FTC Launches “Pilot” International Fellows Program

The Federal Trade Commission is launching a pilot program to strengthen international enforcement relationships with counterpart agencies abroad. The first International Fellow, from Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, will begin work in the FTC Bureau of Competition on September 27. Fellows from Competition Bureau Canada and the New Brunswick Office of the Attorney General will begin working in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Office of International Affairs in October. A Fellow from Hungary will arrive in January. The Fellows will work at the agency for approximately three months.

Congress passed the U.S. SAFE WEB Act of 2006 to the allow the FTC to share information with counterpart consumer protection and competition agencies abroad. It also provides for temporarily appointing staff exchange visitors from foreign law enforcement agencies as special government employees, who are subject to the ethical and legal requirements and sanctions applicable to other FTC employees with access to nonpublic materials. It also authorizes the FTC to temporarily detail its own officers or employees to foreign government agencies.

The pilot program will extend into early 2008.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.shtm or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click http://ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.

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