Utilidata, Inc., is a cutting-edge software company located in Providence that utilizes patented technologies to leverage real-time information about the electric grid. Utilidata works with electric utilities to leverage innovative solutions that reduce wasted energy and save money.
As Utilidata began expanding into new global markets in the Middle East and Asia, CEO Scott DePasquale realized that he and his team needed to be completely up-to-date on export control compliance issues and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The U.S. government controls exports of sensitive equipment, software and technology as a means to promote its national security interests and foreign policy objectives. The FCPA, enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.
U.S. companies need strong safeguards to make sure they are complying with all U.S. export regulations and avoiding bribery and kickback schemes. Failure to do so can lead to stiff penalties and even prison sentences. All businesses that engage in international trade must have in-house processes for ensuring that these U.S. regulations are met.
Utilidata applied for an Export Express training grant, funded by the R.I. Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) and administered by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which helped offset the cost of a customized, in-house training by legal counsel on export compliance and the FCPA.
“This type of compliance training needs to be driven by the C-suite, but employees at all levels of the organization need to be onboard to ensure complete compliance,” said DePasquale. “Companies need to get ahead of these issues early and appoint an internal captain to make sure everything is in order.”
“Throughout the process, representatives from the Commerce Corporation and the U.S. Department of Commerce provided counsel and direction, and were instrumental in helping us secure funding for the necessary training,” DePasquale said.
Since completing the training, Utilidata has secured new partnerships abroad — all with the peace of mind that they are in total compliance with U.S. Export Controls Regulations and the FCPA.
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