anyone on the board of directors, and
how often do they meet with the board
· Do the compliance and relevant control
personnel in the field have reporting lines
· How has the compliance function
compared with other strategic functions
in the company in terms of stature,
compensation levels, rank/title, reporting
line, resources, and access to key
· What role has compliance played
in the company’s strategic and
Similarly, in the FCPA Corporate
Enforcement Policy, some of the criteria for an
effective program that are listed include:
· The authority and independence of the
· The compensation and promotion of the
personnel involved in compliance, in view
of their role, responsibilities, performance,
and other appropriate factors; and
· The reporting structure of
Because these questions are critically
important to understanding the efficacy of a
C&E program, it seems likely that the focus
on these types of program attributes will
continue. And—while this may just be my
natural optimism at work—it also seems
likely that this focus by the government on the
independence and authority of a program will
lead, in turn, to an elevation in the status of
C&E programs and the stature of C&E officers.
The role of compliance in supporting ethical
Another area of focus in the coming
months—in light of the ethical failures that
we have witnessed in Hollywood, the media,
be the role of compliance in supporting
ethical leadership in organizations. At least
one hopes that the ethical failures of late
2017 will be a catalyst for the profession to
consider how we can best foster appropriate
behavior in our organizational leaders, and
what should be the role of C&E in selecting
and supporting leaders. The extraordinary
number of sexual harassment scandals also
seems likely to lead to renewed focus on
cultivating speak-up cultures and on non-retaliation policies. And it seems likely—and
necessary—that there be additional focus on
how to create an anti-harassment and anti-bullying culture in organizations.
This spate of very public improprieties
should also cause both organizational
leadership and the C&E profession to
consider how we can move beyond
distribution of policies and check-the-box
training in the anti-harassment field to
a better understanding of not only how
programs can be designed to reach hearts
and minds, but also how we can better
measure effectiveness in our programs.
Making predictions—especially about
the future—can be a perilous exercise. I
nonetheless feel quite confident in predicting
that 2018 will be an eventful year in
compliance and ethics.
1. Department of Justice: “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance
Programs.” Available at http://bit.ly/2lEphmk.
2. Offices of the United States Attorneys: “FCPA Corporate
Enforcement Policy” November 2017. Available at
3. Serious Fraud Office: “Rolls-Royce PLC” January 17, 2017.
Available at http://bit.ly/2macN5i.
4. Skadden: “New French Anti-Corruption Legal Framework”
December 20, 2016. Available at http://bit.ly/2AqKvZN.
5. Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department:
“Improving enforcement options for serious corporate crime”
March 2017. Available at http://bit.ly/2zEADu9.
6. Government of Canada: “Consultation: Expanding Canada’s
toolkit to address corporate wrongdoing” November 20, 2017.
Available at http://bit.ly/2j9M Tgi.
Rebecca Walker ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is Partner at Kaplan &
Walker LLP in Santa Monica, CA.