Wednesday, March 8, 2017

DOJ Document Discusses Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs

Dianne De La Mare

On February 8th, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance, Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, explaining how it evaluates corporate compliance programs during fraud investigations. The guidance sets forth the relevant factors that prosecutors should consider when investigating a corporate entity. These factors include assessing the effectiveness of the corporation’s existing compliance program, and looking at the corporation’s remedial efforts to implement or improve the compliance program.

The guidance is important because it provides the public with important topics and sample questions that DOJ Fraud Section, deem especially relevant. The guidance is divided into 11 sections including:

  • Analysis and Remediation of Underlying Misconduct
  • Senior and Middle Management; Autonomy and Resources
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Risk Assessment
  • Training and Communications
  • Confidential Reporting and Investigation
  • Incentives and Disciplinary Measures
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Periodic Testing and Review
  • Third Party Management
  •  Mergers and Acquisitions.
Within each topic area are sample questions that corporations should expect to be asked during the course of an investigation. Although much of this guidance may seem familiar, it gives some additional detail and transparency on the DOJ assessment process.

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