Tagged: culture of compliance

Managing Your Ethical Culture: Measure, Intervene and Remediate

In the wake of ever-constant business scandals (e.g. ZTE, VW, Takata, Odebrecht), chief compliance officers have to refresh their approach and strategy. Everyone agrees, or at least I think they should agree, that a company’s most effective control is its culture. For CCOs, selling the board and senior executives on this point should not be very hard. The research and common sense often come together...

The Recalibration of Compliance: What is the Definition of Success?

We often hear a chorus of criticism relating to the compliance function. How do you define success? Some of this is the result of a political backlash. Chief compliance officers are the darlings in the corporate governance world, and there are forces aligned to challenge the importance of the compliance function. There are a number of internal political forces that want to undermine the growth...

Building a Company Culture of Trust

The messaging behind the need for companies to implement robust compliance programs continues to suffer from a narrow conception of the overall compliance function. It is easy to get lost in the weeds on compliance programs and focus on compliance tasks, policies, resources, assessments and audits. I have promoted a different messaging approach – one that gives full credit and priority to a robust compliance...

Defining “Effective” Ethics and Compliance Programs

The compliance profession faces many challenges. Some are more important than others. When it comes to evaluating performance, or measuring compliance programs, the profession has a steep uphill climb. Unfortunately, measuring compliance programs and defining what an “effective” program is an issue that requires extensive research and analysis. Justice Potter Stewart’s famous words defining “obscenity” – “I know it when I see it,” just will...

A Rush to Compliance: Patience is a Virtue

Compliance officers are, by definition, goal driven. They are high achievers and expect to succeed. So what. You may say – we all know that. Compliance officers are not the most patient group of people. They want to see change, improvement and action. Patience is not in their blood, nor is it their middle name(s). Unless a CCO is directed by the board or the...

Trust and Integrity: The Value of a Company’s Reputation

Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, understands the importance of corporate culture and adhering to a code of ethics. He has been quoted: Lose money and I will forgive you. Lose even a shred of reputation and I will be ruthless. …… Wealth can always be recreated, but reputation takes a lifetime to build and often only a moment to destroy. Buffet’s implicit message is unmistakable – culture, reputation and...

Fixing a Sour Corporate Culture: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Faces an Uphill Challenge

Like the Greek mythology character Sisyphus, Valeant Pharmaceutical is attempting to atone for its sins and turn its corporate culture around. I am not usually a cynic but when I see these transparent attempts to reverse a company’s culture, I have a degree of suspicion. In recent weeks, Valeant took the following steps: Hired a new CEO Joseph Papa Removed five directors from its board...

Las Vegas Sands $9 Million SEC Settlement: An Easy Mark

The SEC continues its cutting edge FCPA enforcement program, bringing in a variety of enforcement cases and employing some new strategies. In its latest foray, the SEC settled with Las Vegas Sands, owned by Sheldon Adelson, for $9 million for deficiencies in its internal accounting controls concerning its operations in China and Macao. The SEC’s enforcement action reflects one important theme – they could not...

New and Important Compliance Standards in DOJ’s Recent FCPA Guidance (Part II of II)

The importance of DOJ’s hiring of Hui Chen as Compliance Counsel was recently confirmed by DOJ’s release of new compliance remediation standards for FCPA compliance programs. DOJ has, once again, raised the bar on FCPA compliance programs. Compliance practitioners have a real and significant voice on behalf of the compliance function inside the Justice Department. In adopting a new pilot program for FCPA enforcement and...

Embedding the Compliance Message in Middle Management

Chief compliance officers and senior executives wrestle with strategies to spread and embed important compliance messages. A CEO and senior executives can spread a compliance message but they are always battling competing priorities in the overall direction and operation of the company. Nonetheless, we all have seen senior managers who are dedicated to promoting a compliance program, particularly in these days of aggressive enforcement. CCOs...