FCPA whistleblower rewards are available to health, safety, and environmental (HSE) personnel who report corporate bribery to the SEC under the Dodd-Frank program. HSE personnel who report their companies bribing foreign officials are eligible for rewards under the SEC’s reward program, which was established under Dodd-Frank.
HSE personnel often encounter local regulatory officials during examinations, audits, and inspections. In many cases, local HSE personnel are responsible for obtaining safety and environmental permits and licenses and addressing issues identified during audits and inspections. Sometimes companies will make payments to these regulatory officials to obtain the permits, licenses, and to avoid inspection violations.
In both the energy and mining sectors, environmental assessments and safety inspections can take a long time and be very disruptive to business. Companies often will engage intermediaries and “consultants” to pay or otherwise bribe the local regulatory officials – who often make very little from their government salaries – to obtain the necessary environmental assessment and permits and to avoid any safety inspection issues that would disrupt the company’s operations. If current or former HSE personnel learn of payments being made to foreign officials to obtain environmental assessments, permits, licenses, or to avoid violations, this information can be extremely valuable if reported to the SEC via the Dodd-Frank reward program.