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No Longer Just an Option: Compliance Training Considered Essential Under New Sentencing Guidelines

Stern Michael | July 13, 2004

New guidelines approved by the U.S. Sentencing Commission have created tough new training standards for companies that hope to demonstrate to regulators that they have an “effective” compliance program.

The revised guidelines, proposed by an advisory group last year, made 10 modifications to the original 1991 document, which created a sentencing credit for organizations that put in place "effective programs to prevent and detect violations of law."

Among the changes is a new, stand-alone guideline that would "describe more fully those essential attributes of successful compliance programs." The new guideline emphasizes monitoring, auditing, assessing and evaluating programs. To those ends, companies that seek reduced criminal fines will have to demonstrate that they have identified areas of risk where criminal violations may occur, have trained high-level officials as well as employees in relevant legal standards and obligations, and have provided compliance officers...

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