Just How Independent Should the CECO Be (from Legal)? (Interview)

Just How Independent Should the CECO Be (from Legal)?

Industry Expert Discussed Why Lines Must Be Drawn When It Comes to Reporting Relationships. An interview with Donna C. Boehme.

Snell:  Is the compliance officer’s independence compromised by reporting to the general counsel?

Boehme:  Yes, for so many reasons.  A reporting line to the general counsel is usually the worst possible structure for the compliance and ethics officer and, by extension, the overall program.  Sen. Charles Grassley’s famous quote about a general counsel managing a compliance program (in the Tenet Healthcare Medicare fraud settlement) was: “It doesn’t take a pig farmer from Iowa to smell the stench of this conflict.”  Whether a highly regulated ot nonregulated industry, the principle of an independent voice in the C-suite and to the board for matters as significant and far-reaching as compliance, ethics, and culture is an idea whose time has come.

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