The role of the compliance professional and the compliance function in a corporation has steadily grown in stature and prestige over the years. When it came to the corporate compliance function, 2012 FCPA Guidance, under Hallmark Three of the Ten Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program, simply noted the government would “consider whether the company devoted adequate staffing and resources to the compliance program given the size, structure, and risk profile of the business.”

This Hallmark was significantly expanded in both the 2019 Guidance and the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy. And in so doing, the DOJ has increased the prestige, authority and role of both the corporate compliance function. The 2019 Guidance has four general areas of inquiry around the corporate compliance function. (1) What is the seniority and stature of the compliance function within an organization? (2) What are the experience and stature of the compliance personnel with an organization? (3) What is the funding and resources made available to the compliance function? (4) How much autonomy does the compliance function have to report to the Board of Directors?

Three key takeaways:

  1. How is compliance treated in the budget process?
  2. Has your compliance function had any decisions over-ridden by senior management?
  3. Beware outsourcing of compliance as any such contractor must have access to company documents and personnel.