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AI and Automation are Key to FCPA Compliance Monitoring

on March 21, 2022

Ccorruption and bribery can be complicated to understand. When framed within the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the rules and regulations become even more complex. It’s important to realize just how serious this subject is, and how vital it is for companies to have sufficient programs in place to mitigate the risk of violation.

The Department of Justice lists 11 "Hallmarks of Effective Compliance Programs" for companies. Among these guidelines are third-party due diligence and payments, continuous improvement with periodic testing and review, and investigation, analysis and remediation of misconduct.[1] In other words, monitoring must be proactive.

The Use of Data Analytics in FCPA Prevention

In the past couple of years, the focus of corporate compliance program evaluation has shifted. The June 2020 revision to the DOJ compliance guidelines requires prosecutors to investigate how a company is tracking the functionality of its operations and compliance efforts. Part of this determination is done by looking at the company’s use of data analytics.

Using data analytics could help continuously monitor and ensure third-party compliance by identifying risks as they emerge. This gives companies more time to evaluate and determine the best course of action to mitigate potential liability.[2]

Oversight for FCPA

Oversight for FCPA is an automated transaction monitoring solution that addresses three specific areas of best practice:

  1. Continuous monitoring of transactions and activities for improper behavior.
  2. Performing compliance audits around travel & entertainment (T&E) and accounts payables (AP) transactions.
  3. Reinforcing policy compliance.

Oversight for FCPA provides a centralized transaction monitoring system that automatically identifies risky activities and facilitates efficient resolution of any issues. Our library of FCPA analytics looks across multiple dimensions including employees, attendees, vendors, and countries over an extended time horizon for behaviors or patterns. This can reveal FCPA risk across expense reports and card transactions in T&E, or invoices and payments in AP.

Oversight’s library of FCPA analytics looks across multiple dimensions including employees, attendees, vendors, and countries over an extended time horizon. This can pinpoint employees exhibiting patterns of potentially improper behavior or collusion that are difficult to detect in traditional FCPA monitoring and audit approaches. From this analysis, we present FCPA risk in the form of cases/exceptions needing further investigation and resolution.

Oversight is always on the lookout for anti-bribery and corruption risk

Oversight enables clients to easily demonstrate to the executive team and board, and to government agencies, if necessary, that they are proactively monitoring their business transactions for FCPA risk and acting on the exceptions.

A continuous transaction monitoring solution such as Oversight is an important part of an effective compliance program addressing the DOJ’s guidelines for compliance monitoring, communication with employees, compliance evidence, and audit trails.

High-Risk Transactions and FCPA 

Leveraging Transparency International Corruption Perception Index and the CIA or Dow Jones Politically Exposed Persons databases, Oversight for FCPA identifies high-risk transactions in T&E based on factors including the employee, the attendees, the merchant, the vendor, and the country where the transaction occurred. Oversight then combs through transactions for FCPA-specific keywords such as ministry, facilitation fee, consulting fee and other suspicious terms. Multiple languages are also included in our keyword analysis.

Within Payables, Oversight for FCPA evaluates the type of transaction, the vendor, and the country where the transaction occurred using the Corruption Perception Index, PEP lists, and FCPA specific keywords. Based on political exposure, Oversight also identifies voucher outliers, unusual vouchers or payments, split invoices, and high-risk vendors.

Oversight automatically prioritizes exceptions, highlighting the highest risk countries, employees, spend categories, merchants, and vendors to streamline the review process. Compliance auditors access these exceptions through a secure web-based portal where they can leverage the built-in case management functionality to communicate, collaborate, and act on the findings.

Oversight maintains a permanent, tamper-proof audit log that automatically documents the steps taken to resolve issues. This ensures you can effectively address anti-bribery and corruption risks.

Oversight’s library of FCPA analytics takes a risk-based approach to identify anomalies that may suggest FCPA concerns. With built-in workflows, any actions taken during the review and resolution of potential FCPA violations are recorded automatically. Because these workflows are retained indefinitely, the records provide a defensible audit trail demonstrating that there is continuous monitoring of all business transactions.

Oversight can operationalize FCPA compliance efforts to monitor your travel, entertainment, and payables at an affordable price point, and a timeframe that is achievable. While there is no guarantee that you will be able to prevent bad actors from circumventing controls, with Oversight you can have a best practice approach to identify possible FCPA violations in travel, entertainment, and payables.

One final thought - identifying corruption and bribery can be a daunting task but is the risk of reputational damages, hefty fines, or imprisonment for failing to do your due diligence worth it? Oversight uses AI and automation to reduce the risk of a potential FCPA violation so you can sleep better at night, making it well worth the investment.


Criminal Division. A resource guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. U.S. Department of Justice : U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

[1] https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/file/1292051/download (pages 58-68)

[2] https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b7991e6e-60bc-4d0a-83ef-3b46f8fc39e4


Becky Clay

Senior Product Marketing Manager