Below in an excerpt from an article authored by Robinson+Cole Manufacturing Industry team lawyers Edward J. Heath and Kevin Daly with Sasha Glassman, assistant general counsel for global materials manufacturing company Rogers Corporation, that was published on

On June 1, 2020, the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a revised version of its Guidelines for the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (Guidelines). The Guidelines, first issued in 2017 and updated in 2019, serve a critical function in federal law enforcement.

Federal prosecutors are instructed by various internal and external sources to evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of a company’s compliance program as a part of determining whether to pursue criminal charges against that company and its personnel, as well as what kinds of resolutions of those charges may be appropriate.

The Guidelines instruct prosecutors on how to conduct that evaluation. In doing so, the Guidelines provide insight into what measures the DOJ believes are likely to deter and mitigate violations, and, in turn, may earn the company more positive treatment by prosecutors. In-house counsel and compliance officers undoubtedly will carefully consider these latest revisions and assess whether their companies’ compliance programs are up to date.

Although the Guidelines apply to all forms of compliance programs, one of the most important areas of consideration for companies doing business internationally is the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The FCPA is the federal law that prohibits US companies from paying, offering, or promising anything of value to a foreign government official to obtain or retain business opportunities. The FCPA is a major enforcement priority for the DOJ and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as the numbers demonstrate: In both 2018 and 2019, the federal government recovered more than US$2.9 billion through FCPA enforcement. Read the full article.