The Yates Memo, written by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and released on September 9, 2015, addresses individual liability for corporate wrongdoing. In the memo, the DAG Yates lays out new guidance to Department of Justice attorneys who are prosecuting individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing. When you review the data over the years preceding the…
There are some key things to keep in mind when you are planning to update your standalone compliance and ethics policies. The types of stakeholders and subject-matter experts who you will have to consult with are wider and broader than the ones you consult with when rewriting your code of conduct. It will take planning to get them aligned with the end goal. Just as you would in a modern code of conduct, you need to pay attention to the language you use in your policies. Try to reduce jargon and have a conversational tone. Consider design and interactive learning aids where possible. Also, develop a template so that you have a consistent approach across your policies.
As your organization approaches a regular assessment of your compliance and ethics program, consider whether you need to include personnel interviews as part of the process. Many organizations rely solely on benchmarking data and surveys to assess their programs. Time constraints can often prevent a deeper dive into program effectiveness. While not every regular assessment…
Where did Wells Fargo go wrong? “Tone from the top” is an often used phrase in the compliance and ethics space. But as the Wells Fargo allegations show us, tone from the top isn’t always enough to ensure that employees on the ground act ethically. In this special edition episode, Eric discusses who defines corporate culture and explains the importance of tone from the middle and how to create it. Eric and the CEO and Chairman of Old National Bancorp discuss how ONB creates and maintains its award-winning corporate culture.
When it comes to translations, there’s more to consider than meets the eye. It’s important to think about translating your Code of Conduct, even if you are a purely domestic organization. The key is to look closely at your employee population and your stakeholder population to determine what languages are necessary. Lastly don’t forget to take a close look at your English version. If your English is too complicated, then your translations will be too complicated.
The US Sentencing Guidelines require that individuals within an organization be delegated with day-to-day operational responsibility for the compliance program. When defining the role of this individual, the Guidelines say that the person with day-to-day operational authority shall report to high level personnel, and when appropriate, the governing authority of the organization on the effectiveness of the…
The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s data can tell us some very interesting and helpful things about the size of organizations that get in trouble, the types of offenses or actually the multiplicity of offenses that organizations find themselves charged with probably most importantly can talk very specifically about the collateral damage if you will that comes with a federal prosecution in the form of individuals that get prosecuted. These are all helpful pieces of information and you’re making the case internally for the necessity of compliance.
Keep your training effective, periodic and practical. Periodic doesn’t mean once and it’s done, it means periodic. Practical means testing to ensure that the program is working. And finally, use consistent and interesting training to ensure effectiveness.
While anti-corruption is a very serious risk it is one with very low likelihood for many organizations. Every organization needs to understand their own particular risks. By doing that you will know if you need to have an anti-corruption program.
If you’re going to market your program’s success either internally or externally be prepared for some scrutiny, be prepared to support that the organization meets “best practices” and most importantly be prepared to continue on the long hard slog to keep the program up to snuff.