Judith Alison Lee on the New OFAC Compliance Guidance [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

May 2, 2019 saw the release by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of a watershed document:  A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments.  As Gibson & Dunn partner Judith Alison Lee explains in this podcast, this is the first time that OFAC has issued guidance for compliance programs.  With its publication, organizations with OFAC compliance programs will find a valuable new resource, and those without a program will have a harder time explaining to the treasury why they should still receive a reduction in their fines.

The contents of the new OFAC guidance should not be surprising to anyone familiar with sanctions compliance, Ms. Lee explains.  OFAC expects companies to be able to demonstrate senior management commitment to compliance, a risk assessment, risk-based approach, internal controls and training of employees.

The real challenge will be, as with other compliance efforts, having the controls integrated into business processes.  One business process that OFAC will be paying particular attention to:  the onboarding of new customers.  Businesses are expected to do what it takes to identify the customers’ owners and see if they are listed as a designated party or entity.  That’s much more granular than the typical FCPA-third party screening.

Listen in to this podcast to learn more about what OFAC has to say about compliance programs.


  1. I live in Gambia were I working for Anti Corruption Coalition Gambia. I have proposed compliance program to both public and private sector. So we are looking forward at this moment in which the government of Gambia is reforming its policies. The information provided on your podcast is so useful . We like to establish collaborative on the near future.

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