Last week Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a 15 page memo to DOJ personnel titled “Further Revisions to Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies Following Discussions with Corporate Crime Advisory Group.” (See here for Monaco’s related speech and see here for a recent speech by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite which discussed, in part, the memo as well).
A future post will provide analysis and commentary regarding the memo, but first this post summarizes the memo.
The memo begins in pertinent part:
“In October 2021, the Department announced three steps to strengthen our corporate criminal enforcement policies and practices with respect to individual accountability, the treatment of a corporation’ s prior misconduct, and the use of corporate monitors. See Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Lisa 0. Monaco, “Corporate Crime Advisory Group and Initial Revisions to Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies,” Oct. 28, 2021 (“October 2021 Memorandum”). [See here for the prior post]. Simultaneously, we established the Corporate Crime Advisory Group (“CCAG”) within the Department to evaluate and recommend further guidance and consider revisions and reforms to enhance our approach to corporate crime, provide additional clarity on what constitutes cooperation by a corporation, and strengthen the tools our attorneys have to prosecute responsible individuals and companies. This review considered and incorporated helpful input from a broad cross-section of individuals and entities with relevant expertise and representing diverse perspectives, including public interest groups, consumer advocacy organizations, experts in corporate ethics and compliance, representatives from the academic community, audit committee members, in-house attorneys, and individuals who previously served as corporate monitors, as well as members of the business community and defense bar.
With the benefit of this input, this memorandum announces additional revisions to the Department’s existing corporate criminal enforcement policies and practices. This memorandum provides guidance on how prosecutors should ensure individual and corporate accountability, including through evaluation of: a corporation’s history of misconduct; self-disclosure and cooperation provided by a corporation; the strength of a corporation’ s existing compliance program; and the use ofmonitors, including their selection and the appropriate scope ofa monitor’s work. Finally, this memorandum emphasizes the importance oftransparency in corporate criminal enforcement.
In order to promote consistency across the Department, these policy revisions apply Department-wide. Some announcements herein establish the first-ever Department-wide policies on certain areas of corporate crime, such as guidance on evaluating a corporation’s compensation plans; others supplement and clarify existing guidance. The policies set forth in this Memorandum, as well as additional guidance on subjects like cooperation, will be incorporated into the Justice Manual through forthcoming revisions, including new sections on independent corporate monitors.”
The substantive portion of the memo contains four sections: Guidance on Individual Accountability; Guidance on Corporate Accountability; and Independent Compliance Monitorships; and Commitment to Transparency in Corporate Criminal Enforcement.
The section titled “Guidance on Individual Accountability” states:
“The Department’s first priority in corporate criminal matters is to hold accountable the individuals who commit and profit from corporate crime. Such accountability deters future illegal activity, incentivizes changes in individual and corporate behavior, ensures that the proper parties are held responsible for their actions, and promotes the public’s confidence in our justice system. See Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” Sept. 9, 2015. Many existing Department policies promote the identification and investigation of the individuals responsible for corporate crimes. The following policies reinforce this priority.
A. Timely Disclosures and Prioritization of Individual Investigations
To be eligible for any cooperation credit, corporations must disclose to the Department all relevant, non-privileged facts about individual misconduct. See October 2021 Memorandum, at 3. The mere disclosure of records, however, is not enough. If disclosures come too long after the misconduct in question, they reduce the likelihood that the government may be able to adequately investigate the matter in time to seek appropriate criminal charges against individuals. The expiration of statutes of limitations, the dissipation of corroborating evidence, and other factors can inhibit individual accountability when the disclosure of facts about individual misconduct is delayed.
In particular, it is imperative that Department prosecutors gain access to all relevant, nonprivileged facts about individual misconduct swiftly and without delay. Therefore, to receive full cooperation credit, corporations must produce on a timely basis all relevant, non-privileged facts and evidence about individual misconduct such that prosecutors have the opportunity to effectively investigate and seek criminal charges against culpable individuals. Companies that identify significant facts but delay their disclosure will place in jeopardy their eligibility for cooperation credit. Companies seeking cooperation credit ultimately bear the burden of ensuring that documents are produced in a timely manner to prosecutors.
Likewise, production of evidence to the government that is most relevant for assessing individual culpability should be prioritized. Such priority evidence includes information and communications associated with relevant individuals during the period of misconduct. Department prosecutors will frequently identify the priority evidence they are seeking from a cooperating corporation, but in the absence of specific requests from prosecutors, cooperating corporations should understand that information pertaining to individual misconduct will be most significant.
