Oversight & InvestigationS

Preparation, insight and expertise is critical to effective response


Observers from all sides expect a significant increase in the number of congressional oversight hearings and investigations examining agency policies, programs and operations, as well as business practices, government contracts, and federal regulations. Many congressional committees have broad subpoena authority and a history of high profile public hearings, sophisticated media operations, and close cooperation with enforcement officials and interest groups. Several Committee and Subcommittee chairs have committed to aggressive oversight hearing schedules and agendas.

 

Congressional hearing preparation is a critical but often overlooked step for an individual or firm participating in the legislative process. A congressional hearing is a unique forum with particular rules, procedures, and traditions that present challenges, and opportunities, for a witness. Effective participation in hearings on program oversight, legislative policy, agency regulations, and private sector activities and initiatives can be a key component to a successful federal legislative strategy.

 

Preparation is particularly critical for any business or industry that finds itself within the potential scope of a congressional investigation. A congressional investigation typically involves a high-profile examination of a company, industry, agency or individual in a forum where the rules of legal procedure are restricted, participant's rights are limited, and a traditional litigation strategy is ineffective and often harmful. In addition, plaintiff's attorneys and public pressure groups often participate in the process and use the results in civil litigation strategies. The result can be enforcement, legislative, or regulatory action, as well as heightened media scrutiny.