How does Fahrenheit 451 foretell non-compliance regulation in Germany? Tom and Jay brave the surge in Covid cases by staying safe at home to tell the tale. They are back to look at top compliance articles and stories which caught their eye this week.

  1. OFAC focusing on screening errors. Mike Volkov with a 3-part series on Corruption Crime and Compliance. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
  2. There is no single panacea for stopping corruption. Matthew Stephenson in GAB.
  3. 5 top steps for data transfer after Schrems III. Neil Hodge in Compliance Week. (sub req’d)
  4. What’s the cost of non-compliance? For Wells Fargo, a staggering $15.8 Billion. Matt Kelly explores on Radical Compliance.
  5. Fahrenheit 451, compliance and German regulators? Rosemary Lark considers in the FCPA Blog.
  6. Coronavirus Comeback planner. Navex Global’s Ethics and Compliance Matters.
  7. A compliance approach to excessive force in policing. Joseph Murphy and Emil Moschella in NYU’s Compliance and Enforcement
  8. Crisis preparedness and the BOD? Joydip Day explores in CCI.
  9. This month on The Compliance Life, I am joined by Louis Sapirman. In Part 1, we looked at Louis personal and professional journey into compliance.
  10. AMI week on Compliance and Coronavirus as Maurice Gilbert discusses the compliance hiring scene Covid-19, Andy Goldstrom on business sustainability; and Laura Petrolino on storytelling for communications.
  11. On the Compliance Podcast Network, Tom begins a new month on 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program, this month focusing on the role of the Board in compliance. This week saw the following offerings: Monday-legal obligations of the BOD; Tuesday– prudent discharge of BOD obligations; Wednesday-BOD Compliance Committees; Thursday- OIG guidance for BODs; and Friday-Compliance expertise on the BOD. The month of July is being sponsored by Affiliated Monitors. Note 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program now has its own iTunes channel. If you want to binge out and listen to only these episodes, click here.
  12. Join Jay and Tom at Converge20. Convercent’s top compliance conference is going virtual this year. Check at the agenda and register here.

Tom Fox is the Compliance Evangelist and can be reached at Jay Rosen is Mr. Monitor and can be reached at

In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Empath which aired on December 6, 1968, Star Date 5121.0.

Story Synopsis

When the Enterprise stops by to pick up scientific staff Linke and Ozaba from the planet Menarian 2 (which is in orbit around a star which is about to supernova), Kirk, Bones, and Spock discover the station has been abandoned for three months. Meanwhile, Scott reports a massive solar flare measuring 3.51 on the “Ritter” scale. Kirk informs Scott to move the Enterprise to a safe distance until the flare passes, putting it out of communication range for 74.1 solar hours.

The landing party reviews the record tapes to see what has become of the scientific staff. It the tape, a high-pitched whine begins, and Linke and Ozaba are whisked away one at a time while attempting to cover their ears. After reviewing the tape, Kirk and company are subjected to the same high-pitched whine and are transported underground to the chambers of the Vions, 121.32 m below the surface.

Here, they discover a timid, mute, woman. McCoy starts to approach, but Kirk holds him back. When McCoy protests that she seems harmless enough, Spock reminds him that “The sand bats of Maynard 4 appear to be inanimate rock crystals, doctor, before they attack.” Kirk wonders how he will communicate with the woman unless she is a telepath. However, Spock notes that this is unlikely, since 98% of known telepathic species send as well as receive thoughts. McCoy dubs the woman Gem.

While Kirk is trying to question Gem, two Vions appear. When Kirk tries to secure freedom for the landing party, the Vions trap McCoy, Spock, and Kirk in a force field which draws energy from their bodies. The Vions then vanish, releasing the landing party. Gem then touches Kirk’s forehead, transfers the wound there to her own head, and heals it, revealing herself to be an empath.

Spock reports that his tricorder now reveals a collection of machinery which did not appear to be there before. When they go to investigate, they discover Linke and Ozaba encased in plastic cylinders. In addition, there are three empty cylinders, labelled “Subject McCoy,” “Subject Kirk,” and “Subject Spock.” One of the Vions then reappears, but Kirk distracts him while Spock nerve pinches him. However, the Vion is only pretending to have fainted, and the landing party does exactly what the Vions intended when they head up to the planet surface.

On the surface, the Vions create an illusion that Scotty is on the surface with a search party. This distracts McCoy and Spock while the Vions study Kirk and offer to let the others go if Kirk offers himself as a “specimen.” The Vions torture Kirk without apparent reason. They then let him go, but Kirk finds that McCoy and Spock are still subterranean prisoners. Gem cures Kirk’s injuries but then faints from the strain.

Although Kirk does not yet realize it, it turns out that the Vions are testing the empath Gem to see if she will sacrifice herself by saving members of the Enterprise’s crew. The Vions have the ability to save the inhabitants of only one out of several planets doomed to destruction, and wish to see if Gem’s planet is worth saving. The Vions require another test, and give Kirk the choice of selecting McCoy, who will likely be killed or Spock, who will likely suffer permanent brain damage. While Bones is bemoaning being trapped underground, he reports “I’m a doctor, not a coal miner.” Bones tranquilizes Kirk to give him rest, but Spock points out that he is now in command and will select himself. McCoy then sneaks up on Spock and tranquilizes him as well, leaving only himself when the Vions come for a volunteer.

