Richard Craig Smith, Michael C. Pacella, Fatema Merchant and John E. Kelly
December 2010 view as PDF
On Nov. 1, 2010, the most recent amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual came into effect. The amendments, which were promulgated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and submitted to Congress, do not reflect a sea change in the way in which corporations are evaluated or sentenced under Chapter 8 of the guidelines. However, they do provide important guidance to corporations in designing and evaluating the effectiveness of corporate compliance and ethics programs.
More specifically, the amendments reward companies that provide their chief compliance officers with direct reporting responsibility to the governing authority of the company, such as the board of directors, or a subgroup thereof, such as the audit committee. The amendments also promote self-reporting to, and cooperation with, the government as examples of effective remedial measures taken by companies when responding to criminal conduct.
In light of these new amendments, and in order to preserve potential sentencing reductions under the guidelines, companies should ensure that their chief compliance officer has direct reporting responsibilities...
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Richard Craig Smith
Michael C. Pacella
John E. Kelly