Published in 2020, the DOJ’s update to Evaluation of Corporate Compliance sets out to provide additional clarity on how enforcement officials will evaluate an organization, in the event of criminal misconduct. This enhanced guidance sets out a baseline, or the minimum standards to demonstrate an effective ethics & compliance (E&C) program.
The guidance sets out to ask three fundamental questions:
- Is the corporation’s compliance program well designed?
- Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith? In other words, is the program adequately resourced and empowered to function effectively?
- Does the compliance program work in practice?
So, how does your compliance program stack up? As E&C program maturity varies, so can the use of this tool. Whether building a new program, or continuing to evolve an advanced one, use the guidance as a framework for a self-assessment to determine gaps and opportunities within your E&C program. While the results are not official legal advice, the assessment should provide you with a detailed view of where you are able to make improvements to your company’s compliance initiatives. Continuous improvement is pivotal to ensuring success in ethics, and consistent, honest evaluation of the program is the first step in the process.