To grant a non-prosecution agreement, prosecutors will assess the company’s policies—including records the company keeps on disciplinary or corrective measures for noncompliance.
The following 20-page report that the Department of Justice published will help leaders grasp the “critical factors” prosecutors will use when assessing “the comprehensiveness of the compliance programs.”
That document shows a compliance program should provide a clear message that leadership will not tolerate misconduct. The program cannot succeed if prosecutors determine that policies do not apply to people in senior leadership positions. According to the document:
“The company’s top leaders set the tone for the rest of the company. Prosecutors should examine the extent to which senior management have clearly articulated the company’s ethical standards, conveyed and disseminated them in clear and unambiguous terms, and demonstrated rigorous adherence by example. Prosecutors should also examine how middle management, in turn, have reinforced those standards and encouraged employees to abide by them.”