Jeff Kaplan on 30 Years of the Sentencing Guidelines [Podcast]


Post By: Adam Turteltaub

For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a time before the US Federal sentencing Guidelines came into being and set the direction for compliance and ethics programs.

Jeff Kaplan, partner at the law firm Kaplan & Walker and longtime compliance leader remembers those pre-Guidelines times and in this podcast we discuss the changes that have come, didn’t happen and may yet occur with compliance programs.

Even after thirty years he reports that, in many ways, we are still getting started. While many organizations have developed robust compliance programs, a large number are still at the starting gate. In addition, many business people, particularly in management, tend to think of compliance as something less than sales, marketing or other departments, and not worthy of the investment.

A related challenge is what he called the “mission accomplished phenomenon”, which he defines as a tendency to see compliance as an event rather than an ongoing program.

Still, he sees the glass as something more than half filled and creating new challenges. For more developed programs, he believes, now is the time to maintain a sense of urgency and improve performance.

One approach he advocates for is a stronger embrace of the field of behavioral ethics. A part of social science, behavioral ethics illuminates what impacts our ethical decision-making and illuminates the biases which can lead to less than ethical decisions, even when there is intent to do the right thing.

Looking to the future, he sees more work being done in the area of incentives, a struggle with Artificial Intelligence, and more nanocompliance.

What is nanocompliance? Listen in to find out.