Consistency as a compliance best practice
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (hereinafter “DOJ”) released its 2020 Update to the DOJ’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (hereinafter the “2020 Update”). Since then, the impacts of this 2020 Update are discussed. Especially, the 2020 Update emphasizes the need for the corporate compliance function to ensure both consistency and fairness not only in monitoring investigations but also in monitoring the resulting discipline. One of the ways the 2020 Update emphasizes this is through tracking the investigations and the discipline that may come out of any investigation.
Companies often face the challenge that facts and circumstances are always different in every investigation, which is why it has to be ensured that discipline is applied consistently. If companies treat employees of one country differently in terms of discipline, gaps in a compliance program might ensue and thus, might give false liberties to certain countries. This is why the DOJ re-emphasized monitoring the investigations and ensuring consistent application of discipline as a critical factor in ensuring an effective compliance program.