The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released guidance, “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,”
that contains sample topics and questions that
the DOJ may use in evaluating a corporate
compliance program in the context of
a criminal investigation.1 Although
the DOJ emphasizes that the ques-
tions “form neither a checklist nor a
formula,” they represent key areas
that the DOJ has “frequently found
relevant in evaluating a corporate
The DOJ guidance covers eleven
“important topics,” with each topic broken
down into subparts containing sample
questions. Many of the questions focus
on senior management’s participation in
compliance efforts and how compliance
functions are integrated into the com-
pany’s business operations. With more
than 100 compliance-related questions,
the guidance can serve as a resource for
organizations seeking to review and
enhance their compliance programs and
educate senior leadership on the DOJ’s
expectations for compliance programs.
Topics covered and some
Analysis and Remediation of
· Root Cause Analysis: What is the
root cause analysis of the misconduct? Who was involved in producing
· Prior Indications: Did the company
have opportunities to detect the
misconduct, for example through
complaints, previous investigations,
or audits? What is the analysis of why
those opportunities were missed?
· Remediation: What changes have
been made to reduce the risk of
similar issues in the future?
by Pamela Del Negro, JD, CHC
DOJ guidance: Focus on
and business operations
» The DOJ released sample questions it may ask when evaluating the effectiveness of a compliance program.
» The 100+ questions cover 11 topics that are “important” for the DOJ.
» Topics addressed include third-party risks and demonstrated commitment to compliance by senior and middle managers.
» Many of the questions focus on how compliance functions are integrated into business operations.
» The questions are a useful tool to evaluate a compliance program and educate board members and senior management on how a
compliance program is evaluated by the DOJ.
Pamela Del Negro ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is Counsel in the Hartford, CT office of