Practice/Industry Group Overview
Defined policies and procedures effectively communicate an organization’s expectations and values to its employees and other stakeholders to manage risk. A comprehensive policy program offers many benefits:
- Demonstrates commitment to compliance from company leadership reflecting an appropriate “tone at the top.”
- Assesses risks and focuses resources on violations that could have the most significant impact.
- Minimizes the board of directors’ and the management’s exposure to risks associated with business operations and derivative suits.
- Provides training and education to employees so that they achieve company objectives in a manner that complies with applicable rules, regulations and company policies.
- Provides incentives for compliance and defines potential consequences in the event of non-compliance that can be integrated into performance evaluations.
Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of an array of subject matter experts to minimize liability in areas such as governance, data privacy and security, intellectual property, human resources and labor, FCPA, consumer protection, product safety, industry specific and general regulatory compliance. What results is a decentralized approach to compliance that may not be consistent, transparent or cover all risks. For today’s myriad of issues, companies now often designate a Chief Compliance Officer who has the authority and autonomy to oversee and implement a comprehensive compliance program and assure a coordinated approach and clear lines of responsibility. However, even an experienced Chief Compliance Officer may lack expertise in key areas or fail to update existing policies to address changing laws and evolving “best practices.” An organization must also through a Chief Compliance Officer or otherwise, be able to respond promptly and effectively to internal violations.
What are the essential components of a compliance program?
- Risk assessment
- A code of conduct and ethics
- Continuous training with schedules
- Reporting procedures (including whistleblower protection)
- Discipline for misconduct
- Management engagement and Board oversight
Public and private companies turn to Edwards Wildman to help minimize legal risk across a broad range of activities. We can assist in the design of a comprehensive compliance program or provide a detailed review of an existing compliance program to identify specific areas for improvement. We also regularly work with management to assist in the implementation and ongoing enforcement of new policies.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Courts Weigh in on NSA Bulk Telephony Metadata Program
Lawrence R. Freedman,Ari Z. Moskowitz, January 07, 2014
In December, two federal courts weighed in on the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection program, under which the agency collects from U.S.-based telephone companies, and stores, the metadata of telephone calls - such as numbers dialed and received and the length of calls. The courts came...
SBA Issues Proposed Rule Permitting SBICs to Invest in Double Holding Companies
Christopher J. Douglass,Alan B. Roth,Michael R. Wilson, January 03, 2014
On December 23, 2013, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued a proposed rule to revise the Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) regulations regarding investments in passive businesses and the use of double holding companies in structuring SBIC...
Bills Introduced in Congress Addressing Online Video Distribution, Sports Blackouts
Seth A. Davidson,Arthur H. Harding, November 21, 2013
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, Senator Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced the “Consumer Choice in Online Video Act” (CCOVA). Also on November 12, 2013, Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and McCain (R-AZ) introduced the “Furthering Access and...
Who Owns a Bribe?
James Maton, November 15, 2013
A public official receives a bribe to award a contract. Does the bribe “belong” to the official or to the state that he or she represents? The answer to the question can matter a great deal to the success of a claim. But the issue is controversial and the answer unclear in English law....