The Purpose Of A Compliance Program
Compliance programs exist for the purpose of protecting against misdeeds, and the most effective programs are those that exist within a culture of ethics. Michael Volkov discusses the truism that a company’s culture and its compliance controls are mutually reinforcing.
I do not think there is much disagreement on the basic purpose of an ethics and compliance program. After all, one of the primary sources for compliance programs continues to be the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which very clearly affirm the stated purpose of a corporate compliance program.
To play devil’s advocate for a minute, let’s consider the following: the United States Sentencing Guidelines are just what they say: guidelines for criminal sentencing of a corporation. It is not the “be all, end all” of corporate compliance guidance.
And where does the importance of an ethical culture fit in? Well, an ethical culture is perhaps the best control a company can implement as a way to “prevent and detect” compliance issues.
I do not intend to repeat myself (though that is precisely what I am about to do), but companies with ethical cultures have lower rates of employee misconduct, lower rates of employee turnover, increased productivity and overall improved financial performance. Hopefully, no one will dispute that point (although there may be disagreement as to how to define an “ethical culture”).
Source: Disaster Recovery Journal The Purpose Of A Compliance Program