Root cause analysis: A critical ethics and compliance piece

New DOJ guidance highlights root cause analysis

Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has generated renewed attention to the importance of root cause analysis in the realm of fraud deterrence and ethics. In June 2020, the DOJ’s Criminal Division issued an updated version of its “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” guidance.

The intent of the DOJ guidance is aimed at assisting federal prosecutors in their decision-making. While it does not have the force of law, it does provide a useful road map for organizations in developing, updating and implementing their antifraud and compliance programs. It also provides insights into what law enforcement and regulatory authorities regard as high priorities and risks.

Root cause analysis is a high priority among federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies – which means it should also be a top priority for those responsible for corporate compliance and ethics programs.

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