The FCPA Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Articles By Topic

By Topic: Audit Committees

  • From Vol. 5 No.19 (Sep. 28, 2016)

    Experts from PwC Discuss Compliance Audits and Common Missteps

    Compliance auditing is a critical component of an effective anti-corruption compliance program, recognized both by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the government’s FCPA Resource Guide. A recent Strafford program, “FCPA Compliance Audits: Lessons From Recent Investigations,” discussed regulators’ expectations regarding compliance auditing, the process for scoping and conducting a compliance audit and common audit pitfalls. David A. Wilson, a partner at Thompson Hine, led the discussion, which featured Sulaksh Shah, a partner at PwC, and James Gargas, a director at that firm. This article discusses some of the key takeaways from the program. See also our interview series, “Best Practices for Performing Compliance Program Assessments: Pamela Passman of CREATe.org” (Apr. 6, 2016); “Susan Markel of AlixPartners” (Feb. 24, 2016); and “Jeffrey Kaplan of Kaplan & Walker” (Nov. 4, 2015).

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  • From Vol. 5 No.4 (Feb. 24, 2016)

    Best Practices for Performing Compliance Program Assessments:  An Interview With Susan Markel of AlixPartners

    Last week, both the SEC and DOJ settled with Massachusetts-based software firm PTC and, as part of the non-prosecution agreement, the DOJ once again outlined what it expects from compliance programs, including a “periodic risk-based review.” The DOJ recommended that such reviews assess the risks the company faces but also look at the anti-corruption policies and procedures to ensure their continued effectiveness. These program assessments can take different shapes and forms, and can involve a variety of in-house and outside experts. To get an auditor’s perspective on program assessments, The FCPA Report spoke with Susan Markel of AlixPartners about the benefits of program assessments and how teams of lawyers and auditors can work together to perform such assessments effectively and efficiently. See “Best Practices for Performing Compliance Program Assessments: An Interview With Jeffrey Kaplan of Kaplan & Walker” (Nov. 4, 2015).

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  • From Vol. 3 No.7 (Apr. 2, 2014)

    Audit Committee Responsibilities Before, During and After Internal Investigations: Remediating and Disclosing the Investigation to the Government and the Public (Part Four of Four)

    The end of an internal investigation does not mean the end of work on the matter for a company and the audit committee.  When an internal corruption investigation is completed, “the board should have a full briefing as to the findings, along with recommendations as to what next steps the organization should take,” William Olsen, leader of the Global Investigations and Anti-Corruption Services group at Grant Thornton LLP, told The FCPA Report.  The board and the company must make a series of critical and difficult decisions relating to, among other things, voluntary disclosure to the government, remediation measures and public disclosures.  The role the audit committee should play in these issues can be hard to define.  The FCPA Report is publishing a four-part article series on audit committee responsibilities throughout an internal investigation. This final article in the series suggests best practices for an audit committee after the “meat” of the investigation is done, including whether and how to self-report and other crucial post-investigation decisions on remediation and SEC disclosures.  The first article in the series, “Five Steps to Take Before the Investigation Begins,” detailed the committee's responsibilities, the risks and liabilities it faces and steps it should take before the need to investigate arises. The second article, “Determining When and How to Proceed,” discussed vetting complaints for the audit committee, determining when an investigation is needed and who should lead the investigation. The third article, “Retaining Counsel, Gathering Information and Documenting the Investigation,” discussed what the company and audit committee should do when initiating an investigation; when the company should retain outside counsel and other experts; how the company should gather information relevant to the investigation; and whether and how the company should document the investigation.

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  • From Vol. 3 No.6 (Mar. 19, 2014)

    Audit Committee Responsibilities Before, During and After Internal Investigations: Retaining Counsel, Gathering Information and Documenting the Investigation (Part Three of Four)

    Legal and compliance departments, along with management, usually have hands-on roles to play during an internal anti-corruption investigation, but the audit committee, which often oversees the investigation, can have a more indeterminate one.  How involved should the audit committee be in formulating and implementing an effective investigation strategy?  The FCPA Report is publishing a four-part article series examining audit committee responsibilities and best practices before, during and after internal investigations.  This, the third article in the series, discusses what the company and audit committee should do when initiating an investigation; when the company should retain outside counsel and other experts; how the company should gather information relevant to the investigation; and whether and how the company should document the investigation.  The first article in the series, “Five Steps to Take Before the Investigation Begins,” detailed the responsibilities of the audit committee, the risks and liabilities the audit committee faces and steps the audit committee should take before the need to investigate arises.  The second article, “Determining When and How to Proceed,” discussed vetting complaints for the audit committee, determining when an investigation is needed and who should lead the investigation.  The fourth article will discuss the audit committee’s responsibilities concerning self-reporting, remediation and SEC disclosures.  See also “How to Conduct an Anti-Corruption Investigation: Ten Factors to Consider at the Outset (Part One of Two),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2. No. 25 (Dec. 18, 2013); “Developing and Implementing the Investigation Plan (Part Two of Two),” Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 8, 2014).

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  • From Vol. 3 No.5 (Mar. 5, 2014)

    Audit Committee Responsibilities Before, During and After an Anti-Corruption Investigation: Determining When and How to Proceed (Part Two of Four)

    Involving the audit committee in appropriate internal investigations helps ensure that the investigation is conducted properly and the company and its employees achieve the best resolution possible.  Determining the audit committee’s optimal role can be difficult, however – a company must decide what issues warrant the audit committee’s attention and then determine the audit committee’s proper place in the actual investigation.  The FCPA Report is examining the audit committee’s responsibilities in anti-corruption investigations in a four-part article series.  This, the second article in the series, discusses vetting complaints for the audit committee, determining when an investigation is needed and who should lead that investigation.  The first article in the series, “Five Steps to Take Before the Investigation Begins,” detailed the responsibilities of the audit committee, the risks and liabilities the audit committee faces and steps the audit committee should take before the need to investigate arises.  The third article will discuss best practices at the outset of the investigation, the wisdom and timing of retaining outside counsel, the information-gathering process and the need to document the investigation.  The fourth article will discuss the audit committee’s responsibilities concerning self-reporting, remediation and SEC disclosures.  See also “A Guide to Disclosing Corruption Investigations in SEC Filings (Part Three of Four),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 11 (May 29, 2013).

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  • From Vol. 3 No.4 (Feb. 19, 2014)

    Audit Committee Responsibilities Before, During and After Anti-Corruption Investigations: Five Steps to Take Before the Investigation Begins (Part One of Four)

    The audit committee of a multi-national company has a front-and-center seat for an anti-corruption investigation and the host of unwelcome consequences that can accompany that investigation: multi-million dollar legal bills, media scrutiny, civil litigation and potential civil and criminal sanctions for the company.  The role of an audit committee member is a high-stakes one – he or she can be instrumental in putting the company in the best position if a potential violation is detected and an investigation is needed and can also be held personally liable if a serious violation occurs.  In a four-part series, The FCPA Report is examining fundamental questions regarding the audit committee’s role in internal investigations.  This article, the first in the series, outlines the responsibilities of the audit committee, describes the risks and liabilities the audit committee faces and articulates five steps the audit committee should take before there is cause for investigation.  See also “Five Tools Every Chief Compliance Officer Needs for Effective FCPA Compliance: Title, Authority, Access, Budget and Culture (Part One of Two),” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 7 (Apr. 3, 2013); Part Two of Two, Vol. 2, No. 8 (Apr. 17, 2013).

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