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Compliance front and center

Thomas Fox – Compliance Week – June 21, 2016

The past couple of months has confirmed a trend we have seen for some time in the world of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and greater anti-corruption compliance. It is the continued growth in the importance of doing compliance in the eyes of the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission. They have clearly moved beyond simply having a compliance program in place. It must be operationalized, and you must demonstrate its effectiveness if you want to receive credit for it in any FCPA enforcement action.

In April with the release of the written document, entitled “The Fraud Section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Plan and Guidance” and detailing the Pilot Program for FCPA enforcement credit, the Justice Department made clear that it is the doing of compliance that can bring a company “reducing credit.” It also made clear that the role of the chief compliance officer needs not only to be central to your compliance efforts but also central to your overall business operations.

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Read this article on Compliance Week.

Compliance 2.0: DOJ Pushes the Compliance Agenda

Michael Volkov – Corruption, Crime & Compliance – April 24, 2016

The FCPA Paparazzi have a thick head and a stubborn chin. They just do not understand the significance of Compliance 2.0 to corporate governance and they blindly adhere to simplistic, yet unexplained, solutions to complex problems – kind of sounds like a presidential candidate we all know.

Without getting into politics, which I avoid here on this blog, DOJ’s recent FCPA guidance on voluntary, disclosure, cooperation and remediation sets out an ambitious push on ethics and compliance programs. Of course, the new remediation elements apply only to those situations where companies are seeking cooperation and disclosure benefits, along with implementation of a remediation plan.

The new compliance elements represent validation of the Compliance 2.0 model, which has been advanced by leading compliance strategists, such as Tom Fox (here), Donna Boehme (here), Roy Snell (here), and Joe Murphy (here). Unlike many in the FCPA Paparazzi, they have been pushing new and innovative compliance strategies for years that flow from the elevation of an independent compliance function in global companies.

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Read this article on Corruption, Crime & Compliance.

Defining Compliance 2.0: the board (part 1 of 5)

Michael Volkov – Corruption, Crime & Compliance – November 29, 2015

If you read through compliance writings, blogs, articles, white papers, and other sources, you will see the term “Compliance 2.0” bandied about.  It is a term that has yet to be defined but is taking on a life of its own – a reflection perhaps of the growing and continuing momentum behind the ethics and compliance function.

This series is an attempt to put some meat on the bones (yes, just after Thanksgiving) and advance the discussion around the new model for ethics and compliance.

In the last three years, compliance has been at a “standstill” in terms of defining the elements of an effective ethics and compliance program. The Justice Department and SEC’s FCPA Guidance was a watershed event in defining an effective ethics and compliance program, along with the UK Bribery Act’s adequate procedures, and continuing work from the OECD and other non-profit organizations. But in the end, it was DOJ and the SEC that have moved the compliance function to a new era, fueled by aggressive enforcement actions and political pressure to provide guidance to the business community.

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Read the article on Corruption, Crime & Compliance.

Social Media Week Part VI – Social Media and CCO 3.0

Thomas Fox – The FCPA Compliance Report – August 10, 2015

I conclude this exploration of the uses of social media in doing compliance by exploring why the compliance function is uniquely suited to using social media tools. Long gone are the days when Chief Compliance Officers (CCO) or compliance practitioners were lawyers housed in the Legal Department or the General Counsel’s (GC’s) office writing policies and procedures and then putting on eight hour training programs on same. Donna Boehme has written passionately about CCO 2.0 and the structural change to separate the CCO role from that of the GC because of the differences in focus of a CCO and GC. Simply put, a GC and legal department is there to protect the company while the CCO and compliance function exists to solve problems before the company needs protections from them.

Freed of the constraints to write policies and procedures by lawyers for lawyers, the profession has moved to integrating compliance directly into the fabric of the company. I often say that a Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) compliance program is a business solution to a legal problem. The problem is how to comply with the FCPA and other anti-corruption regimes. The solution is to burn compliance into the DNA of your company so that it is not only owned by the business unit but also acted on by the business unit in its day-to-day operations.

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Read this article on the FCPA Compliance Report.