The Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee organized AMCHAM’s 8th Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management Master Class on September 28th – 29th. Ms. Komple Sharma, Manager, AMCHAM, welcomed speakers and participants. Mr. Gaurav Ajmani, Chairman – Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM and Associate General Counsel, Business Conduct & Ethics, Amazon Seller Services, in his opening remarks, spoke about the methodology of finalizing the masterclass agenda. He thanked members for their responses to various surveys and meetings that helped in identifying focus areas. He also talked about how COVID has impacted everyone and how it became a challenge for compliance professionals to run compliance programs. He then gave an overview of the program. Ms. Aileen Nandi, Honorary National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, in her special address highlighted the importance of this subject and complimented American companies for their commitment not to engage in corruption and bribery. She said that it’s a USP for the American companies. While lauding the concreted efforts by the Indian authorities in curbing corruption, she mentioned that corruption proves to be very expensive for all stakeholders. She shared that in the year 2020 alone, the U.S. Department of Justice tried 28 individuals for FCPA violations. She concluded by saying that business plays an extremely crucial role in combating corruption. Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan, Co-Chairperson – Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President, Legal and Compliance, Genpact gave the vote of thanks.
The first session was a panel discussion on ‘Compliance amidst COVID-19’ moderated by Mr. Prasad Shetty, Managing Director, Risk Advisory & Investigations, FTI Consulting with panelists Dr. Simrat Sohal, Ethics & Compliance Specialist, Healthcare Sector, Ms. Sonali Khanna, VP and General Counsel India & South West Asia, Coca-Cola and Ms. Swati Sharma, Sr. Counsel, BAE Systems India (Services) Private Limited. The discussion focused on the evolving compliance landscape and risks during the last 18 months (biggest pain points, challenges and risks, key learnings and current business standing), sectoral view on the major disruptions in the compliance environment (including WFH, new normal, compliance breaches such as fraud, cyber threats, breach of supply chain integrity) and the way forward.
The second session ‘Transparency International – Fight Against Corruption’ featured speaker Prof. Madhu Bhalla, Chairperson, Transparency India. She gave a comprehensive presentation covering the national integrity framework, work done by TI in promoting integrity, synopsis of various TI’s publications, impact of TI reports, corruption perception index and India’s performance, Indian cases under POCA, whistle blowing policy in India, conflict of interest policy and COVID’s impact on corruption.
The third session featured Ms. Lorinda Laryea, Assistant Chief, FCPA Unit, United States Department of Justice and Ms. Amie C. Stemen, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, International Corruption Unit, in a fireside chat with Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan. The discussion covered the corporate compliance program guidance issued by the DoJ, India specific pointers, third party programs, COVID and its impact, disclosure and interplay of the DOJ and FBI.
Day 2 began with the fourth session on investigations with Mr. Prasad Shetty, Managing Director, Risk Advisory & Investigations, FTI Consulting and Mr. Rohit Dhingra, Managing Director, Risk Advisory & Investigations, FTI Consulting. The presentation covered corporate fraud: present scenario, evolution of investigations, conducting investigations, investigations in the new ambit of technology, case studies, impact of COVID-19 on investigations and best practices for investigations. Key takeaways included uunderstanding the current scenario of corporate fraud, combining technology with investigations, addressing differing types of investigations and combating investigations.
The master class ended with a session on ‘POCA: An Industry Perspective’ with Mr. Vinay Joy, Partner – Corporate & Commercial, Employment, Labour & Benefits, White Collar Crime, Khaitan & Co. as the expert speaker. He explained the framework of anti-corruption laws in India covering the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Service Rules for Government Officials, Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Companies Act, 2013, Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 and other miscellaneous acts. He then explained the statutory evolution of POCA, its amendments and extensively explained changes in various sections of the Act. He also spoke about bribery as under POCA. He shared recent case studies with the audience and concluded his presentation by drawing a comparison of Anti Bribery and Anti-Corruption Laws in India, U.S. and the UK.
Mr. Gaurav Ajmani, Chairman – Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM and Ms. Bhawna A. Ranganadhan, Co-Chairperson – Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM summarized the two day master class in their concluding remarks and requested participants to continue sending their feedback to the committee. The event was attended by nearly 100 participants and was supported by FTI Consulting.