Chapter 9. Building a World-Class Compliance Program: The Seven Steps in Practice (Part I)

"The time is always right to do what is right."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

For a long time, both Congress and the American public believed that the penalties imposed upon white-collar criminals and organizations were far too lenient as compared to other crimes. The original 1987 version of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (Guidelines) only covered the sentencing of individuals. A major gap remained concerning how organizations, such as corporations, partnerships, or other legally recognized forms of business would be treated if they committed crimes. Congress then directed the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) to study this sentencing disparity and promulgate a new set of guidelines specifically addressing organizational offenders. On May 1, 1991, the USSC officially promulgated the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO). They were later amended effective November 1, 2004 to provide even greater protection.

Chapter 8 of the FSGO covering organizational crime has been strengthened over the years, particularly by congressional directives authorizing the USSC to tackle particular issues, such as corporate crime. The amendments in 2004, coming in the wake of repeated instances of corporate scandal and a growing sentiment by the public that the problem must be dealt with, addressed the perceived need for improved compliance by organizations, as well as giving more direct guidance ...

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