Foreign Corrupt Practices, and More from CRS

11.10.10 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“More and more prosecutions” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act may be expected, said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer last month. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is intended to prevent and punish bribery of foreign officials by U.S. firms.  “The executive branch appears to have increased oversight of suspected American businesses for alleged violations,” according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, noting that “there have been a number of settlements and indictments in 2010” involving violations of the Act. See “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Congressional Interest and Executive Enforcement” (pdf), October 21, 2010.

Another new CRS report uncovers the history of the mostly forgotten Joint Congressional Committee on Reduction of Non-Essential Expenditures, which was in existence from 1941-1974.  Its purpose was to generate recommendations for the elimination of non-essential federal spending.  Interest in the Committee has been revived because of the possibility that it could serve as a model for restraining federal spending today.  But that possibility seems faint, since there is no evidence that the Committee had any tangible effect.  “CRS research did not uncover instances [of spending cuts] that could be specifically attributed to a recommendation of the joint committee or documentation that attributed a specific cut in spending to a joint committee recommendation.”  See “History of the Joint Committee on Reduction of Non-Essential Federal Expenditures (1941-1974), with Observations on Oversight Today” (pdf), October 26, 2010.

CRS updated its recent report on “Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information” (pdf) on October 18, 2010 to correct some minor factual errors and to make various editorial changes.

Copies of these reports were obtained by Secrecy News.