There is an ongoing debate in the compliance world about whether a company can or should combine or separate the role of the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) from that of the General Counsel (GC). However, before a company can answer this question, it must meet No. 6 of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) minimum best practices requirement for a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) based compliance program. Requirement No. 6 reads:
The company will assign responsibility to one or more senior corporate executives for the implementation and oversight of the company’s anti-corruption policies, standards, and procedures. Such corporate official(s) shall have direct reporting obligations to independent monitoring bodies, including internal audit, Company’s Board of Directors, or any appropriate committee of the Board of Directors, and shall have an adequate level of autonomy from management as well as sufficient resources and authority to maintain such autonomy.
This requirement clearly mandates that a company must have one or more senior level executives to oversee the company’s compliance program. At the recent Ethisphere 2012 Global Ethics Summit this issue was explored. Alan Yuspeh, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer for Hospital Corporation of America, said that he believed there were three keys to the role of a company’s head of compliance.
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