The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) released updated guidance regarding its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs on June 1, 2020.  The release comes just over a year since the guidance was last updated in April 2019.[1]  While these latest changes are less extensive than the most recent ones, there are some key differences that suggest the DOJ may be shifting some areas of focus when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of corporate compliance programs.
Continue Reading DOJ Updates Corporate Compliance Guidance

The SEC awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower earlier this month in exchange for information that helped the SEC bring an enforcement action against the perpetrators of an investment fraud in less than six months after receipt of the whistleblower’s tip. [1] The award is the largest made by the SEC since the Office of the Whistleblower was set up in 2011 under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. According to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, the hope is that “an award like this will encourage more individuals to come forward.”
Continue Reading SEC Awards $14 Million to Whistleblower

Every now and then, the FAR Councils issue a Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) – an update to the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing a number of changes. Often these changes are rather pro forma. But occasionally, you get a Circular with many different (and interesting) issues. FAC 2005-67, issued in late-June 2013, with rules becoming effective in June and July 2013, is one such circular. We thought it would be helpful to highlight five of these rules that raise interesting and timely issues, especially where they may signal additional changes yet to come.
Continue Reading Lots of Little Things – FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular

By Louis Victorino and Jonathan Aronie (originally published in the San Diego Business Journal)

It has been noted, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the world of Government Contracts Law, however, the more things change, the more the phone rings. And while we’re only a few weeks into 2013, the phone has been ringing off the hook. Here are a few of the reasons why.


Continue Reading What Does 2013 Have In Store for Government Contractors and Their Lawyers?

By Keith Szeliga

On December 2, 2011, Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 3.11 – Preventing Personal Conflicts of Interest for Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Functions — took effect. The new Rule imposes a host of compliance obligations on contractors, including the requirement to screen for and prevent personal conflicts of interest when supporting acquisition functions. The Rule also requires contractors to prohibit covered employees from utilizing non-public information for personal gain and to obtain from covered employees executed non-disclosure agreements prohibiting the dissemination of such information.


Continue Reading Preventing Personal Conflicts Of Interest Among Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Support Services

By: Scott Maberry and Reid Whitten

On November 21, 2011, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13590 expanding sanctions against non-U.S. companies doing business in Iran. Under the new rules, whole sectors of business between Iran and third countries are now subject to U.S. sanctions. Overnight, non-U.S. companies working in Iran—in sectors not previously subject to sanctions—found their contracts subject to punishment under U.S. law. Many of these companies had invested significant resources in making sure their transactions in Iran did not fall afoul of U.S. sanctions, some having met directly with U.S. Government agencies, including the U.S. State Department, to understand the rules. These companies must now again adjust the aim of their compliance efforts to hit moving targets.

Fortunately for these companies, it appears likely that in the near-term, contracts already in place and compliant with the rules at the time of the November 21 order will not be the target of enforcement actions.
 


Continue Reading Aiming for a Moving Target: Bad and Good News on Changing Iran Sanctions

By: John W. Chierichella

In our February 2009 posting, we commented on the final rule implementing, via FAR 52.222-50 (“Combating Trafficking in Persons”), the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005.

On January 1, 2012, companies doing business in California will have state-level disclosure obligations to deal with in this realm as well. That is the effective date of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, which imposes obligations on every large retailer and manufacturer doing business in California to disclose whether it has taken specified actions to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from its product supply chain.
 


Continue Reading New Disclosure Requirements For Companies Doing Business In California

By Keith Szeliga and Christopher E. Hale

On December 2, 2011, Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 3.11 – Preventing Personal Conflicts of Interest for Contractor Employees Performing Acquisition Functions – takes effect. The new Rule requires contractors to screen for and prevent personal conflicts of interest when supporting Government acquisition functions. [1] The Rule also requires contractors to prohibit covered employees from utilizing non-public information for personal gain and to obtain from covered employees executed non-disclosure agreements prohibiting the dissemination of such information.


Continue Reading New Personal Conflict Of Interest Rules For Contractors

By Thaddeus McBride & Cheryl Palmeri

On October 26, 2011, Joel Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing and conspiring to commit both money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Esquenazi is the former president of Terra Telecommunications Corporation (“Terra”), an international telecommunications company. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), this is the longest prison sentence yet imposed in a case involving the FCPA.


Continue Reading Longest Prison Sentence Yet in FCPA Case

By Thaddeus McBride, Mark Jensen, & Corey Phelps

In late September, Flowserve Corporation (“Flowserve”) and a number of its subsidiaries agreed to settle alleged export violations with the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry of Security (“BIS”) for $2.5 million, and to remit $502,408 to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) to settle alleged U.S. sanctions violations. Flowserve, including its subsidiaries, is an oil, gas, and chemical services company with operations around the world. The settlement underscores the value of compliance measures specifically tailored to a company’s operations, and provides yet another example of the U.S. government vigorously enforcing U.S. law overseas.
 


Continue Reading OFAC, BIS Double Up Flow Serve: What the Flowserve Settlement Says About Corporate Compliance Programs

As we discussed here last November, the United States Navy, the other military services, and the Department of Defense, have all recognized that their personnel are using social media and have responded by establishing detailed social media policies.  Similarly, there is not a shred of doubt that your company’s employees are using social media. And, just like the military services and DoD, if you’re a government contractor then you must establish a social medial policy—and it cannot be a “cookie cutter” version of standard corporate social media policies. Among other things, it must address the risk of classified information being leaked, and the ways in which your employees’ security clearances can be put in jeopardy if they are not using social media prudently.
Continue Reading 10 Social Media Must Haves for Your Company’s FAR-Mandated Compliance Program