In June 2020, the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division updated its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. Essentially, the government white paper offered guidelines for prosecutors to consider when they deliberated over offering leniency, non-prosecution agreements, or deferred-prosecution agreements to businesses. According to the guidance, prosecutors must question the business as follows:
If we know that prosecutors will ask those questions when assessing a business’s compliance program, then business leaders and team members should ask similar questions. By investing time, energy, and resources to understand the importance of compliance, leaders can design a best-practice approach in the design of their compliance training.
Large companies may deploy resources to hire white-glove law firms that specialize in risk management. Those law firms may earn millions of dollars in fees by doing a deep dive to understand a company’s operations. They will perform risk assessments to identify potential problems, assessing the regulatory landscape, the potential clients and the business partners, as well as transactions with foreign governments, payments to foreign officials, use of third parties, political contributions, and so forth.
Small to mid-size companies may not have the resources to hire such law firms. Yet if they’re doing business, their lack of resources will not make them any less vulnerable to investigations and potential prosecution. In fact, those small-to-medium-sized businesses may be easier targets for government investigators.
For this reason, all businesses benefit by helping team members learn more about the real-life consequences that followed for people that lost their liberty as a result of government investigations. Such training spreads awareness on the collateral consequences that could result from bad decisions made during the course of business.
In making people more aware, our team at Compliance Mitigation can lessen risks for individuals and for businesses that want to show a commitment to minimizing problems with regulators.
Companies that want to minimize risk levels would be prudent to train their team members. As we say at ComplianceMitigation.com: