The New Year is the perfect time for an organization to reevaluate its position regarding compliance regulations. In order to run an effective business, decision-makers must ensure that their management and employees are adhering to the proper rules and latest standards year to year, especially as regulations change. So it is no surprise that reports of compliance tips and laws are surfacing this month, particularly as the biggest conference surrounding compliance, Compliance Week, is being promoted in anticipation of the upcoming event this Spring.
While compliance may not be top of mind for some administrators, it is an essential part of running an effective and compliant organization. In fact, in a recent Compliance Week report, Matt Kelly referenced an interesting metaphor, comparing the chief compliance officer to a primary care physician, responsible for the overall health of the compliance program, yet enlisting in other specialists in other parts of the business such as legal, accounting, IT, internal audit, human resources, etc. to help keep a company running properly.
In today’s business environment, the procurement department, responsible for all of the purchasing activity of a company, has become somewhat of a support system for the compliance department. Considering how closely related each department is, regardless of the bottom line of a business, it makes perfect sense for the two departments to combine forces to create a stronger administrative system.
According to Kelly, if companies are smart, they will begin consolidating deal making into one central procurement department and let the gatekeepers make the decisions. The procurement department then has the power to pick and choose third parties based on cost, since that is their primary focus.
In addition, when reviewing and signing important contracts, enlisting in the help of the procurement office, who can assist in dissecting and drafting complicated legal jargon, can make a compliance officer’s job easier and more efficient in the long run, given the expertise centralized procurement possesses.
If you are looking to streamline your processes for a more productive and profitable 2014, an easy place to start is by consolidating your legal and procurement departments. Marrying the two will not only help you to restructure your procedures, but may also unlock knowledge and solutions that have been under your nose all along.
For related articles on compliance and procurement, check out these recent reports on Inside Counsel: