What's the purpose of a statement of compliance with federal regulations?

Often corporate entities have, as part of some policy document or other, an explicit statement to the effect of “We comply with all applicable federal regulations.”

Why do they say this? Is there a legal purpose for it? Saying you comply doesn’t mean you do comply–and not saying that you comply wouldn’t mean you don’t have to comply–so what’s the point in saying you comply?

Probably in hopes of avoiding having to individually prove the various things buried in the CFR. Like having a drug-free workplace policy in place to be eligible for federal grants. Or various OSHA compliance regs.

In large part, it’s because people have to sign that statement, and those people are held to certain standards of due diligence. Due diligence doesn’t detect every infraction every time, of course, but if you sign that statement and you are either lying or negligent, there are legal repercussions.

I’ve found the Drug Free Workplace thing to be a little funny. There’s a requirement that workplaces that are subject to the law are required to notify the government if any employee is convicted of a drug crime In The Workplace (apparently excluding busts that happen outside the workplace). What kind of person gets busted for drugs on the job? Lots of people get pulled over for traffic offenses and I believe a non-trivial number get busted for drugs at the same time, but I’ve never seen police come and bust and employee in the office during business hours for anything, let alone drugs. Does this mostly apply to professional drivers and people who work at home, since, for them, the road and the home are technically part of their workplace?

I think it’s more frequent than we tend to realize. At both my current and my last job (both law offices, one private, one government), a secretary has gotten arrested for dealing drugs while at work. One, as far as I know, had simply been using the phone during the workday to set up transactions, while the other may actually have been doing deals. And to be clear, the alleged offenses took place at work, but the arrests may have occurred elsewhere (I don’t recall).

Interesting. I tend to think of drug offenses as having taken place at the location of the bust, since the prosecution’s case is going to be based on proving that the drugs were possessed at the location that the seizure was made. So if you had drugs on you at work all day but later were caught with them on the subway going home, it would seem that the actual arrest was not for possession “in the workplace”. How often do people get arrested now for possessing drugs in the past? E.g. how often does Joe walk out of rehab and get arrested and charged for possessing drugs six months ago that he has now gotten rid of?

Having dealt with the feds through grants and whatnot, I’d bet that one of the means of compliance with federal regulations is a public statement of compliance with federal regulations.

I think you’re confusing complying with meaning obeying all laws. It’s probably much more specific, something to the effect of “because we have received federal funding for this project we must comply with everything that goes along with it - safety regulations, worker conditions, hiring policies, audits - for anyone who deals with this project.” I doubt that if GE receives a defense grant at one of its plants that everybody at 30 Rock - either the building or the show - is subject to the same regulations. But a subcontractor at the defense plant can legitimately speak up if the minority hiring procedures aren’t in line with the federal rules for that specific program. And the company can’t plead ignorance, because it has stated compliance publicly.

This. If we missed anything in our above mentioned policy because it’s buried on page 23,423 of the CFR, we are following it anyways.