The FCPA makes it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. It also requires companies whose securities are listed in the United States to meet its accounting provisions, including requiring companies to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal controls.
Oracle failed to implement or maintain a system of effective internal accounting controls to prevent improper side funds, the SEC said in its complaint.
The SEC has not made explicit allegations of either bribery or embezzlement in this case, nor has it specified who actually received the secret payments.
Oracle disclosed the matter to the government and has cooperated with the SEC in its investigation, resulting in the announcement of the settlement, the company said in an emailed statement. "We will continue to maintain a high standard of compliance and accountability for our business around the world," it added.
By November 2007, Oracle India's senior channel sales manager had resigned and left the company. Four other employees were sacked by Oracle after an internal investigation, according to the complaint.
The settlement takes into account Oracle's voluntary disclosure of the conduct in India and its cooperation with the SEC's investigation as well as remedial measures taken by the company, including firing the employees involved in the misconduct and making significant enhancements to its FCPA compliance program, the agency said.