Communicating with Regulators & Enforcement: Avoiding Pitfalls
At the SCCE Board Audit Compliance Committee Conference that took place September 24-25, 2018, James Rough (CHC, CFE, CCEP), President and Founder of SunHawk Consulting, moderated a panel discussion on best practices for organizations engaging with regulators and enforcement professionals. Participating Panelists: Chris Schrank, Special Agent in Charge, HHS Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Los Angeles Regional Office, and Christopher Cestaro, Assistant United States Attorney, Fraud Section, Assistant Chief FCPA Unit The theme of the panel was the importance of clear, respectful, complete and competent communication. All too often, company representatives directly or indirectly regard regulators and enforcement professionals as threats or unwelcome intruders. This emotionally charged response can often set up unhelpful barriers to proper and proactive communication with regulators and enforcement officials. It is important to understand the mindset of Regulators and Enforcement personnel. During the presentation, Chris Schrank clearly communicated that all violations of Federal Law could potentially trigger an investigation, even those with a small monetary threshold. Companies should strongly consider self-reporting violations in order to help save time and treasure. Below are some commonly requested documents during an FCPA investigation: Documentation that establishes whether an internal investigation is being conducted, Documentation that establishes what data is being collected, Applicable data to the incident, including bank records, and Organizational charts A propos the recent increase in FCPA Settlements since that pilot program began in April 2016—Based on the increase in voluntary disclosures, the DOJ in late 2017 announced a revised FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, which includes additional benefits for organizations that voluntarily disclose FCPA violations.