Wow, we have a code of conduct!

Wow, we have a code of conduct!

Joe Murphy – Compliance & Ethics Professional – September 2014


Here is a statement I have heard a few times, especially during the Enron/WorldCom accounting scandals. “Enron had a great code of conduct, so that shows that compliance programs don’t really work.”

But a code is not, never has been, and never will be a “compliance program.” Moreover, those who said this clearly did not actually read the Enron code. It was boring, ponderous text that read as if the sections were written by different people (mostly lawyers). Any experienced compliance person would have sent this code back to be ripped apart and redone. A book of boring text that employees could not have understood and would never have read is not a compliance program. It is not even a useful code.

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