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Extract from article by The GRC Pundit
Increased regulatory and ethical pressures are transforming the traditional role of compliance. Compliance departments are taking on broader responsibility for ethics, compliance, corporate culture, and social responsibility. With greater frequency, they are moving out from under the legal department into a direct reporting relationship to the CEO and/or Board, particularly in highly regulated industries.
Some organizations are differentiating between operational compliance and legal compliance by leaving a function within legal for monitoring and interpreting relevant laws. In some cases regulators are requiring, and at least encouraging, compliance to report outside of legal so it has greater autonomy to raise and resolve issues. The critical point: enabling compliance to report directly to the Board of Directors.
Since 1996 in the US, oversight responsibility to ensure compliance and ethics programs are in place falls squarely on the Board. This was made clear in the United States Sentencing Commission Organizational Guidelines that require Boards be knowledgeable about compliance risk, the content and operation of the compliance and ethics program, and exercise reasonable oversight with respect to the implementation and effectiveness of the compliance and ethics program – with specific ability for the compliance function to have direct access to the Board or an appropriate subgroup of the board.
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