The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) applies to Georgia Tech travelers. Please read thoroughly and carefully.

You are required to act ethically, honestly and comply with applicable U.S. laws when conducting Institute activities within the United States and abroad. This includes compliance with the anti-bribery provisions of U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  The FCPA prohibits bribery of foreign officials in order to obtain or retain business or otherwise secure an improper advantage.

 The FCPA applies to these members of the Georgia Tech community:

  • Faculty, staff, employees of Georgia Tech affiliates, agents, and students
  • Consultants, vendors, and contractors doing business with Georgia Tech; and
  • Other third parties that work with Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, and
  • Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation

What the FCPA Prohibits

A violation of the anti-bribery provision of the FCPA consists of:

  • A payment, offer, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of any money, or other, gift, or promise to give or authorization of the giving of anything of value (benefit does not have to be paid or delivered);
  • To a foreign government official, or to any other person, knowing that the payment or promise will be passed on to a foreign official or instrumentality;
  • With corrupt intent ( the offer, payment, promise, or gift must be intended to induce the recipient to misuse his official position. The FCPA does not require that a corrupt act succeed in its purpose, nor must the foreign official actually solicit, accept, or receive the corrupt payment for the Institute to be liable.);
  • For the purpose of obtaining or retaining business, which can include:
    • Influencing any act or decision of that person,
    • Inducing such person to do or omit any action in violation of his lawful duty,
    • Securing an improper advantage, or
    • Inducing such person to use his influence to affect an official act or decision in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing any business to, any person.

Who is a Government Official under the FCPA?

  • All government employees, including employees of regulatory agencies, departments or other public bodies such as universities
  • Any candidate for political office
  • Any political party or an official of a political party
  • Representatives of public international organizations
  • Mayors or other local city officials
  • Members of law enforcement
  • Employees of a State-Owned Enterprise
  • Members of royal families

What is “Anything of Value” under the FCPA?

Includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Cash, gift cards, vouchers
  • Gifts
  • Hospitality
  • Meals
  • Goods
  • Services
  • Merchandise
  • Event tickets
  • Retail certificates
  • Entertainment
  • Travel perks
  • Use of vacation homes
  • Airfare or accommodations
  • Special favors such as education or employment opportunities for friends and relatives
  • Stock options
  • Donations to designated charities
  • Discounts
  • Personal services
  • Loans, co-signing of a loan
  • Promise of future employment

Pitfalls for Educational Institutions

Because Georgia Tech is a U.S. institution, the FCPA applies to all personnel regardless of nationality or location and operations worldwide. Violating the FCPA and other anti-bribery laws include criminal, regulatory and reputational risks. Pitfalls for the unwary include:

  • The definitions of “payment” and “foreign official” are broad. They cover a wide range of benefits conferred on someone in a position to affect dealings with a foreign government or instrumentality. Non-monetary benefits, including travel and entertainment, fall within these broad definitions.
  • Even “charitable donations” in a foreign country may constitute a violation of the FCPA, if it is intended to corruptly assist the institution to obtain the necessary government approvals to operate in the region
  • The FCPA might consider employees of state-owned foreign institutions and enterprises to be “foreign officials.” This could include faculty at foreign institutions.
  • The statute contains no minimum threshold for money, offer, gift, promise to give, or authorization to give anything of value. Even the smallest benefits conferred are prohibited.


Penalties for violations can be civil or criminal. They can include fines, imprisonment, disgorgement of any ill-gotten profits, debarment from receiving federal awards, and loss of export control licenses.

International Laws

As a Georgia Tech traveler, you must also comply with applicable anti-bribery laws of the foreign countries with which you carry out international activities. Such foreign laws may include, but are not limited to, the U.K. Bribery Act, The Prevention of Bribery Ordinance of Hong Kong, and India’s Prevention of Corruption Act. Since some of these foreign laws are in certain instances stricter than their FCPA counterpart, Georgia Tech community members should counsel with the Office of the General Counsel regarding the specific requirements of these foreign anti-bribery laws as needed.

Responsibility and Reporting

Please report all concerns to the EthicsPoint Hotline at: 1866-294-5565 or