Friday, January 26, 2007

Halliburton’s Policies Provide for “Facilitating Payments”

If only Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s attorneys had seen Section 6 of Halliburton’s Policy on Sensitive Transactions. It might have provided the Congressman both a means to accept grease money and a proper defense. The policy states:

The Company may be required to make facilitating or expediting payments to an official or employee of a government outside the United States, the purpose of which is to expedite or to secure the performance of routine governmental action by such government official or employee. Such facilitating payments may not be illegal under the FCPA and similar Laws of other countries. Nevertheless, it may be difficult to distinguish a legal facilitating payment from an illegal bribe, kickback or payoff. Accordingly, facilitating payments must be strictly controlled and every effort must be made to eliminate or minimize such payments. Facilitating payments, if required, will be made only in accordance with the advance guidance of the Law Department.

Randy could have flown over a country with no laws against such activity in a Halliburton jet, qualified as an official of the government currently outside the United States, and accepted a fat Halliburton check. While it may be difficult to distinguish this legal facilitating payment from an illegal bride, Randy could have been in compliance with company policy. And Halliburton’s Law Department would be there to guide him through the maze…

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