FCPA: The CCO and Crisis Management

“What, Me Worry?” is one of my favorite all-time slogans. Anyone who grew up on the 60s or 70s recognizes this comes from Alfred E. Neuman, the enigmatic face of Mad Magazine. While this phrase certainly had its uses for us teenagers back then, it is not a by-word for how the compliance practitioner needs to prepare for a compliance crisis, usually in the form of the discovery of a potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violation. Fortunately, Ileana Blanco has provided somewhat better guidance that than of my former guiding spirit. In the February 27, 2012 edition of the Texas Lawyer, in an article entitled “In-House Counsel’s Guide to Crisis Management”, Ms. Blanco detailed what she believes are the best practices for an in-house counsel in responding to a legal catastrophe.

Blanco correctly notes that disclosure of a legal catastrophe may come to a company in a variety of ways. It could be an anonymous hotline report, a disclosed whistleblower and a request from a government regulator or federal agency or through an internal control detection mechanism. Whatever the source of the information, Blanco believes that there are three key parts to any plan for crisis management.

Education

One of the roles of a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) is to educate management and the Board of Directors that a compliance crisis can occur, no matter what the state of its best practices compliance program. The key is how will the company respond? The CCO needs to coach management that a crisis will entail the following:

Business concern; Impacting financial performance and shareholders; Threats to future financial performance; Regulatory issues; Response to government investigations and internal investigations; and Shareholder, or perhaps other third party, litigation threats ...Zum vollständigen Artikel


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