Going forward, in connection with every corporate resolution, Department prosecutors must specifically assess whether the corporation provided cooperation in a timely fashion. Prosecutors will consider, for example, whether a company promptly notified prosecutors of particularly relevant information once it was discovered, or if the company instead delayed disclosure in a manner that inhibited the government’ s investigation. Where prosecutors identify undue or intentional delay in the production of information or documents- particularly with respect to documents that impact the government’ s ability to assess individual culpability cooperation credit will be reduced or eliminated.
Finally, prosecutors must strive to complete investigations into individuals-and seek any warranted individual criminal charges- prior to or simultaneously with the entry of a resolution against the corporation. If prosecutors seek to resolve a corporate case prior to completing an investigation into responsible individuals, the prosecution or corporate resolution authorization memorandum must be accompanied by a memorandum that includes a discussion of all potentially culpable individuals, a description of the current status of the investigation regarding their conduct and the investigative work that remains to be done, and an investigative plan to bring the matter to resolution prior to the end of any statute of limitations period. See JM § 9-28.210. In such cases, prosecutors must obtain the approval of the supervising United States Attorney or Assistant Attorney General of both the corporate resolution and the memorandum addressing responsible individuals.
B. Foreign Prosecutions of Individuals Responsible for Corporate Crime
The prosecution by foreign counterparts of individuals responsible for cross-border corporate crime plays an increasingly important role in holding individuals accountable and deterring future criminal conduct. Cooperation with foreign law enforcement partners-both in terms of evidence-sharing and capacity-building- has become a significant part of the Department’s overall efforts to fight corporate crime. At the same time, the Department must continue to pursue forcefully its own individual prosecutions, as U.S. federal prosecution serves as a particularly significant instrument for accountability and deterrence.
At times, Department criminal investigations take place in parallel to criminal investigations by foreign jurisdictions into the same or related conduct. In such situations, the Department may learn that a foreign jurisdiction intends to bring criminal charges against an individual whom the Department is also investigating. The Principles of Federal Prosecution recognize that effective prosecution in another jurisdiction may be grounds to forego federal prosecution. JM § 9-27.220. Going forward, before declining to commence a prosecution in the United States on that basis, prosecutors must make a case-specific determination as to whether there is a significant likelihood that the individual will be subject to effective prosecution in the other jurisdiction. To determine whether an individual is subject to effective prosecution in another jurisdiction, prosecutors should consider, inter alia: (1) the strength of the other jurisdiction’s interest in the prosecution; (2) the other jurisdiction’s ability and willingness to prosecute effectively; and (3) the probable sentence and/or other consequences if the individual is convicted in the other jurisdiction. JM § 9-27.240.
When appropriate, Department prosecutors may wait to initiate a federal prosecution in order to better understand the scope and effectiveness of a prosecution in another jurisdiction. However, prosecutors should not delay commencing federal prosecution to the extent that delay could prevent the government from pursuing certain charges (e.g. , on statute of limitations grounds), reduce the chance of arresting the individual, or otherwise undermine the strength of the federal case.
Similarly, prosecutors should not be deterred from pursuing appropriate charges just because an individual liable for corporate crime is located outside the United States.”
The section titled “Guidance on Corporate Accountability” states:
A. Evaluating a Corporation’s History of Misconduct
As discussed in the October 2021 Memorandum, in determining how best to resolve an investigation of corporate criminal activity, prosecutors should, among other factors, consider the corporation’s record of past misconduct, including prior criminal, civil, and regulatory resolutions, both domestically and internationally. Consideration of a company’s historical misconduct harmonizes the way the Department treats corporate and individual criminal histories, and ensures that prosecutors give due weight to an important factor in evaluating the proper form of resolution.
Not all instances of prior misconduct, however, are equally relevant or probative. To that end, prosecutors should consider the form of prior resolution and the associated sanctions or penalties, as well as the elapsed time between the instant misconduct, the prior resolution, and the conduct underlying the prior resolution. In general, prosecutors weighing these factors should assign the greatest significance to recent U.S. criminal resolutions, and to prior misconduct involving the same personnel or management. Dated conduct addressed by prior criminal resolutions entered into more than ten years before the conduct currently under investigation, and civil or regulatory resolutions that were finalized more than five years before the conduct currently under investigation, should generally be accorded less weight as such conduct may be generally less reflective of the corporation’s current compliance culture, program, and risk tolerance.5 However, depending on the facts of the particular case, even if it falls outside these time periods, repeated misconduct may be indicative of a corporation that operates without an appropriate compliance culture or institutional safeguards.
