Recent events in the news reminds everyone that most companies will eventually be subect to government investigations and intervews. As more and more countries tighten up anti-trust enforcement and regulations as well as other laws concerning data privacy, taxaion,etc, it is only a matter of time before your company faces a government investigation of some sort. Therefore, to help prepare for such a day, I've created a checklist of a few items that should be considered or implemented when preparing for a government investigation. A properly laid out government investigation policy will help any company prepare for such an event. A few of the items are listed below:
Government Investigations and Interviews
Checklist for Responding to law enforcement requests, government contacts or attempted interviews, and criminal and administrative searches.
1. Preparation Before A Visit
- A Senior Manager or duly appointed Manager at each facility shall be designated to coordinate a response to law enforcement requests, government contacts or attempted interviews, and criminal and administrative searches.
- Written security procedures need to be implemented at each location to insure that all visitors to non-public areas are identified and that the purpose of their visit is established.
- Daily visitation log procedures shall be established and reviewed with appropriate personnel. The procedures shall instruct reception and security personnel to contact immediately the Designated Senior Manager in the event of a visit by law enforcement personnel.
- The name and contact number for the Designated Senior Manager or Manager and the General Counsel ( or designated outside counsel) shall be posted at the reception area.
2.. During a Visit
- The designated Senior Manager or Manager shall immediately notify the General Counsel , or if there is no General Counsel- then an outside legal counsel , about the presence of law enforcement officials on the company premises.
- The designated Senior Manager or Manager should ask the lead law enforcement officer executing the search warrant for and verify each agent’s identification and agency affiliation and a copy of the warrant and supporting affidavit.
- A copy of the court order (subpoena or search warrant and the supporting affidavit) should be immediately sent to the company's General Counsel.
- If the court order is in the form of a subpoena, the General Counsel will (i) review the subpoena for any legal defect, including the manner in which it was served on the company, the breadth of its’ request, its’ form and (ii) review the information that is to be provided in response to the subpoena before any information is released.
If the court order is in the form of a search warrant, (i) The designated Senior Manager or Manager may request that the agents secure the premises but delay the search and seizure until the General Counsel or outside legal counsel can arrive, review the search warrant, witness the execution of the search warrant and assist in the protection of legally privileged materials.