I recently attended the Global Compliance Symposium in Washington, DC. This was my third compliance event attended this year, and it was an impressive, well-organized event. I was intrigued by presentations on “newer” areas of developments in the ethics & compliance space, such as vendor management, data privacy and social media.
To ensure compliance by suppliers, there was agreement on a number of items, including: the importance of a proper screening process; having sign-off on an anti-corruption charter/agreement that includes right to audit; making sure there is a business person accountability for each vendor; and conducting regular and spot audits.
There was much discussion about the many laws and requirements surrounding data privacy, including the importance of an updated, process-driven data breach/incident response plan.
It was pointed out that we don’t have workplaces anymore, so from a social networking perspective employees have an obligation to act in the best interest of the company at all times and a company’s policies should reflect this. New social media policies must also address monitoring systems, the need for an active strategy group so that you don’t fall behind technology, employee training and compliance with global laws.
I came away from this conference with the feeling that we’re definitely headed in the right direction. Almost every topic stressed the importance of transparency in an organization to create a feeling of trust with management and build an ethical organization. And a number of key items – tone from the top (and middle), code of conduct, awareness, actionable processes – are integral as we help organizations build that ethical culture.