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Thoughts Regarding “Principles And Practices Of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs”

If Only

Recently, the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) released this “Principles and Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs.” As stated in the report, the ECI convened a group of 24 thought leaders and challenged them to identify the qualities that distinguish … ‘high-quality’ ethics and compliance programs.”

I have no doubt that the thought leaders worked hard and in good faith in drafting the report. However, the report was disappointing unless of course one loves checklists, charts, bullet points, vague generalities and other Compliance 2.0 (or has Compliance 3.0 arrived) buzzwords.

More substantively, as highlighted below, the report contains an asserted best practice that few (including former high-ranking DOJ officials) are likely to agree with.

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Thoughts On “Corporate Governance In An Era Of Compliance”

If Only

It’s that time of year when articles go from my “reading stack” to “just read stack.”

One such article was “Corporate Governance in an Era of Compliance” by Professor Sean Griffith and recently highlighted on the FCPA Blog.

There are several assertions in the article I agree with and indeed I, and others, have highlighted for several years such as: (i) “DPAs/NPAs … have a strong signaling effect on firms not party to the immediate settlement, pushing them to adopt compliance mechanisms similar to those upon their peers”; (ii) “it remains difficult to demonstrate the effectiveness of the compliance function;” (iii) government enforcement actions are often “foisted upon firms through an opaque settlement process, where the government has the whip hand, and the company accedes to its demands …”; (iv) “there is no serious judicial oversight of the [settlement] process” of government enforcement actions; (v) “prosecutors are larding firms with [compliance] cost for uncertain benefit” and that certain compliance mandates “merely amount to a wealth transfer from the firm to the third party [service provider].”

Yet, as described in this post, I have a fundamental disagreement with the thesis of the article. In addition, I propose a better solution (to those proposed in the article) to the problems highlighted in the article.

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“Compliance Officer” / Dad

Compliance Officer Dad

Yesterday was Father’s Day.

With twin 8-year old boys, Father is just one of my titles. Referee and Compliance Officer being the others. As to the later, I guess Co-Compliance Officer along with my wife is the more accurate title (I wonder what the “Compliance 2.0” folks would say about this structure)?

Father’s Day is a chance to reflect and to be sure being a Dad has informed my view of many things including compliance.

When you really think about, compliance and parenting have a lot in common.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Positive feedback, guilty plea, scrutiny alerts and updates, an instrumentality with mouse ears?, rant alert, quotable, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Positive Feedback

In running FCPA Professor for nearly seven years, I often feel like the captain of a ship in a wide, vast ocean. My metrics tell me people are reading, but feedback tends to be sparse. I take this as a good sign given that negative feedback is more likely to occur than positive feedback.

Thus, I appreciated much positive feedback in connection with the recent post “Denied by the DOJ.”

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Introducing FCPAnalytics

FCPAnalytics

Data analytics is the process of examining raw data to draw informed conclusions to assist professionals in making more efficient and effective decisions.

Data analytics of course will not eliminate legal risk, in the FCPA context or otherwise.

However, informed use of data can help professionals manage and minimize FCPA risk, determine where to deploy resources, and otherwise navigate the contours of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement.

As stated by the DOJ’s compliance counsel: “strong compliance must be data driven” and FCPAnalytics (a new service to the FCPA and compliance community by FCPA Professor LLC offered through the FCPA Connect service) strives to do just that.

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