Featured Articles:

Ethics and Compliance not Compliance … Oh, and Ethics

I have a pet peeve in the compliance world.  It may be symbolic; it may be petty at the same time; and it may just be a function of my old(er) age.  I apologize in advance for this posting, i.e. this rant.  Call it my moment on the front lawn yelling at passing cars in the neighborhood.  My moment of frustration. Let’s start with two...

DOJ’s Antitrust Division Begins Trials to Block Two Large Mergers

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division continues to push its aggressive civil and criminal agenda.  While the Division has lost several high-profile criminal cases in the chicken processing industry and the labor market, the Antitrust Division just recently started civil trials seeking to block two proposed mergers or acquisitions. The first case involves United Health Group’s proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare, a provider of health insurance...

Episode 242 — LRN Report on Assessing Corporate Culture — Interview of Ty Francis, LRN Chief Advisory Officer

LRN has released a new and informative report on Assessing Corporate Culture. LRN’s report provides invaluable guidance and practical steps for corporate boards to lead in the management, oversight and monitoring of corporate culture. A link to the report is below, along with an earlier LRN report on Benchmarking Ethical Culture. In this Episode, Michael Volkov interviews Ty Francis, Chief Advisory Officer at LRN, concerning...

Assessing Your Audit and Testing Program (Part IV of IV)

Continuous improvement of a compliance program requires robust auditing and testing.  The Justice Department and regulatory agencies have articulated a number of key issues and principles to assist CCOs and Internal Auditors in this area.  It is likely to become an area for DOJ and regulatory agency focus — what steps does the company take to review its compliance program to ensure that it is...

Compliance Program Monitoring: Leveraging Data and Analytics (Part III of IV)

Chief compliance officers are visionaries.  They define a vision with multiple objectives and then they execute on that vision.  At all times, CCOs have to maintain that vision and adjust as circumstances change.  By definition, CCOs who have a line-of-sight across the organization must define their role and objectives through this holistic vision.  Frankly, in the absence of such a vision, CCOs will lose  their...

How to Monitor a Compliance Program? (Part II of IV)

Frankly, this is a topic that requires more than a single blog-post.  Books and podcasts can be organized around this topic with helpful ideas and guidance.  In this respect, I will try to synthesize some important ideas that may be helpful.  We all know that many companies “monitor” their third-party risks, for example, by subscribing to data services as part of risk-management platform that notify...

Compliance Program Monitoring, Testing, Audits, Assessments and Continuous Improvement (Part I of IV)

Chief compliance officers have a lot of issues to balance on their plate.  Experienced CCOs know that it is not possible to complete every objective, balance every changing risk, and continuously improve their respective compliance programs on a real-time basis.   If you review the Department of Justice’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, there is more than a mouthful of requirements designed to ensure that CCOs...

Russian Sanctions Update: Five Months into the War in Ukraine

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, re-joins us for a posting on the current state of sanctions against Russia. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] It’s been five months since Russia invaded the Ukraine, and the United States has imposed a succession of increasingly severe economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus. A recent study published by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Professor in the Practice...

Episode 241 — Continuous Improvement, Testing and Auditing of Your Ethics and Compliance Program

The Justice Department and various regulatory agencies continue to emphasize the importance of continuous improvement, testing and review as part of robust assessment procedures in an effective compliance program.  The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has specifically stated that a sanctions compliance program should include “a comprehensive, independent, and objective testing or audit function” so that a company can determine “how their program[]...

OFAC Enforcement Action: Double Check Your Screening Tools

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at the Volkov Law Group, re-joins us for a posting on a recent OFAC enforcement action. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] Some may dismiss OFAC’s recent announcement last week that it issued a Finding of Violation to MidFirst Bank for violations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators sanctions regulations as insignificant because OFAC did not impose any civil monetary penalties,...