The Relationship between the Board of Directors and the Compliance and Ethics Officer [Survey]

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For a Board Survey Covercompliance program to be deemed “effective” under the Sentencing Guidelines the organization’s governing authority must “…exercise reasonable oversight with respect to the implementation and effectiveness of the compliance and ethics program.” Yet, while many other aspects of the Guidelines have grown well established, the relationship with the board of directors is still far from mature. Many compliance officers report concerns about whether the relationship is as strong as it should be, or even if it is serving its intended role of enabling the board to exercise sufficient oversight.

It’s a concern of growing importance after several high-profile settlements called for compliance to report directly to the board of directors.

To help assess the situation, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association fielded a study of the board relationship in April 2010. It revealed that boards and even CEOs have less contact with the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers (CECOs) than would be expected.

In order to assess how the relationship has evolved SCCE fielded a second survey in late 2013. It covered many of the same questions as the 2010 survey. In addition, the survey examined the personality traits that compliance and ethics professionals felt were important, as well as differences, if any, by gender.

The full survey is available here.

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