Daniel Kahn on FCPA Enforcement and Compliance Programs [Podcast]

By Adam Turteltaub

What does the DOJ think about compliance programs?  What do they look for when meeting with a company?  What does this mean for how I think about compliance?

Daniel Kahn, the Chief of the FCPA Unit at the US Department of Justice, was generous enough to share his insights into these issues and many others in this podcast.  Listen in as he addresses several topics that compliance professionals are eager to better understand.  Some highlights of his talk include:

  • When it comes to corruption prosecutions, don’t only think about the US government. Recognize that multiple foreign governments may be involved, and with multiple approaches.  Amongst other things, it could affect your decision of disclosing not just to the DOJ, but prosecutors from other countries as well
  • The DOJ’s FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy has been formalized, and a great deal of emphasis has been placed on compliance programs. The impact of the policy can be seen in various settlements and enforcement actions.
  • Because compliance is risk- and company-specific, the compliance program should reflect the company’s unique situation. It’s not enough to say what the program looks like, you should be able to articulate why it looks that way and demonstrate a well-thought-out, targeted approach.
  • When presenting data on effectiveness, it’s not enough just to show, for example, the number of helpline calls. You need to show what happened as a result of them:  Were they investigated? What categories did they fall into?  What was the organization’s response?
  • While obtaining a certification for your compliance program can be perceived positively as a demonstration of a company’s good faith efforts, it is not a proxy for the Department of Justice doing its own evaluation of the compliance program

Listen in to hear the full interview and all of his insights.