DOJ and Sentencing Commission Guidelines: Road Map to Compliance Effectiveness

Robbi-Lynn Watnik | February 2023

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) stress that an effective compliance program is one that prevents, identifies, and mitigates unlawful conduct. Evidencing an effective compliance program would be a consideration in prosecutorial decisions and for potential mitigation of penalties. The challenge is structuring and operating a program that can provide credible evidence of being effective in meeting these goals. The DOJ’s 2020 “Updated Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” the USSC’s publication highlighting its 30th Anniversary, and the September 2022 Memo from the Deputy Attorney General (DAG), provide a road map of what it takes to have a compliance program viewed as effective.

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Reprinted from Journal of Health Care Compliance, Volume 25, Number 1, January–February 2023,
pages 5–10, with permission from CCH and Wolters Kluwer.

About the Author

Robbi-Lynn Watnik is an attorney, Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC). She has over 35 years of experience in health care policy, with a special focus on health care compliance and privacy over the last 25 years. Ms. Watnik conducts research and analysis of, and provides guidance on federal regulations around privacy, security, and government health care programs. She has been engaged several times to serve as a Designated Compliance Officer.