Local attorney and author lectured in the Middle East about Transparency & Accountability in corporate agendas

HADDONFIELD, NJ –Joseph E. Murphy, a Haddonfield-based attorney with a global reach, is just back from a December trip to Muscat, Oman in the Middle East. A popular speaker about compliance and ethics issues, Murphy was a panelist in a corporate roundtable with Omani business leaders and officials, an event organized by the Pearl Initiative.

The Pearl Initiative, a Gulf Corporation Council-based, private sector-led, not-for-profit organization, collaborated with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to promote the best practices in the Gulf region. Murphy said the discussion centered on the importance of improving accountability and transparency in the private sector among businesses in the Sultanate and region.

“This initiative is also part of the global fight against the curse of corruption.” said Murphy, who is the director of Public Policy at the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  “In Oman they have taken a leadership role in promoting good corporate governance; promoting effective compliance and ethics programs in the private sector is an essential part of good governance and the effort to prevention corruption.”

The Omani event created a dialogue about compliance and ethics in business at the highest level, among government, civil society and the private sector.

In his presentations around the world Murphy has also discussed his white paper, A Compliance and Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day, published by SCCE.

In the “Compliance and Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day” paper, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics is showing that companies of any size can take effective steps to prevent and detect wrongdoing.  A company does not have to be big to do this; what it does need, though, is commitment by management.  If the commitment is there, organizations like SCCE are ready to help and provide ideas and assistance.

 

 

 

 

It’s been a busy summer of travel for Joseph E. Murphy, a Haddonfield-based attorney with a global reach. A popular speaker about compliance and ethics issues, Murphy visited India, Ethiopia and Malaysia to meet with government officials and industry leaders.

First stop was Mumbai, India in July, when Murphy was invited to speak and participate in the workshop “U.S. Department of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industry, Business Integrity and Compliance Roundtable.” The presentation detailed the strategies for developing an affordable, practical, and effective company compliance program for Indian and global markets.

“It is important, in the fight against corruption, that we each be willing to play our part.  The companies and organizations at the conference showed that they understood this,” said Murphy, who is the director of Public Policy at the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  “In my experience, people in business either find a way or they find excuses. There are already too many excuses for corruption.  In this remarkable conference no excuses were on offer. Rather, the U.S. Commerce Dept. and the Confederation of Indian Industry convened a meeting of those looking to find a way to fight against corruption and not accept excuses.”

Next stop was Africa in August, where Murphy participated in the AGOA Ethiopia 2013 Forum held in Addis Ababa at the headquarters of the African Union, in an event called The Benefits of US African Public-Private Partnerships. Murphy’s presentation was entitled “Compliance Programs for Small and Medium-Sized Companies.”

At his final summer destination in August, Murphy presented on compliance and ethics programs for small businesses at a program sponsored by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia called “Train the Trainer Workshop for Codes of Ethics.”

In these three events, Murphy discussed his white paper, A Compliance and Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day, published by the SCCE.

“In the “Compliance and Ethics Program on a Dollar a Day” paper, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics is showing that companies can take effective steps to prevent and detect wrongdoing.  A company does not have to be big to do this; what it does need, though, is commitment by management.  If the commitment is there, organizations like SCCE are ready to help and provide ideas and assistance.”

In the spring, Murphy lectured for the SCCE in London and Brussels to begin his globe-trotting year.

 

Joe was an invited speaker at a conference in Kuwait sponsored by the United Nations Development Program – Regional Workshop: Building Capacities and Promoting Collective Action to Strengthen Private Sector Integrity, Dec. 18-19, 2012, Kuwait City, Kuwait.

Participants in the conference represented 20 Arab nations; the focus was on practical steps to prevent corruption, working with the private sector.

Joe spoke on “International Frameworks and Emerging Global Trends on Private Sector Integrity: Reaching Small and Medium Enterprises.” He emphasized the important role governments play in promoting anti-corruption compliance and ethics programs, the need to encourage effective programs, and how governments can use their leverage to increase buy-in by small and medium-sized enterprises.

 

The Antitrust and Competition Law Compliance Forum announces its new web site, at http://www.compliance-network.com As noted on the site, this Forum is a discussion group focused on antitrust and competition law compliance programs.

