Our GC is totally awesome!

Our GC is totally awesome!

Donna Boehme – Compliance & Ethics Professional – November 2014

totally awesome

I’ll stipulate right now that I’ve known quite a few impressive General Counsels (GCs)— thoughtful leaders with keen legal skills, gravitas, judgment, and even business-savvy. I’m a recovered in-house lawyer myself. But none of these facts is a credible argument for why the GC should be, or manage, the chief ethics and compliance officer (CECO).

Let’s not rehash the inconvenient truths of conflicting mandates, core competencies, experience, and mindset, or the filtering of critical compliance reports that in 2003 Senator Grassley found so odiferous to Iowa pig farmers and their non pig-farmer friends. Here’s a refresher on that.

Today’s topic is the misleading “Our GC is totally awesome” argument. I cringed the other day when someone who should really know better wrote a post that can be boiled down to, “I have some valuable current and potential GC clients, and those guys are totally awesome!” Ugh. A better service for those GC clients is to explain the 101 reasons why they, as trusted defenders and advisors to the company, should want the CECO to be independent and empowered and otherwise positioned for success.

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