In addition to its form, Department prosecutors should consider the facts and circumstances underlying a corporation’s prior resolution, including any factual admissions by the corporation. Prosecutors should consider the seriousness and pervasiveness of the misconduct underlying each prior resolution and whether that conduct was similar in nature to the instant misconduct under investigation, even if it was prosecuted under different statutes. Prosecutors should also consider whether at the time of the misconduct under review, the corporation was serving a term of probation or was subject to supervision, monitorship, or other obligation imposed by the prior resolution.
Corporations operate in varying regulatory and other environments, and prosecutors should be mindful when comparing corporate track records to ensure that any comparison is apt. For example, if a corporation operates in a highly regulated industry, a corporation’s history of regulatory compliance or shortcomings should likely be compared to that of similarly situated companies in the industry. Prior resolutions that involved entities that do not have common management or share compliance resources with the entity under investigation, or that involved conduct that is not chargeable as a criminal violation under U.S. federal law, should also generally receive less weight. Prior misconduct committed by an acquired entity should receive less weight if the acquired entity has been integrated into an effective, well-designed compliance program at the acquiring corporation and if the acquiring corporation addressed the root cause of the prior misconduct before the conduct currently under investigation occurred, and full and timely remediation occurred within the acquired entity before the conduct currently under investigation.
Department prosecutors should also evaluate whether the conduct at issue in the prior and current matters reflects broader weaknesses in a corporation’ s compliance culture or practices. One consideration is whether the conduct occurred under the same management team and executive leadership. Overlap in involved personnel- at any level-could indicate a lack of commitment to compliance or insufficient oversight of compliance risk at the management or board level. Beyond personnel, prosecutors should consider whether the present and prior instances of misconduct share the same root causes. Prosecutors should also consider what remediation was taken to address the root causes of prior misconduct, including employee discipline, compensation clawbacks, restitution, management restructuring, and compliance program upgrades.
Multiple non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements are generally disfavored, especially where the matters at issue involve similar types of misconduct; the same personnel, officers, or executives; or the same entities. Before making a corporate resolution offer that would result in multiple non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements for a corporation (including its affiliated entities), Department prosecutors must secure the written approval of the responsible U.S. Attorney or Assistant Attorney General and provide notice to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) in the manner set forth in JM § 1-14.000. Notice provided to ODAG pursuant to JM § 1-14.000 must be made at least 10 business days prior to the issuance of an offer to the corporation, except in extraordinary circumstances.
While multiple deferred or non-prosecution agreements are generally disfavored, nothing in this memorandum should disincentivize corporations that have been the subject of prior resolutions from voluntarily disclosing misconduct to the Department. Department prosecutors must weigh and appropriately credit voluntary and timely self-disclosures of current or prior conduct. Indeed, timely voluntary disclosures do not simply reveal misconduct at a corporation; they can also reflect that a corporation is appropriately working to detect misconduct and takes seriously its responsibility to instill and act upon a culture of compliance. As set forth in the next section of this Memorandum, when determining the appropriate form and substance of a corporate criminal resolution for any corporation, including one with a prior resolution, prosecutors should consider whether the criminal conduct at issue came to light as a result of the corporation’ s timely, voluntary self-disclosure and credit such disclosure appropriately.
B. Voluntary Self-Disclosure by Corporations
In many circumstances, a corporation becomes aware of misconduct by employees or agents before that misconduct is publicly reported or otherwise known to the Department. In those cases, corporations may come to the Department and disclose this misconduct, enabling the government to investigate and hold wrongdoers accountable more quickly than would otherwise be the case. Department policies and procedures must ensure that a corporation benefits from its decision to come forward to the Department and voluntarily self-disclose misconduct, through resolution under more favorable terms than if the government had learned of the misconduct through other means. And Department policies and procedures should be sufficiently transparent such that the benefits of voluntary self-disclosure are clear and predictable.
