31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program - The Board of Directors investigation protocol

Thomas Fox
Contact
Many companies have an investigation protocol in place when a potential compliance violation or other legal issue arises. However, many Boards of Directors do not have the same rigor when it comes to an investigation, which should be conducted or led by the Board itself. The consequences of this lack of foresight can be problematic, because if a Board does handle an investigation right, the consequences to the company, its reputation and value can be quite severe. The SEC considers a variety of factors around corporate investigations See more +
Many companies have an investigation protocol in place when a potential compliance violation or other legal issue arises. However, many Boards of Directors do not have the same rigor when it comes to an investigation, which should be conducted or led by the Board itself. The consequences of this lack of foresight can be problematic, because if a Board does handle an investigation right, the consequences to the company, its reputation and value can be quite severe. The SEC considers a variety of factors around corporate investigations including: Did management, the board or committees consisting solely of outside directors oversee the review? Did company employees or outside persons perform the review? If outside persons, have they done other work for the company?

There is also a SOX role in internal investigations, most particularly for audit. Section 301 establishes certain requirements for Audit Committees, including: (1) Procedures for receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the issuer regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters; (2) Procedures regarding the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the issuer of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters; (3) Authority to engage independent counsel and other advisers, as it determines necessary to carry out its duties; and (4) Funding to engage advisors as it deems appropriate.

Three key takeaways:

The Board should have a written protocol for investigations prepared in advance.

Any Board led investigation must be both credible and objective.

The investigation must be thorough but the Board can be cost effective. See less -

Embed
Copy

Other MultiMedia by Compliance Evangelist

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:

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:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.