How DG Competition and U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division Hurt Compliance Efforts

Joseph Murphy, Feb 14, 2012

Compliance programs today are generally recognized as key weapons in the fight against corporate crime and wrongdoing. When the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”) in 1991 instituted a carrot and stick approach to promote programs, and set out a rigorous definition, this triggered a strong focus on making such programs effective. The understanding of such programs shifted dramatically, from mere codes and lawyer lectures, to requiring the use of a full range of management techniques to prevent and detect misconduct. Governments, following the USSG’s model, have used standards with structured flexibility to give strong guidance, but allow businesses the freedom to tailor their approaches.

This trend follows the recognition of a fundamental point: Effective programs utilize the same management tools and techniques that all organizations utilize when there is any task they value and want to achieve. This is how organizations get things done. Without this level of commitment, the message just does not effectively reach people in companies.

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