Many Department components that prosecute corporate criminal misconduct have already adopted policies regarding the treatment of corporations who voluntarily disclose their misconduct. See, e.g., Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) Corporate Enforcement Policy (Criminal Division); Leniency Policy and Procedures (Antitrust Division); Export Control and Sanctions Enforcement Policy for Business Organizations (National Security Division); and Factors in Decisions on Criminal Prosecutions (Environment & Natural Resources Division). Of course, voluntary self-disclosure only occurs when companies disclose misconduct promptly and voluntarily (i.e., where they have no preexisting obligation to disclose, such as pursuant to regulation, contract, or prior Department resolution) and when they do so prior to an imminent threat of disclosure or government investigation.
Through this memorandum, I am directing each Department of Justice component that prosecutes corporate crime to review its policies on corporate voluntary self-disclosure, and if the component lacks a formal, written policy to incentivize such self-disclosure, it must draft and publicly share such a policy. Any such policy should set forth the component’s expectations of what constitutes a voluntary self-disclosure, including with regard to the timing of the disclosure, the need for the disclosure to be accompanied by timely preservation, collection, and production of relevant documents and/or information, and a description of the types of information and facts that should be provided as part of the disclosure process. The policies should also lay out the benefits that corporations can expect to receive if they meet the standards for voluntary self disclosure under that component’ s policy.
All Department components must adhere to the following core principles regarding voluntary self-disclosure. First, absent the presence of aggravating factors, the Department will not seek a guilty plea where a corporation has voluntarily self-disclosed, fully cooperated, and timely and appropriately remediated the criminal conduct. Each component will, as part of its written guidance on voluntary self-disclosure, provide guidance on what circumstances would constitute such aggravating factors, but examples may include misconduct that poses a grave threat to national security or is deeply pervasive throughout the company. Second, the Department will not require the imposition of an independent compliance monitor for a cooperating corporation that voluntarily self-discloses the relevant conduct if, at the time of resolution, it also demonstrates that it has implemented and tested an effective compliance program. Such decisions about the imposition of a monitor will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis and at the sole discretion of the Department.
C. Evaluation of Cooperation by Corporations
Cooperation can be a mitigating factor, by which a corporation- just like any other subject of a criminal investigation–can gain credit in a case that is appropriate for indictment and prosecution. JM § 9-28. 700. Eligibility for cooperation credit is not predicated upon the waiver of attorney-client privilege or work product protection. JM § 9-28. 720.
Credit for cooperation takes many forms and is calculated differently based on the degree to which a corporation cooperates with the government’s investigation and the commitment that the corporation demonstrates in doing so. The level of a corporation’s cooperation can affect the form of the resolution, the applicable fine range, and the undertakings involved in the resolution. Many existing Department policies discuss the Department’s expectations for full and effective cooperation. See, e.g., JM § 9-28.720 (Cooperation: Disclosing the Relevant Facts); JM § 9-4 7 .120, 1.3(b) (Full Cooperation in FCP A Matters). The Department will update the Justice Manual to ensure greater consistency across components as to the steps that a corporation will need to take to receive maximum credit for full cooperation. Companies seeking credit for cooperation must timely preserve, collect, and disclose relevant documents located both within the United States and overseas. In some cases, data privacy laws, blocking statutes, or other restrictions imposed by foreign law may complicate the method of production of documents located overseas. In such cases, the cooperating corporation bears the burden of establishing the existence of any restriction on production and of identifying reasonable alternatives to provide the requested facts and evidence, and is expected to work diligently to identify all available legal bases to preserve, collect, and produce such documents, data, and other evidence expeditiously.
Department prosecutors should provide credit to corporations that find ways to navigate such issues of foreign law and produce such records. Conversely, where a corporation actively seeks to capitalize on data privacy laws and similar statutes to shield misconduct inappropriately from detection and investigation by U.S. law enforcement, an adverse inference as to the corporation’s cooperation may be applicable if such a corporation subsequently fails to produce foreign evidence.
D. Evaluation of a Corporation’s Compliance Program
Although an effective compliance program and ethical corporate culture do not constitute a defense to prosecution ofcorporate misconduct, they can have a direct and significant impact on the terms of a corporation’s potential resolution with the Department. Prosecutors should evaluate a corporation’s compliance program as a factor in determining the appropriate terms for a corporate resolution, including whether an independent compliance monitor is warranted. Prosecutors should assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the corporation’s compliance program at two points in time: (1) the time of the offense; and (2) the time of a charging decision. The same criteria should be used in each instance.
