Five Golden Rules Of What Works – The Internal Marketing Of Compliance

by Thomas Fox
Contact

7K0A0438I am attending the ACI Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Boot Camp in Houston. It is one of the best FCPA events held in Houston annually. It brings together some of the top local compliance talent, together with top national practitioners. One of the presentations was on how to tell your compliance story. It presented several interesting aspects of how to not only communicate your internal compliance story but how to also market compliance within your organization. Céline Gearson, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Cameron International, had an interesting perspective on how she internally markets her compliance function. She termed these as “The Five Golden Rules of What Works”.

 1. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize

Gearson believes that it is critical for the compliance practitioner to foster strategic relationships with key stakeholders within your company so that you can explain the compliance function on a one-to-one basis to get their buy-in. The importance here is to build those relationships prior to any compliance program implementation. She specifically mentioned the IT and Marketing departments. Another person I would add is the Corporate Secretary, the reason for this is that the Corporate Secretary has several constituencies within the company that he or she may work with and for. This can provide an opportunity to view a company’s ethics and compliance program and to help shape and direct it. The Corporate Secretary, head of IT or Marketing may be excellent resources to the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), which may be under-utilized. It might be worth a cup of coffee or short meeting to see what they might think about your ethics and compliance program or how they might be able to assist you in your efforts.

2. Communicate metrics and near misses

Here Gearson said that it is important that the business units understand not only what you are doing from the compliance perspective but also how your actions are helping them do business more efficiently and, hopefully, more profitably. She gave an example of when she demonstrated the length of time required to approve sales agent. From this metric she was able to show how efficient it could be for the business unit if the onboarding of third parties was automated. With this information and the business units’ support, she was able to secure funding for this compliance initiative.

A second component of this rule is to use the investigations, audits and monitoring of compliance to show where the compliance function detected an issue before it became a compliance violation. This could occur in your routine audits or by spot-checking payment requests and invoices from certain third parties, either sales agents or vendors.

3. Create engagement and excitement

The organization in the middle will make or break your initiative so get them involved. So, for Gearson, it is imperative that you engage the employees in the middle of your organization before you rollout any implementation. She gave the example that for Cameron’s Compliance Week celebration, she calls upon employees to create the message. In this manner you can use your Compliance Week event not only as a springboard to internally publicize your compliance program but to foster a closer relationship with disparate groups within your company.

I would add that another part of this rule could be your financial incentives for doing business ethically and in compliance, such as a portion of a year’s salary in discretionary bonuses. While such financial rewards may be given in private, it is certainly true that those employees who are promoted for doing business ethically and in compliance are very visible and are public displays of an effective compliance program. I think that a company can take this concept even further through a celebration to help create, foster and acknowledge the culture of compliance for its day-to-day operations.

4. Become a marketing guru and IT expert

More than getting to know the folks in these departments, you need to know how they work and learn to speak their language. One of the things that you might try is to use social media to assist you. A key component of any effective compliance program is an internal reporting mechanism. The FCPA Guidance states “An effective compliance program should include a mechanism for an organization’s employees and others to report suspected or actual misconduct or violations of the company’s policies on a confidential basis and without fear of retaliation.” The Guidance further discusses the use of an ombudsman to address employee concerns about compliance and ethics. I do not think that many companies have fully explored the use of an ombudsman but it is certainly one way to help employees with their compliance concerns.

But, more than a reporting tool for compliance, there are other ways a company can help employees do business in a compliant manner. One commercial tool is Navigator, developed by the firm of Stroz Friedberg LLC, which the firm calls “a groundbreaking mobile and desktop application that makes your compliance program come alive! It automates clear answers and approval processes, and even offers data analysis for enhanced decision-making. The Navigator app is custom-tailored to each client and offers an array of benefits to any organization seeking easier ways to drive a positive corporate compliance culture.” I have seen this tool and it is way cool.

Yet there are other tools that are available, at no cost, and can be downloaded onto a mobile device such as a smartphone or iPad. These include the O’Melveny & Myers LLP Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Resource Guide, which concentrates solely on the FCPA and is primarily a new vehicle to distribute content it already makes available upon request. This content includes O’Melveny’s FCPA Handbook and In-House Counsel’s Guide to Conducting Internal Investigations. In addition, the app features five resource sections that serve as an interactive, illustrative directory with titles ranging from ‘O’Melveny Authored Client Alerts’ to ‘DOJ Opinion Releases.’

Another approach is found in the Latham & Watkins LLP’s AB&C Laws app which takes an international approach to anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws and its scope is international, with the content focused on organizing and easing access to statutes and regulatory guidance according to specific fields of interest, from legislative frameworks to extra-territorial application to enforcement and potential penalties. It also includes official guidance such as steps (where available) that can be taken to reduce the risk of liability for bribery and corruption.

5. Embed your initiatives into business processes

Gearson and several other speakers talked about the need to embed compliance into the fabric of the company. Arvind Sharma, Senior International Trade Counsel, Business Integrity & Compliance at the Flowserve Corporation, said that building trust with the business is the most important issue he faces. The building of this trust comes from the demonstration that the compliance function is not ‘The Land of No, run by Dr. No’ but runs at the speed of business. By such demonstrations he is able to win the trust of the business units and this allows him to embed compliance initiatives into the company’s business processes.

I would add that this also means demonstrating the cost savings that are derived by having business unit employees participate in the compliance function. An example given was regarding third party representatives. Does your company really need all of the sales agents it currently uses? Is there overlap or duplication in the Supply Chain? The answers to these questions can go a long way towards reducing overall compliance risk and adding points to the bottom line. Further, properly trained, a business unit employee can perform some of the underlying due diligence investigation work for any third party business representative. The self-management of the business unit to fulfill these functions can drive down the overall cost of compliance.

I found Gearson’s five rules to be quite useful as starting points for thinking about how the compliance function can interact and work through the business unit to further the company’s goals of compliance. You can use each one of these to begin to lay the foundation for your compliance initiatives going forward.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Thomas Fox
Contact
more
less

Compliance Evangelist on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.