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Proposals for Sentencing Guidelines Back Stronger CCO

Melissa Klein Aguilar | February 9, 2010

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is mulling possible changes to its Federal Sentencing Guidelines that could change the expectations for “effective” corporate compliance programs generally, and for the chief compliance officer in particular.

The Guidelines, first enacted in 1991 and last revised in 2004, spell out 10 points that define an effective compliance program. They have become the
de facto template for how corporate compliance programs are structured and managed, so that corporations can demonstrate to prosecutors that they have made a good-faith effort at preventing corruption, and consequently seek kinder treatment should the company be under investigation.

“The guidelines have significant influence, both formally and informally,” says Jeffrey Kaplan, a partner in the law firm Kaplan & Walker.

Most notable for CCOs is an “Issue for Comment” the Sentencing Commission included in its proposal: Should the amended guidelines allow a... To get the full story, subscribe now.