Evaluating Your Corporate Compliance Program

Evaluating Your Corporate Compliance Program

Corporate compliance programs are designed to prevent and detect misconduct and to ensure that corporate activities are conducted in compliance with all applicable regulations, rules, and criminal and civil laws.

Evaluating Your Corporate Compliance Program

A good corporate compliance program will involve a number of critical elements, including employee training focused on adherence to the compliance program policies, encouragement of internal reporting, and periodic reviews of the program.

Other components of a good corporate compliance program include:

  • Written corporate policies and procedures: Code of Conduct and Compliance Policies & Procedures.
  • Comprehensive and ongoing Code of Conduct and Compliance training.
  • Designated corporate compliance officer.
  • Designated corporate compliance committee.
  • Clearly articulated method for confidential reporting and internal investigations.
  • System for internal monitoring and auditing.
  • Enforcement of corporate standards through well-publicized disciplinary guidelines.

The foregoing list is by no means exhaustive. Contact our firm to conduct an in-depth review of your current corporate compliance program.

Federal Prosecutors Evaluating a Corporate Compliance Program

The existence of a corporate compliance program is one of the factors that federal prosecutors must consider when deciding whether to bring criminal charges against a corporation, to negotiate a plea agreement, or to avoid prosecution with a Non-Prosecution or Deferred Prosecution agreement.

While the Department of Justice does not have specific requirements regarding corporate compliance programs, the United States Attorney’s Manual guides prosecutors to ask:

  • Is the corporation’s compliance program well designed?
  • Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith?
  • Does the corporation’s compliance program work?
  • Has the corporation established corporate governance mechanisms that can effectively detect and prevent misconduct?

(USAM) §9-28.800. The prosecutor must also consider the comprehensiveness of the program, the extent and pervasiveness of the criminal activity, the number and level of the corporate employees involves, the seriousness, duration, and frequency of the misconduct, and any remedial actions taken by the corporation. Id.

Adherence to Your Corporate Compliance Program

A well-designed corporate compliance program can help your company prevent potential problems and reduce the likelihood of governmental enforcement actions. In the event that your company becomes the subject of a corporate criminal investigation, demonstrating adherence to your corporate compliance plan may help reduce criminal penalties and bolster negotiation power to avoid prosecution.

Contact us to review or design your corporate compliance program. If your corporation has been indicted or is under investigation for allegations of corporate malfeasance, contact us to zealously defend your corporation’s rights.

Ashley D. Adams, PLC is an Arizona-based criminal defense law firm specializing in white collar criminal defense of corporations and individuals. Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 to schedule a case evaluation.

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The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.