Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Today, we came across an intesting blog entry from Compliance 360 on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG). If you're following ISO 19600, you will get some extra inspiration on the work that you may be involved in which addresses a Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) program initiative from a work excellence perspective. Let us know your thoughts on how you're addressing the FSG.

The United States Sentencing Commission voted on April 7, 2010 to modify the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for organizations, including the provisions that set forth the attributes of effective compliance and ethics programs. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which go into effect on November 1, 2010, a convicted organization may be eligible for a reduced sentence if it has established an effective compliance and ethics program. The Guidelines describe the key attributes that a compliance and ethics program must exhibit for the organization to be eligible to receive benefits such as reduced fines, reduced sentence or deferred prosecution. Beyond the potential benefits related to prosecution and conviction, the key attributes within the Guidelines have become widely used by organizations seeking to proactively establish effective compliance and ethics programs. Satisfying the requirements for an effective compliance and ethics program is now widely believed to create a number of additional benefits including protection of the corporate brand by reducing the likelihood of bad events and minimizing the consequences should bad events occur. The seven elements are summarized as follows:

1. Establish Policies, Procedures and Controls

2. Exercise Effective Compliance and Ethics Oversight

3. Exercise Due Diligence to Avoid Delegation of Authority to Unethical Individuals

4. Communicate and Educate Employees on Compliance and Ethics Programs

5. Monitor and Audit Compliance and Ethics Programs for Effectiveness

6. Ensure Consistent Enforcement and Discipline of Violations

7. Respond Appropriately to Incidents and Take Steps to Prevent Future Incidents

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