In a speech before the NYU Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement in early October, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he would be establishing a working group to, among other things, review the Justice Department’s FCPA Pilot Program, corporate investigation training programs, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s role, and the Department’s corporate monitor program.
The program as it stands mandates that companies hire a third-party expert who analyzes the company’s operations and compliance program and offers tips on how to give both a facelift. This person is chosen by the DoJ from three company picks, and the company is then required to keep that person around for several years, which often means additional fees during any court settlements.
According to recent reports, suggestions are already rolling in for how to revamp the monitor program, including:
Taking steps to ensure the monitorships are worthwhile;
Removing the perception of conflicts of interest among monitors;
Having government take a larger role within the program;
Explaining why monitors are needed within a particular company and not others; and
Making the program more transparent.
According to the Washington Post, Hui Chen, former compliance counsel within the Fraud Section of the DoJ’s Criminal Justice Division, suggested the government become more involved.
Chen advocated for monitorships to become a separate agency, which, she said, would solve two problems with the program: (1) a staff of government monitors would avoid the same people getting the same work, and let the team build up expertise; and (2) ensure that monitors, who are paid by the hour, aren’t given an “incentive” to prolong their tasks.
The Justice Department has so far declined comment.