Corporate Counsel Weekly™ helps corporate lawyers get the big picture on the legal challenges facing corporations today. Practitioners can discover trends on the horizon and stay alert to the full...
By Yin Wilczek
April 27 — In the current environment, compliance program monitoring and benchmarking is essential, panelists at a conference said April 27.
Companies risk reputational and financial harm if they fail to measure and track the effectiveness of their compliance programs, said Stephen Martin, managing director of Baker & McKenzie Compliance Consulting LLC. He added that senior executives and compliance practitioners risk personal liability.
Moreover, regulators—including the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission—are emphasizing the importance of compliance programs, Martin said. In fact, he noted, the DOJ has suggested in recent guidance that companies have their programs independently reviewed.
To audit and benchmark their programs, compliance officers should first identify their audience—whether it be the government or others—and what their programs seek to do, said Aryeh Friedman, vice president and associate general counsel at Dun & Bradstreet.
Friedman, Martin and Charlotte Young, chief ethics and compliance officer for the Nature Conservancy, spoke at the Association of Corporate Counsel's compliance education summit in New Orleans.
Despite the importance of corporate compliance, a recent ACC survey found that only 41 percent of organizations periodically review and benchmark their compliance programs.
Young noted that benchmarking can be one of the most challenging tasks for the compliance industry. One tool she recommended is periodically surveying employees on the corporate culture. “A culture survey is when it could all come together,” by letting employees tell you whether the program is effective, she said.
To evaluate their programs, compliance officers first must scope out what falls within compliance, such as anti-corruption or export controls, then tie that to goals they set, Friedman said.
Young said that her department at the Nature Conservancy analyzes and reviews intranet communications to measure whether employees are engaging with the company. Young said she also analyzes how employees are accessing corporate policies and procedures, measuring usage to find if there are important trends. In the area of training, Young said she issues post-training surveys to measure what employees have learned.
Young also noted that the company has an Ethics File wherein it releases scrubbed summaries of its ethics investigations, which has proved very popular with employees.
To contact the reporter on this story: Yin Wilczek in New Orleans at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)