The Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee organized AMCHAM’s 9th Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management Master Class: Post COVID Compliance Life on September 14th at Hotel Leela Palace, New Delhi. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed dignitaries and participants. Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan, Co-Chairperson – Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Compliance, Genpact gave a sneak peek into the program and outlined the agenda. Mr. Praveen Kumar, Director General & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs gave the inaugural keynote address. In his address he emphasized that the public private partnership was essential in combating corruption. He gave an overview of the various acts put in place by the Government of India to facilitate a corruption free environment. He stated that there always exists a symbiotic relationship between the bribe taker and bribe giver and the government is focused on increasing transparency and disclosure. He also spoke about removing the underlying conditions that foster corrupt practices and acknowledged how technology was becoming an interface in reducing corruption. He advocated to adopt fair practices that ensure long term benefits over short lived gains.
The first session was a fireside chat with Mr. Ravi Sethi, Assistant Legal Attaché, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Embassy and Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan, on ‘Challenges Faced by Law Enforcement During and Post COVID and the Way Forward.’ Mr. Sethi answered questions around investigations during the pandemic, role of technology, shifts on enforcement approach, collaboration with local regulatory agencies, newer areas of fraud and views on a good compliance program.
The second session ‘FCPA & UKBA – Where Have We Been and Where are We Going? Plus Sanctions & ESG are on the Regulatory Horizon’ featured speakers Mr. Vasu Muthyala, Partner, Clifford Chance and Ms. Tess Forge, Counsel, Clifford Chance. The speakers gave an overview of the UK Bribery Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act along with examples around India-related FCPA and UKBA enforcement since 2010. The presenters shared industry specific trends where oil and gas and healthcare were the leaders in FCPA matters initiated since enactment of FCPA. Recent corruption initiatives by US and UK sanctions and ESG as emerging areas of interest were also discussed during the presentation.
The third session was a panel discussion on ‘Reimagining the Compliance Function in a Hybrid Environment’ with Mr. Manuj Sharma, Head – Legal and Compliance, Cushman & Wakefield India, Ms. Piya Haldar, Chief Compliance Officer, Honeywell India, Ms. Sonali Khanna, VP & General Counsel India & South West Asia, Coca-Cola and moderated by Mr. Prashant Behl, Partner, Forensic & Integrity Services, EY. The panel discussed pertinent topics like compliance operations in the new normal, remote compliance and investigation protocols, monitoring compliance and ethics functions in a hybrid working mode, third-party relationships during the pandemic, whistleblowing complaints during COVID, cultural alignment, emerging fraud risk challenges such as moonlighting or proxy interviews, technology integration, digital automation and ESG reporting and risks, amongst others.
In the fourth session, Mr. Aakash Sharma, Partner, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP gave a comprehensive presentation on ‘Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) and Due Diligence.’ The presentation covered regulatory statistics around TPIs, key risks associated with third parties, third party due diligence and related benefits, third party risk management process and common red flags to watch out for while dealing with TPIs.
In the penultimate session, Mr. Vasu Muthyala, Partner, Clifford Chance and Ms. Tess Forge, Counsel, Clifford Chance covered ‘The Hallmarks of Good Compliance – M&A Due Diligence, Tone from the Top, Investigations and Remediation.’ The presentation covered anti-bribery and corruption (“ABC”) compliance framework, enforcement trends, third party ABC compliance controls, gifts, entertainment and trade incentives, M&A ABC due diligence, tone from the top and reasons for declinations.
The masterclass concluded with a session on ‘The Regulatory and White-Collar Whirlwinds’ with Mr. Ajay Bhargava, Partner, Khaitan & Co., Mr. Sharad Abhyankar, Partner, Khaitan & Co., Mr. Manavendra Mishra, Partner, Khaitan & Co. and Mr. Ratnil Chauhan, Counsel, Khaitan & Co. They covered corporate compliance – overview, risks and directors’ responsibility, CARO requirements, POCA amendments, AML and new trends like cyber crimes, fake job scams, loan app scam, etc. Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan gave the concluding remarks and requested participants to continue sending their feedback to the committee. The event was supported by Deloitte, Khaitan & Co., Clifford Chance and EY.
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