Tagged: Independence

What Happens When the CCO is Buried in the Organization?

Let me paint a picture for you.  It is not pretty.  Unfortunately, this picture occurs all too often in the corporate governance landscape.  The first picture captures the presence of chief compliance officer in a stand-alone office in a mid-size public company.  The company is not subject to any robust regulatory regime.  The CCO has a staff of one or two people, coordinates some compliance...

Compliance Titles and Responsibilities

Let me start with yet another profound grasp of the obvious — leadership requires many important interpersonal and intellectual capabilities.  I do not intend to list the important ones right now but leadership requires an understanding of influence and the use of symbolic actions that may resonate through an organization and its constituents. Effective leaders understand know that symbolic acts drive organizational behaviors.  Symbolic actions...

DOJ Criminal Division AAG Underscores Role of CCOs and Announces CCO Certification Requirements

In a homecoming speech, DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite gave a rousing speech to a room full of compliance professionals at the annual Compliance Week meeting in Washington, D.C.  AAG Polite, who has served as a CCO himself, embraced the mission of compliance officers as a critical part of corporate governance systems. AAG Polite specifically recognized the importance of the compliance functions and the...

When Your Internal Investigator Fails to “Investigate”

A number of recent FCPA enforcement actions have cited common compliance program failures relating to internal investigations. For example, PTC settled FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC for $28 million. According to the factual statements, PTC conducted three internal investigations focusing on alleged illegal payments to Chinese government officials and failed to uncover the illegal scheme. I would be curious to hear why these...

DOJ’s Pilot Program – The Five Factors Designed to Nurture the Compliance Function

Perhaps the most positive and important aspect of the FCPA Pilot Program was the announcement of forward-looking and innovative remediation requirements for corporate compliance programs. As an aside, DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was a disappointment and failed to deliver meaningful incentives for companies to self-disclose FCPA violations to the Justice Department. The difference between 25, 50 and 75 percent from the bottom of the sentencing...

Getting Back to Basics: CCOs and Independence

Chief compliance officers continue to enjoy these heady days – salaries are up and new opportunities are popping up in the corporate world. CCOs have to keep their eye on the ball. It is well and good to get a good salary, a nice office, and a title, but there is an important requirement that cannot be overlooked – independence. The trend over the last...

Creating an Ombudsman’s Office

If your company is big enough and has the resources to consider establishing an internal ombudsman’s function, consider yourself lucky. When compliance professionals and lawyers use the term “ombudsman,” it is important to define how the term is being used. The most effective model for an ombudsman is the creation of an entire independent investigation and resolution function within a company. In this model, the...