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Clarity or Confusion: New DOJ Guidance for Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs

May 02, 2019

By The Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice Group

On April 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division released an updated version of its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, which provides guidance to prosecutors in evaluating a corporation's compliance program. The announcement and publication of the updated evaluation guidance, while anticipated by many, came with no forewarning from DOJ. As such, the question remains: does the new guidance provide additional clarity or just increase confusion with regard to how federal prosecutors will evaluate corporate compliance programs? Upon close review, our assessment is that DOJ's 2019 update takes the next step in providing clarity and a structure to understand what DOJ expects in an effective compliance program.

  • The DOJ’s efforts were an important next step in providing clarity and a structure to understand how the DOJ views an effective compliance program.

  • The 2019 Guidance provides transparency to those seeking to develop an effective compliance program.