Compliance plans should be continuously updated, as compliance programs are intended to be active programs.
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Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released new criteria to evaluate compliance programs.
Some of the things the DOJ said that they will investigate, when determining the effectiveness of a compliance plan, include:
- Analysis and remediation of underlying misconduct,
- Senior and middle management,
- Autonomy and resources,
- Policies and procedures,
- Risk assessment,
- Training and communications,
- Confidential reporting and investigation,
- Incentives and disciplinary measures,
- Continuous improvement, periodic testing and review,
- Third party management, and
- Mergers and acquisitions.
We help our clients evaluate and improve their existing compliance programs, to best allow for their success.
The DOJ has indicated evaluations are individualized, however the above list is often a helpful place to begin.
As you can see from the list of topic areas, it is essential that your compliance program is routinely evaluated for effectiveness and that your staff is trained regularly on compliance issues.
All too often, compliance programs are simply forgotten binders on a shelf. Your compliance plan must be active – your policies and procedures must be tailored to your practice and current, your staff must be regularly trained and aware of how to report potential issues, and you must conduct risk assessments and periodic testing.
Compliance must be a focus of your practice, not an afterthought.
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