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Is Your Compliance Program a House of Mysteries?

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Is Your Compliance Program a House of Mysteries?

Last month I had my first introduction to the stories of GRC 20/20 Chief Policy Pundit, Michael Rasmussen. And, I can tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed them. There was, however, one story in particular that sticks out in my mind above all the rest. My favorite anecdote from the “Critical Trends in Compliance for 2014 and Beyond” event in Atlanta was that of the Winchester Mystery House.

In a “state of the union” discussion, Michael explains that compliance programs are battling disjointed strategies, poor integration, complexity, high costs and wasted resources, to name a few. To put some context around it, Michael states many compliance programs today are like the Winchester Mystery House. For those who don’t know about it, the Winchester Mystery House (the mansion of gun mogul William Winchester) took 38 years to construct starting in 1884. Upon “completion” the mansion consisted of 160 rooms, 47 fireplaces, 6 kitchens, 10,000 windows, 65 doors that opened to blank walls, 13 staircases that led to no where and 25 skylights – built into the floors! The mayhem can be attributed to having not one, but 147 builders, all building without a blueprint. The building cost $5.5 million – equivalent to $75 million by todays standards!

Now think about your compliance program. How do you approach the updates of your polices? Do you have a plan? Or like the builders of the Winchester Mystery House, do you find yourselves forging forward without a blueprint? Do you have old, outdated polices or multiple versions of policies floating around on employee desktops, the company intranet, etc.? Compliance officers today need to be vigilant to avoid having their own “Mystery House” compliance program.

The solution to the problem is GRC technology. Implementing integrated GRC systems allows you to manage all aspects of your compliance program in one central location. You have access to all policies, are notified of regulation changes requiring policy updates, and can easily run reports to show and analyze trends in non-compliance.

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