Prosecutors should evaluate the corporation’s commitment to fostering a strong culture of compliance at all levels of the corporation- not just within its compliance department. For example, as part of this evaluation, prosecutors should consider how the corporation has incentivized or sanctioned employee, executive, and director behavior, including through compensation plans, as part of its efforts to create a culture of compliance.
There are many factors that prosecutors should consider when evaluating a corporate compliance program. The Criminal Division has developed resources to assist prosecutors in assessing the effectiveness of a corporation’s compliance program. See Criminal Division, Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (updated June 2020). Additional guidance has been provided by other Department components as to specialized areas of corporate compliance. See, e.g. , Antitrust Division, Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs in Criminal Antitrust Investigations (July 2019). Prosecutors should consider, among other factors, whether the corporation’s compliance program is well designed, adequately resourced, empowered to function effectively, and working in practice. Prior guidance has identified numerous considerations for this evaluation, including, inter alia, how corporations measure and identify compliance risk; how they monitor payment and vendor systems for suspicious transactions; how they make disciplinary decisions within the human resources process; and how senior leaders have, through their words and actions, encouraged or discouraged compliance.
In addition to those factors, this Memorandum identifies additional metrics relevant to prosecutors’ evaluation of a corporation’s compliance program and culture.
1. Compensation Structures that Promote Compliance
Corporations can help to deter criminal activity if they reward compliant behavior and penalize individuals who engage in misconduct. Compensation systems that clearly and effectively impose financial penalties for misconduct can incentivize compliant conduct, deter risky behavior, and instill a corporate culture in which employees follow the law and avoid legal “gray areas.” When conducting this evaluation, prosecutors should consider how the corporation has incentivized employee behavior as part of its efforts to create a culture of ethics and compliance within its organization.
Corporations can best deter misconduct if they make clear that all individuals who engage in or contribute to criminal misconduct will be held personally accountable. In assessing a compliance program, prosecutors should consider whether the corporation’s compensation agreements, arrangements, and packages (the “compensation systems”) incorporate elements such as compensation clawback provisions-that enable penalties to be levied against current or former employees, executives, or directors whose direct or supervisory actions or omissions contributed to criminal conduct. Since misconduct is often discovered after it has occurred, prosecutors should examine whether compensation systems are crafted in a way that allows for retroactive discipline, including through the use of clawback measures, partial escrowing of compensation, or equivalent arrangements.
Similarly, corporations can promote an ethical corporate culture by rewarding those executives and employees who promote compliance within the organization. Prosecutors should therefore also consider whether a corporation’ s compensation systems provide affirmative incentives for compliance-promoting behavior. Affirmative incentives include, for example, the use of compliance metrics and benchmarks in compensation calculations and the use of performance reviews that measure and reward compliance-promoting behavior, both as to the employee and any subordinates whom they supervise. When effectively implemented, such provisions incentivize executives and employees to engage in and promote compliant behavior and emphasize the corporation’s commitment to its compliance programs and its culture.
Prosecutors should look to what has happened in practice at a corporation-not just what is written down. As part of their evaluation of a corporation’s compliance program, prosecutors should review a corporation’s policies and practices regarding compensation and determine whether they are followed in practice. If a corporation has included clawback provisions in its compensation agreements, prosecutors should consider whether, following the corporation’s discovery of misconduct, a corporation has, to the extent possible, taken affirmative steps to execute on such agreements and clawback compensation previously paid to current or former executives whose actions or omissions resulted in, or contributed to, the criminal conduct at issue.
Finally, prosecutors should consider whether a corporation uses or has used non-disclosure or non-disparagement provisions in compensation agreements, severance agreements, or other financial arrangements so as to inhibit the public disclosure of criminal misconduct by the corporation or its employees.
The use of financial incentives to align the interests of the C-suite with the interests of the compliance department can greatly amplify a corporation’s overall level of compliance. To that end, I have asked the Criminal Division to develop further guidance by the end of the year on how to reward corporations that develop and apply compensation clawback policies, including how to shift the burden of corporate financial penalties away from shareholders- who in many cases do not have a role in misconduct–onto those more directly responsible.
2. Use of Personal Devices and Third-Party Applications
The ubiquity of personal smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices poses significant corporate compliance risks, particularly as to the ability of companies to monitor the use of such devices for misconduct and to recover relevant data from them during a subsequent investigation. The rise in use of third-party messaging platforms, including the use of ephemeral and encrypted messaging applications, poses a similar challenge.
