Enacted in 1977
Congress enacted the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977 in response to revelations of widespread bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies. The FCPA was intended to halt those corrupt practices, create a level playing field for honest businesses, and restore public confidence in the integrity of the marketplace. Companies often have been confused by the law and have said that it is unclear on several issues, such as when a gift or facilitation payment becomes a bribe. The new guidelines address several of those issues.