New DOJ Role Signals Increased Focus on Corporate Compliance

August 12th, 2015

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently developing a new counsel position within its Criminal Division.  Counsel will serve as a corporate compliance program expert.  News reports suggest that the new hire will come from within the agency.  The DOJ has confirmed that a candidate has already been selected and is being vetted at this time.

The new position will offer the private industry a devoted resource to assess corporate compliance programs.  Counsel will evaluate compliance programs, providing insight to DOJ prosecutors during investigations, but also assisting companies by providing guidance about agency expectations and standards.  In response to industry concerns, counsel will help determine whether violations resulted from systemic compliance problems or individual rogue actors.  The new hire will focus on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance.

While the corporate compliance expert will serve as a valuable resource for companies, the creation of the role also signals that the DOJ is likely to increase its scrutiny of corporate compliance programs and adherence to anti-bribery and anti-corruption regulations.

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