Many companies require all work to be conducted on corporate devices; others permit the use of personal devices but limit their use for business purposes to authorized applications and platforms that preserve data and communications for compliance review. How companies address the use of personal devices and third-party messaging platforms can impact a prosecutor’s evaluation of the effectiveness of a corporation’s compliance program, as well as the assessment ofa corporation’s cooperation during a criminal investigation.
As part of evaluating a corporation’ s policies and mechanisms for identifying, reporting, investigating, and remediating potential violations of law, prosecutors should consider whether the corporation has implemented effective policies and procedures governing the use of personal devices and third-party messaging platforms to ensure that business-related electronic data and communications are preserved. To assist prosecutors in this evaluation, I have asked the Criminal Division to further study best corporate practices regarding use of personal devices and third-party messaging platforms and incorporate the product of that effort into the next edition of its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, so that the Department can address these issues thoughtfully and consistently.
As a general rule, all corporations with robust compliance programs should have effective policies governing the use of personal devices and third-party messaging platforms for corporate communications, should provide clear training to employees about such policies, and should enforce such policies when violations are identified. Prosecutors should also consider whether a corporation seeking cooperation credit in connection with an investigation has instituted policies to ensure that it will be able to collect and provide to the government all non-privileged responsive documents relevant to the investigation, including work-related communications (e.g. , texts, e-messages, or chats), and data contained on phones, tablets, or other devices that are used by its employees for business purposes.”
The section titled “Independent Compliance Monitorships” states:
“As set forth in the October 2021 Memorandum, Department prosecutors will not apply any general presumption against requiring an independent compliance monitor (“monitor”) as part of a corporate criminal resolution, nor will they apply any presumption in favor of imposing one.
Rather, the need for a monitor and the scope of any monitorship must depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
A. Factors to Consider When Evaluating Whether a Monitor is Appropriate
Independent compliance monitors can be an effective means of reducing the risk of further corporate misconduct and rectifying compliance lapses identified during a corporate criminal investigation. Prosecutors should analyze and carefully assess the need for a monitor on a caseby-case basis, using the following non-exhaustive list of factors when evaluating the necessity and potential benefits of a monitor:
1. Whether the corporation voluntarily self-disclosed the underlying misconduct in a manner that satisfies the particular DOJ component’s self-disclosure policy;
2. Whether, at the time of the resolution and after a thorough risk assessment, the corporation has implemented an effective compliance program and sufficient internal controls to detect and prevent similar misconduct in the future;
3. Whether, at the time of the resolution, the corporation has adequately tested its compliance program and internal controls to demonstrate that they would likely detect and prevent similar misconduct in the future;
4. Whether the underlying criminal conduct was long-lasting or pervasive across the business organization or was approved, facilitated, or ignored by senior management, executives, or directors (including by means of a corporate culture that tolerated risky behavior or misconduct, or did not encourage open discussion and reporting of possible risks and concerns);
5. Whether the underlying criminal conduct involved the exploitation of an inadequate compliance program or system of internal controls;
6. Whether the underlying criminal conduct involved active participation of compliance personnel or the failure of compliance personnel to appropriately escalate or respond to red flags;
7. Whether the corporation took adequate investigative or remedial measures to address the underlying criminal conduct, including, where appropriate, the termination of business relationships and practices that contributed to the criminal conduct, and discipline or termination of personnel involved, including with respect to those with supervisory, management, or oversight responsibilities for the misconduct;
8. Whether, at the time of the resolution, the corporation’ s risk profile has substantially changed, such that the risk of recurrence of the misconduct is minimal or nonexistent;
9. Whether the corporation faces any unique risks or compliance challenges, including with respect to the particular region or business sector in which the corporation operates or the nature of the corporation’s customers; and
10. Whether and to what extent the corporation is subject to oversight from industry regulators or a monitor imposed by another domestic or foreign enforcement authority or regulator.
The factors listed above are intended to be illustrative of those that should be evaluated and are not an exhaustive list of potentially relevant considerations. Department attorneys should determine whether a monitor is required based on the facts and circumstances presented in each case.
