The second day of Compliance Week 2017 is now in the books. It was another excellent day of Keynotes, large meetings, and Breakout Sessions and Conversations. It all began with the ever-fan favorite: the Breakfasts, where The Man From FCPA was on a panel with fellow Compliance Week columnist Joe Mont, who has covered the D.C. regulatory scene for many years. Joe’s most basic remarks were "Keep Calm and Carry On" as the predicted apocalypse around Dodd-Frank and other regulatory regimes is still a long way from realization.
The day’s first Keynote was a very interesting panel consisting of one former SEC official, Kara Brockmeyer, former head of the SEC FCPA unit; one current Justice Department attorney, Pablo Quiñones, chief of the strategy, policy, and training unit in the criminal division’s fraud section; one compliance practitioner, Kurt Drake from Kimberly-Clark; all moderated by former SEC practitioner, Stephen Cohen. Perhaps the most interesting item from this panel was the audience poll, where out of 175 attendees participating, upwards of 50 percent noted they had not read the Justice Department’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs released in February.
The Man From FCPA, along with Quiñones and many others found this number astoundingly high. This evaluation document is available on the Justice Department Fraud Section Website (click here) at no cost. This 8-page document list 11 prongs of inquiry with 45 separate questions the Justice Department will ask about a company’s compliance program to test its effectiveness. These questions are laid out in a format that follows the Justice Department and SEC’s seminal 2012 FCPA Guidance so a compliance professional can use these questions to pressure test and benchmark a corporate compliance program. It provides clear insight into not only what you need to have in place but how you should consider using data to assess your compliance program. Did I mention it is FREE?
It could well be an admission of professional negligence for a compliance practitioner not to read this most current thinking from the Justice Department on what constitutes a best practices compliance program. If you attend Compliance Week 2018 and this question is asked again, I hope you will be in the group of folks who have read the Evaluation and, more importantly, put it into practice.