What is the role of corporate monitorships? Is a corporate monitorship to be feared if your company is in the middle of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)? Can a monitor be used in a manner other than post-settlement, such as in a pro-active manner to help forestall a government enforcement action, fine or penalty? If your company is in the market for a monitor what are some of the indicia you should consider? Finally there are lots of rumors about the alleged exorbitant costs of monitorship? Is this an urban myth or is it based on facts? If the former, what can a company do to protect itself. I will explore these and many other questions in a new podcast series I am putting on sponsored by Affiliated Monitors, Inc. (AMI).

In this five-part podcast series, I am exploring the role of corporate monitorships in compliance and some of the key issues which companies and compliance professionals may face in dealing with monitors. I am joined in this exploration by Vincent DiCianni, founder and President of AMI and Eric Feldman, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs for AMI. Today, we consider what is a corporate monitorship?

DiCianni explained that most generally, a corporate monitorship is “an individual or team of individuals that are independent of an entity that is subject to the monitoring group bring a level of expertise perhaps in that subject matter that has to be overseen.” The person or group would have the ability bring a level of expertise, training and learning to any task where a true independent is needed to assess the validity of the required criteria, as that criteria is defined in the four corners of the relevant document. In the FCPA world that could be a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) or other document.

Monitors generally report to an oversight agency or regulator but work with a company or individual. The cost of the monitorship is borne by the company being overseen. It is a unique model that has been created where an unrelated, independent private person or entity who is still being overseen by a government agency or regulator monitoring a company but with specific terms for that third party. It is spelled out in the settlement documents which for the basis of the monitorship.

Another key for a successful corporate monitorship is in the area of subject matter expertise. Obviously first-rate knowledge of compliance and ethics is critical but as monitoring is used across multiple industries and businesses, a wider variety of technical experience is required. Monitors have been used in health care, financial services, police department just to name a few. A wide variety of subject matter experts may be needed to be a part of the monitorship team to successfully complete the assignment.

For more information on how an independent monitor can help improve your company’s ethics and compliance program, visit our sponsor Affiliated Monitors at www.affiliatedmonitors.com.