Achieving compliance is the central goal of the Commission’s enforcement efforts. Commission policy encourages companies subject to the Commission’s regulations and oversight to develop rigorous compliance programs that help minimize the potential for violations. The Commission gives significant weight to those programs when determining whether to assess a civil penalty or other remedy for a violation. Improved compliance as a result of a company’s commitment to and successful implementation of a strong compliance program should result in fewer violations over time.

To foster compliance, the Commission has issued several Policy Statements that address the importance and ideal elements of compliance programs. The Commission does not mandate, other than in a few specific circumstances, that a regulated entity have a compliance program. As discussed in the Commission’s Penalty Guidelines, when considering whether credit for a compliance program is appropriate in determining a civil penalty, the Commission will look for the following:

  • Role of senior management in fostering compliance;
  • Effective preventive measures to ensure compliance;
  • Prompt detection, cessation, and reporting of violations; and
  • Remediation efforts.

This page was last updated on August 18, 2020