Ethics, compliance continue as priority for many companies, but there is room for improvement

Programs led by an individual reporting to either the CEO or the board or one of its committees substantially outperform those reporting to the general counsel

Ethics and compliance remain a priority for many companies, and there are some important common characteristics of businesses that scored high on a recent comparative study.

Some 65 percent of companies are seeing higher levels of overall compliance over the past three years, LRN's 2014 Ethics & Compliance Program Effectiveness Report said.

In addition, a majority of compliance officers update boards two or four times a year, with 4 percent of respondents saying they do not give board members updates. There also is a “direct connection between companies that focus on culture and those that have highly effective ethics and compliance programs,” the report adds. Risk mitigation, leadership development, culture, values and innovation are found to be important variables. Wayne Brody, a senior advisor at LRN, said in a statement, "Our study shows that an investment in culture, where values, risk management and innovation are front and center, have significant and lasting economic impact on performance."

“The analysis makes clear that businesses focused on culture, on values, on risk management, and on innovation have very effective compliance programs. And such programs have very effective businesses,” the report adds.

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Ed Silverstein

Ed Silverstein is a veteran writer and editor for magazines, websites and newspapers. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has won several...

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