In the Episode, I visit with James Koukios, partner at Morrison & Foerster, Editor-in-Chief of the firm’s Top 10 International Anti-Corruption Developments. We visit about the firm’s Top 10 International Anti-Corruption Developments for March 2020.

Some of the highlights include:

  1. Portugal Freezes Assets of Africa’s Richest Woman-could this be even bigger than 1 MDB?
  2. Thoughts on Teva FCPA enforcement action in the context of it completing its DPA.
  3. What is the DOJ saying around FCPA enforcement in the Covid-19 era?
  4. What significance, if any, do you see in Mexico request to extradite former Pemex official?
  5. OECD Expresses Concern over Costa Rica’s Foreign Bribery Enforcement Record. What does this mean?


To a copy of the Top 10 International Anti-Corruption Developments for March 2020 Newsletter click here.

In June, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published an Update to their Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (2020 Update) which set out to provide additional clarity on how enforcement officials will evaluate an organization in the event of criminal misconduct. This enhanced guidance sets out a baseline, or the minimum standards to demonstrate an effective ethics and compliance program.

Now Convercent has updated their DOJ Interactive Self-Assessment, initially developed around the 2019 version of the Evaluation. (Full Disclosure – I assisted Convercent in this project and was compensated for my work). With the 2020 updates to the DOJ Guidance for Corporate Compliance Programs, it’s time again to do a health check on your own compliance program. How does it stack up? Are you still meeting the DOJ’s expectations?

Complete this interactive self-assessment to objectively rate how your program fares against the new guidelines. With over 200 questions and a brand-new section on data resources and access, this evaluation gives you a complete view of your compliance program, covering risk assessments, policies, training, reporting, third parties, and much more. Upon completing the assessment, you’ll get a scorecard mapping exactly where you can improve.

How It Works

The assessment sets out to dig into three fundamental questions:

  • Is your corporation’s compliance program well designed?
  • Is your corporate compliance program adequately resourced and empowered to function effectively?
  • Does your corporate compliance program work in practice?

The self-assessment then breakdowns questions for each of the categories listed in the 2020 Update, giving you the opportunity to assess where you are in each element. After compiling your answers, the document will provide a scorecard on the various sections and overall ratings of each high-level focus area. There are multiple and varied reasons for using the interactive self-assessment. Obviously, it gives you ways to see where your program is based upon the latest DOJ pronouncements as to what should go into a best practices compliance program.

One of the key themes from the 2020 Update was the compliance function’s use of data and information to continually monitor and continually. But it is beyond simply the access to data by the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO); it is the use of data. That is why this self-assessment is so useful and, more importantly, so critical. The self-assessment provides you with a detailed view of where you are able to make improvements to your company’s compliance initiatives. Continuous improvement is pivotal to ensuring success in ethics, and a consistent, honest evaluation of the program is the first step in the process. Equally important, it documents where you currently are so that you can begin to remediate any gaps you might find.

As ethics and compliance program maturity varies, so can the use of this tool. Whether building a new program, or continuing to evolve an advanced one, use the guidance as a framework for a self-assessment to determine gaps and opportunities within your ethics and compliance program. You can check out the Convercent Interactive Self-Assessment by clicking here.

Welcome to the only roundtable podcast in compliance. Today, we have the full quintet of Jonathan Armstrong, Jay Rosen, Matt Kelly, Jonathan Marks and Mike Volkov for a potpourri of discussions and ending with a veritable mélange of rants and shouts outs.

  1. Jonathan Armstrong critiques the recent SFO conviction of two former Unaoil employees and the controversy the SFO and its Director, Lisa Osofsky now find themselves in regarding their conduct. Armstrong shouts out to the West Indies cricket team for traveling to the UK to play at Lord’s.
  1. Jay Rosen considers telemedicine in the time of Covid-19. What does it mean for the practice of medicine? What are the compliance issues involved? Jay rants about the Trump Administration targeting surveillance on journalist in Portland and across the country.
  1. Matt Kelly looks at two recent US domestic corruption cases; one in Illinois involving ComEd and one in Ohio involving the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. Matt shouts out to Rebecca Jones the former Florida state employee who left the government to start her own public record of Covid-19 in Florida when the state quit reporting on it.
  1. Mike Volkov looks at two recent OFAC enforcement actions. One involved Amazon and defective tracing software. The second Essentra, doing business with North Korea and shell companies. He draws out the lessons learned from both cases. He shouts out to podcasters and the podcasting community for getting their messages out.
  1. Jonathan Marks considers parallels he has observed in the development of the compliance profession from those he lived through in the Internal Audit world after Enron and WorldCom. He shouts out to the IIA for beginning the discussion to reconfigure its 3 Lines of Defense but chides them for not going far enough.
  1. Tom Fox rants about those attacking fellow Buffalo Wing addicts. 

The members of the Everything Compliance are:

  • Jay Rosen– Jay is Vice President, Business Development Corporate Monitoring at Affiliated Monitors. Rosen can be reached at
  • Mike Volkov – One of the top FCPA commentators and practitioners around and the Chief Executive Officer of The Volkov Law Group, LLC. Volkov can be reached at
  • Matt Kelly – Founder and CEO of Radical Compliance. Kelly can be reached at
  • Jonathan Armstrong –is our UK colleague, who is an experienced data privacy/data protection lawyer with Cordery in London. Armstrong can be reached at
  • Jonathan Marks is Partner, Firm Practice Leader – Global Forensic, Compliance & Integrity Services at Baker Tilly. Marks can be reached at

The host and producer (and sometime panelist) of Everything Compliance is Tom Fox the Compliance Evangelist. Everything Compliance is a part of the Compliance Podcast Network. He can be reached at

In the Episode, I am joined by Mike DeBernardis, Counsel at Hughes Hubbard, in the firm’s Washington office and a member of the firm’s Anti-Corruption and Internal Investigations and White Collar & Regulatory Defense practice groups. He represents corporate and individual clients in criminal, civil and administrative enforcement matters, including matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and securities and accounting fraud. In this episode we take a deep dive into the DOJ’s 2020 Update to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs and DOJ and SEC FCPA Resource Guide, 2nd edition.

Some of the highlights include:

  1. What were the top changes DeBernardis observed in 2020 Update to Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs?
  2. What were the top changes for you in FCPA Resource Guide, 2nd edition?
  3. How should one read the Resource Guide, 2nd with the 2020 Update? In conjunction, separately or in some other way?
  4. Is there any significance  to the two documents being released so close together in time?
  5. Should you advise clients to do anything different because of these documents?