with contract performance or transit of goods across the country.
- If the payment is lawful under the written laws of the foreign country, it may be permitted.
- If the payment is for a reasonable and bona fide expense for promoting, demonstrating, or explaining products or services or performing a contractual obligation, it may also be permitted.
- Business hospitality, such as travel and lodging for foreign officials, may be appropriate.
- Proposed payments of any kind to any foreign official should be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel.
- The FCPA requires companies to have stock registered with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) to maintain records that accurately reflect
the assets of the company and the disposition of company funds. These companies
- make and keep books, records, and accounts, which, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of assets of the company, and
- devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient
to provide reasonable assurances that:
- all transactions are executed in accordance with management's general or specific authorization,
- transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparations of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and to maintain accountability for assets,
- access to assets is permitted only in accordance with management's general or specific authorization, and
- the recorded accountability for assets is compared with existing assets at reasonable intervals, and appropriate action is taken with respect to any differences.