“We are a non-profit network of individuals dedicated to the global advancement of highly effective anti-cartel compliance programs, as a means to prevent and detect cartel behavior. Our members, from various backgrounds and geographic locations, have come together to form an online resource hub for this area of study.”

Our mission includes the role of government in promoting effective anti-cartel programs. On the site we provide a broad range of resources that address how governments take steps to promote programs, and also how some governments have undercut such programs.

Ted Banks, Donna Boehme and Joe are organizers of this Forum.

 

 

Ted Banks and Joe recently published an article titled: “The International Law of Antitrust Compliance,” 40 Denver Journal of International Law & Policy 368 (2012), also available in “Perspectives on International Law in an Era of Change” (Nanda & Mundt, eds.).  This article looks at the development of antitrust compliance programs, and calls for a change in the negative policies of the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice and the European Commission, which undercut the development of more effective company programs. The article concludes:

 

“If the governments of the world expect to treat competition law as a basic tenet of international law, governing, as it does, the conduct of local and multinational corporations, then they must also recognize the need to accord competition law compliance programs their proper role in determining enforcement priorities and penalties.”

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The FTC and antitrust compliance programs

On August 15, 2012, in In the News, by Joe Murphy

As published in the July/August issue of Compliance and Ethics Professional:

Read the article

 

The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (www.corporatecompliance.org ) recently released the results of an important survey of company antitrust compliance practices (http://www.corporatecompliance.org/Resources/View/ArticleId/227/Antitrust-Compliance-How-Does-the-Government-Impact-Your-Program.aspx ). Called “Antitrust: A Dangerous but Underappreciated Compliance Issue,” the survey reports on some of the compliance steps used by companies, and the impact of governmental approaches to compliance programs. While in other areas of enforcement the Department of Justice takes compliance programs into account, the Antitrust Division stands out in not considering programs, and showing seeming disdain for the subject. DG Comp in Europe also gives no credit for programs, no matter how diligent.

One finding of the survey is particularly striking and reveals fundamental weakness in the approach to antirust compliance.

“An astounding 64% do not report performing the types of antitrust compliance audits that would meet the minimum standards under the Sentencing Guidelines.”

Also noteworthy was the report on companies’ views on the government’s approach to compliance.

“Detailed advice on steps to include in compliance programs, taking compliance programs into account when deciding whether to take enforcement actions, and offering penalty reductions to companies that have compliance programs were all given high ratings for value by survey respondents—77% for advice and 88% for some form of incentives.”

In other words, the result of the Antitrust Division’s and DG Comp’s lack of interest in compliance programs is entirely predictable: “if the government doesn’t care, why should we?” If the government did consider programs as a positive factor and did provide advice on what elements were important, the survey makes it clear that this would get results.

 

The January/February 2012 issue of ethikos include Joe’s article, “The EU Takes a Tentative First Step Toward Compliance Programs.” Joe notes that the European Commission has at least done more than the US Antitrust Division in offering a guidance document on compliance programs, but notes that the Commission fails to back this up with any meaningful recognition of such programs. There is much more that the EC can and should do, if it wants to be serious in promoting compliance programs. As Joe notes, “Getting companies to join the fight against cartels is too important to accept mere rhetoric, totally unsupported by meaningful action.”

 
Joe and Donna Boehme have posted this article on the Social Science Research Network.  It is a response to an article by Professor Andreas Stephan questioning whether antitrust compliance programs are effective in dealing with cartels.  Joe and Donna explain why antitrust programs can work for this purpose, but are seriously undercut by the negative approaches of the US Antitrust Division and the European Commission.  Murphy & Boehme, “Fear No Evil: A Compliance and Ethics Professionals’ Response To Dr. Stephan,” http://ssrn.com/abstract=1965733

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Joe was retained by the OECD Competition Committee to create a white paper for use in the multinational meeting held in Paris on June 29, 2011.  The paper, titled “Promoting Compliance with Competition Law: Do Compliance Programs Have a Role to Play,” examines the role compliance programs could play in the global fight against cartels, and lays out a route for governments to achieve this objective.  The report can be found on the OECD’s web site, at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/12/13/48849071.pdf .

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