Posts

Compliance Expertise Needed on the Board

Thomas Fox – JD Supra – December 22, 2016

This week I have been exploring the different types compliance committee’s which an organization can utilize to help effect a best practices compliance program. I have written about compliance committee’s at the Board of Director’s level; at the junction between the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) and Board, the Oversight Committee; and at the business unit level and the Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) GeoMarket Compliance Committee. Today I want to change this focus from the committee concept and structure to a role on the Compliance Committee at the Board of Directors level.

Every Board of Directors need a true compliance expert sitting on their Board. Almost every Board has a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), former head of Internal Audit or persons with a similar background and often times these are also the Audit Committee members of the Board. Such a background brings a level of sophistication, training and subject matter expertise that can help all companies with their financial reporting and other finance based issues. So why is there not such subject matter expertise at the Board level from the compliance profession?

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Read this article on JD Supra.

A Trip to the Dentist for Some Compliance Insight

Thomas Fox – JD Supra – August 10, 2016

I had to go to the dentist yesterday. I went for what I thought was filling repair but I had somehow forgotten that it was a wisdom tooth removal and a filling repair. I know you are thinking either (1) why does someone his age still have wisdom teeth and (2) how could he ‘forget’ he was having said wisdom tooth removed? All I can do is channel my inner-Laura Petrolino and say as improbable as it sounds, both can and do occur, at least with me.

While I was letting the anesthesia kick in for the wisdom tooth removal, my dentist, Dr. Shan Batiste, was talking non-stop to the newly hired dental tech. Since I was both under anesthesia or had dental tools in my mouth, I could not stop to ask any follow up questions and simply listened to their dialogue. I am not sure if it was his first day or just the first time that he had worked with my dentist but she was imparting to him what it was in his interview that led her to offer the position to him. Rather amazingly, I found my dentist had some very interesting insights about the compliance function.

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Read this article on JD Supra.

Compliance front and center

Thomas Fox – Compliance Week – June 21, 2016

The past couple of months has confirmed a trend we have seen for some time in the world of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and greater anti-corruption compliance. It is the continued growth in the importance of doing compliance in the eyes of the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission. They have clearly moved beyond simply having a compliance program in place. It must be operationalized, and you must demonstrate its effectiveness if you want to receive credit for it in any FCPA enforcement action.

In April with the release of the written document, entitled “The Fraud Section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Plan and Guidance” and detailing the Pilot Program for FCPA enforcement credit, the Justice Department made clear that it is the doing of compliance that can bring a company “reducing credit.” It also made clear that the role of the chief compliance officer needs not only to be central to your compliance efforts but also central to your overall business operations.

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Read this article on Compliance Week.

The Evolution of Compliance: Structural Changes Which Led to Compliance 2.0

Thomas Fox – FCPA Compliance Report – May 26, 2016

If there was one theme from Compliance Week 2016 it was the continued evolution of the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) role and the compliance profession. Long gone are the days when someone is sent over from a legal department into the compliance department or worse, some lawyer who is just given the title of CCO and this is considered to be a best practice or even sufficient. In the opening keynote presentation, representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made clear they expect a CCO to know more than simply the laws of anti-corruption, they must actually work to do compliance in an organization. A key metric of doing compliance is the independence of the CCO and compliance function.

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Read this article on the FCPA Compliance Report.

Social Media Week Part VI – Social Media and CCO 3.0

Thomas Fox – The FCPA Compliance Report – August 10, 2015

I conclude this exploration of the uses of social media in doing compliance by exploring why the compliance function is uniquely suited to using social media tools. Long gone are the days when Chief Compliance Officers (CCO) or compliance practitioners were lawyers housed in the Legal Department or the General Counsel’s (GC’s) office writing policies and procedures and then putting on eight hour training programs on same. Donna Boehme has written passionately about CCO 2.0 and the structural change to separate the CCO role from that of the GC because of the differences in focus of a CCO and GC. Simply put, a GC and legal department is there to protect the company while the CCO and compliance function exists to solve problems before the company needs protections from them.

Freed of the constraints to write policies and procedures by lawyers for lawyers, the profession has moved to integrating compliance directly into the fabric of the company. I often say that a Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) compliance program is a business solution to a legal problem. The problem is how to comply with the FCPA and other anti-corruption regimes. The solution is to burn compliance into the DNA of your company so that it is not only owned by the business unit but also acted on by the business unit in its day-to-day operations.

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Read this article on the FCPA Compliance Report.