Deputy AG Rosenstein – We Should Never Use The Threat Of Federal

first_imgRosenstein continued:“Corporate enforcement and settlement demands must always have a sound basis in the evidence and the law.We should never use the threat of federal enforcement unfairly to extract settlements.We should reward prompt reporting of wrongdoing.And we should ensure that our policies and practices focus on deterrence, which is the primary goal of law enforcement.[…]Despite the Department’s investigatory tools and our efforts to build relationships with private enterprise, some companies are reluctant to report misconduct to law enforcement.We recognize that managers must consider many factors in deciding whether to voluntarily disclose a problem to law enforcement.  There are legal, financial, and other concerns.[…]Compliance measures and cooperation might be steps that go beyond the minimum requirements of law.  But like our Department, you should be thinking about the long-term.You need to protect your brand.The Department notices and evaluates carefully whether a corporate compliance program is applied faithfully.[…]It is important to make note of the progress of the business community in developing and augmenting corporate compliance programs.  The sophistication of compliance measures and tools continues to improve.But no measures will be successful in deterring all criminals.[…] FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. We are establishing a Working Group on Corporate Enforcement and Accountability, which will offer recommendations on promoting individual accountability and corporate cooperation.[…]The Department is evaluating how to reward companies that demonstrate true commitment to upholding the rule of law.” Yet another speech by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to pass along (see here and here for other recent speeches).Yesterday, Rosenstein deliver this morning keynote address at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. Among other things, Rosenstein stated: “Corporate enforcement and settlement demands must always have a sound basis in the evidence and the law. We should never use the threat of federal enforcement unfairly to extract settlements.”Was this merely an unobjectionable forward-looking statement or perhaps a subtle criticism of the Obama administration during which certain people felt that the DOJ often did just that? For instance, see here for a prior post highlighting former Deputy AG David Ogden’s speech criticizing the DOJ’s leverage-based enforcement approach as well as this FCPA Flash podcast episode during which Ogden further elaborates on the issues.Regardless of the best answer, talk to FCPA practitioners and in-house counsel and many will tell you in a candid private moment that FCPA enforcement is often viewed in this way.In the speech, Rosenstein also spoke about streamlining DOJ policy, voluntary disclosure, the challenges of compliance and how the DOJ “is evaluating how to reward companies that demonstrate true commitment to upholding the rule of law.”Relevant excerpts are highlighted below.“In the Department of Justice, our employees need to understand and abide by regulations, guidelines and policies.  Clear policies promote consistency across the Department’s many offices and tens of thousands of decision-making employees. Consistency promotes fairness and enhances respect for the rule of law.But the Department’s own internal policies are spread among various sources. That diverts precious time and resources away from fighting crime.  It also makes it more difficult to achieve consistency.We have manuals, memoranda, speeches, and articles restating and interpreting the policies. And every time a Department official speaks, it generates speculation and commentary about how the remarks affect the policies.Another challenge is that there are many outdated policy memos floating around. Their status as guiding policy is not always clear, particularly to people outside the Department.And too often, Department policy statements use three sentences to say what could be said in one[…]In order to promote efficiency and consistency in the Department of Justice, my office is working on a project to collect outstanding policy memoranda and incorporate them, where appropriate, into our operating manual. And we will keep it concise.” Learn More & Registerlast_img read more