When Spock awakens, he adjusts a control device he has obtained from one of the Vions to operate using his own brainwaves, and transports Kirk, himself, and Gem to the torture chamber. They find McCoy is tied up and nearly dead, with almost no pulse, internal injuries, bleeding in the chest and abdomen, hemorrhage in the spleen and liver, and 70% kidney failure. Gem attempts to save McCoy but stops before she kills herself in the process. She tries again, but McCoy pushes her away.

The Vions appear and watch the spectacle, locking Spock and Kirk inside force fields. Spock meanwhile manages to release himself from the force field by suppressing all emotion. He takes one of the control devices away from the Vions but is unable to use it to cure McCoy. Kirk secures freedom and a promise to save Gem’s planet when he convinces the Vions that Gem has already earned her planet’s survival. He also accuses the Vions of being hypocritical by causing pain by lacking the very emotions they are trying to evince from Gem. They agree, heal McCoy, and depart with Gem.

Fun Fact 

One of the most interesting interpretations I have seen or read about this episode was by Gorm Nykriem on the comments section of (cited below). He (or perhaps she) wrote:

The Vians were misunderstood Christ figures… who never even took credit for giving their lives to save another: no greater love than this. In the end, they were the true Empaths, who couldn’t live if they knew they survived at the cost of Gem’s people’s lives.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. What is a gap analysis?
  2. Who should be on your investigation team?
  3. What is the Board of Director’s role in hiring?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for The Empath Empath

The OIG white paper “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight (OIG Guidance), provides an excellent road map for thinking about how to structure a Compliance Committee for your Board and a Board’s obligations. As an introduction, the OIG Guidance states that a Board must act in good faith around its obligations regarding compliance. This means that there must be both a corporation information and reporting system and that such reporting mechanisms provide appropriate information to a Board. It states: The existence of a corporate reporting system is a key compliance program element, which not only keeps the Board informed of the activities of the organization, but also enables an organization to evaluate and respond to issues of potentially illegal or otherwise inappropriate activity.

The OIG Guidance sets out four areas of Board oversight and review of a compliance function:

  1. Roles of, and relationships between, the organization’s audit, compliance, and legal departments;
  2. Mechanism and process for issue-reporting within an organization;
  3. Approach to identifying regulatory risk; and
  4. Methods of encouraging enterprise-wide accountability for achievement of compliance goals and objectives.

The OIG Guidance is an excellent review for not only compliance professionals and others in the healthcare industry but a good primer for Boards around their own duties under a best practices compliance program. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program, the OIG Guidance, and OIG Corporate Integrity Agreements can be used as baseline assessment tools for Boards and management in determining what specific functions may be necessary to meet the requirements of an effective compliance program.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Information flow up to the Board is critical.
  2. Compliance should be institutionalized in your company as a way of life.
  3. A Board needs to consider all risks.

This month’s sponsor is Affiliated Monitors, Inc.

Every Board of Directors need a true compliance expert sitting at the table. Almost every Board has a former CFO, former head of Internal Audit or persons with a similar background and often times these are also the Audit Committee members of the Board. Such a background brings a level of sophistication, training and SME that can help all companies with their financial reporting and other finance-based issues. So why is there not such compliance SME at the Board level?

This requirement was set out in 2017 in the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, where one of the criteria to be evaluated in compliance program is “the availability of compliance expertise to the board;”. Finally, in the 2020 Update to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, under the section entitled Oversight, it posed the following questions What compliance expertise has been available on the board of directors?

The DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission brought this concept forward into the FCPA Resource Guide, 2nd edition. This means that when your company is evaluated by the DOJ, under the factors set out in the 2020 Update and the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, to retrospectively determine if your company had a best practices compliance program in place at the time of any violation, you need to have not only the structure of the Board-level Compliance Committee but also the specific SME on the Board and on that committee.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Boards must have compliance expertise.
  2. Government regulators and shareholder groups have both called for greater compliance expertise at the Board.
  3. Compliance expertise at the Board works up and down as such expertise can be a resource to both the CCO and Compliance Department.

This month’s sponsor is Affiliated Monitors, Inc.

Welcome to the newest addition to the Compliance Podcast Network, Compliance and Coronavirus. In this episode, In this episode, I visit with Laura Petrolino, Chief Marketing Officer at Spin Sucks. Petrolino recently wrote a blog post, entitled “Four Elements of Successful Brand Storytelling to Use Today”. I visit with Petrolino on why ‘storytelling’ is so powerful, particularly in the corporate setting during the era of Coronavirus. She details the four elements of storytelling and how you can incorporate those elements into your compliance messaging.

For more information on Laura Petrolino and Spin Sucks, click here.