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, and may also require companies to hire an independent monitor to oversee compliance. This testimony addresses (1) the extent to which prosecutors adhered to DOJ's monitor selection guidelines, (2) the prior work experience of monitors and companies' opinions of this experience, and (3) the extent to which companies raised concerns about their monitors, and whether DOJ had defined its role in resolving these concerns. Among other steps, GAO reviewed DOJ guidance and examined the 152 agreements negotiated from 1993 (when the first 2 were signed) through September 2009. GAO also interviewed DOJ officials, obtained information on the prior work experience of monitors who had been selected, and interviewed representatives from 13 companies with agreements that required monitors. These results, while not generalizable, provide insights into monitor selection and oversight.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of the Attorney General
|To provide clarity regarding DOJ's role in resolving disputes between companies and monitors, the Attorney General should direct all litigating components and U.S. Attorneys Offices to explain in each corporate DPA or NPA what role DOJ could play in resolving such disputes, given the facts and circumstances of the case.
Closed – Implemented