B. Selection of Monitors
In selecting a monitor, prosecutors should employ consistent and transparent procedures. Monitor selection should be performed pursuant to a documented selection process that is readily available to the public. See, e.g., Memorandum of Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski, Selection of Monitors in Criminal Division Matters, Oct. 11 , 2018, Section E (“The Selection Process”); Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section, Corporate Monitors: Selection Best Practices (Mar. 2018); Antitrust Division, Selection of Monitors in Criminal Cases (July 2019). Every component involved in corporate criminal resolutions that does not currently have a public monitor selection process must adopt an already existing Department process, or develop and publish its own selection process before December 31, 2022. All new selection processes must be approved by ODAG and made public before their implementation as part of any corporate criminal resolution. The appropriate United States Attorney or Department Component Head shall also provide a copy of the process to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, who shall maintain a record of such processes.
Any selection process must incorporate elements that promote consistency, predictability, and transparency. First, per existing policy, the consideration of monitor candidates shall be done by a standing or ad hoc committee within the office or component where the case originated. To the extent that such committees did not previously do so, every monitorship committee must now include as a member an ethics official or professional responsibility officer from that office or component, who shall ensure that the other members of the committee do not have any conflicts of interest in selection of the monitor. There shall be a written memorandum to file confirming that no conflicts exist in the committee prior to the selection process or as to the monitor prior to the commencement of the monitor’s work. Second, monitor selection processes shall be conducted in keeping with the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Third, prosecutors shall notify the appropriate United States Attorney or Department Component Head of their decision regarding whether to require an independent compliance monitor. In order to promote greater transparency, any agreement imposing a monitorship should describe the reasoning for requiring a monitor. ODAG must approve the monitor selection for all cases in which a monitor is recommended, unless the monitor is court-appointed.
C. Continued Review of Monitorships
In matters where an independent corporate monitor is imposed pursuant to a resolution with the Department, prosecutors should ensure that the monitor’s responsibilities and scope of authority are well-defined and recorded in writing, and that a clear workplan is agreed upon between the monitor and the corporation- all to ensure agreement among the corporation, monitor, and Department as to the proper scope of review.
For the term of the monitorship, Department prosecutors must remain apprised of the ongoing work conducted by the monitor. Continued review of the monitorship requires ongoing communication with both the monitor and the corporation.
Prosecutors should receive regular updates from the monitor about the status of the monitorship and any issues presented. Monitors should promptly alert prosecutors if they are being denied access to information, resources, or corporate employees or agents necessary to execute their charge. Prosecutors should also regularly receive information about the work the monitor is doing to ensure that it remains tailored to the workplan and scope ofthe monitorship. In reviewing information relating to the monitor’ s work, prosecutors should consider the reasonableness of the monitor’s review, including, where appropriate, issues relating to the cost of the monitor’ s work. In certain cases, prosecutors may determine that the initial term of the monitorship is longer than necessary to address the concerns that created the need for the monitor, or that the scope of the monitorship is broader than necessary to accomplish the goals of the monitorship. For example, a corporation may demonstrate significant and faster-than-anticipated improvements to its compliance program, and this could reduce the need for continued monitoring. Conversely, prosecutors may determine that newly identified concerns require lengthening the term or amending the scope of the monitorship.”
The section titled “Commitment to Transparency in Corporate Criminal Enforcement” states:
“Transparency regarding the Department’s corporate criminal enforcement priorities and processes-including its expectations as to corporate cooperation and compliance, and the consequences of meeting or failing to meet those expectations-can encourage companies to adopt robust compliance programs, voluntarily disclose misconduct, and cooperate fully with the Department’s investigations. Transparency can also instill public confidence in the Department’s work.
When the Department elects to enter into an agreement to resolve corporate criminal liability, the agreement should, to the greatest extent possible, include: (1) an agreed-upon statement of facts outlining the criminal conduct that forms the basis for the agreement; and (2) a statement of relevant considerations that explains the Department’s reasons for entering into the agreement. Relevant considerations may, for example, include the corporation’s voluntary self-disclosure, cooperation, and remedial efforts (or lack thereof); the cooperation credit, if any, that the corporation is receiving; the seriousness and pervasiveness of the criminal conduct; the corporation’s history of misconduct; the state of the corporation’s compliance program at the time of the underlying criminal conduct and the time of the resolution; the reasons for imposing an independent compliance monitor or any other compliance undertaking, if applicable; other applicable factors listed in JM § 9-28.300; and any other key considerations related to the Department’s decision regarding the resolution.
Absent exceptional circumstances, corporate criminal resolution agreements will be published on the Department’s public website.”
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