Recent cases of corporate fraud and mismanagement heighten the Department of Justice's (DOJ) need to appropriately punish and deter corporate crime. Recently, DOJ has made more use of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements (DPAs and NPAs), in which prosecutors may require company reform, among other things, in exchange for deferring prosecution. In June and November 2009, GAO testified on DOJ's use and oversight of DPAs and NPAs, and this report discusses additional findings, including (1) the extent to which DOJ has used DPAs and NPAs to address corporate misconduct and tracks use of these agreements, (2) the extent to which DOJ measures the effectiveness of DPAs and NPAs, and (3) the role of the court in the DPA and NPA process. GAO examined 152 DPAs and NPAs negotiated from 1993 through September 2009 and analyzed DOJ data on corporate prosecutions in fiscal years 2004 through 2009. GAO also interviewed DOJ officials, prosecutors from 13 DOJ offices, 20 company representatives, 11 monitors who oversee company compliance, and 12 federal judges. While not generalizable, these results provide insight into decisions about DPAs and NPAs.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Justice||To assess its progress toward meeting its strategic objective of combating public and corporate corruption, the Attorney General should develop performance measures to evaluate the contribution of DPAs and NPAs towards achieving this objective.|