USC Office of Compliance

Due Diligence

To avoid being held liable for payments that violate the FCPA, the University and members of the University community must exercise care and take all necessary precautions to ensure that USC conducts business with reputable and qualified partners and representatives.  This can include investigating potential foreign representatives and joint venture partners to determine if they are in fact qualified to do business with USC, whether the foreign entity or person has personal or professional ties to a foreign government, the number and reputation of a company or person’s other clientele, and the person or company’s reputation with the U.S. embassy or consulate and with local bankers, clients, and other business associates.
There are certain so-called “red flags” to be aware of, including:

  • Unusual payment patterns or financial arrangements
  • A history of corruption in the country
  • Refusal by a foreign company or person to accept contractual FCPA language
  • Unusually high commissions
  • Lack of transparency in expenses and accounting records
  • Apparent lack of qualifications or resources on the part of a foreign company or person to perform the services offered
  • Whether a foreign company or person has been recommended by an official of the potential governmental customer.

If a foreign company or person exhibits any red flags, contact the Office of Compliance at your earliest opportunity.