Dealing With the Compliance Tsunami – A Longer Range View

by John Alan James for Corporate Compliance Insights, June 29th, 2011.

It is nearly impossible to remain calm these days as the follow through to last year’s Dodd-Frank legislation inundates our planning sessions with voluminous documents from the different regulatory agencies asking for “comments.”

Meanwhile, our media sources belabor us with the confusing goings-on in the Congress as Republican committees threaten to either kill the bill or starve its implementation. Major battles between state governors and city mayors with public service unions also create major uncertainties regarding business-government relations at those crucial levels.

Overall, it’s not a good recipe for achieving sound or lasting planning for dealing with future regulatory and compliance challenges. Many companies are establishing new or larger units dedicated to operations risk/compliance. These planning and risk management units will probably focus on the externally generated issues emerging from Federal, State and even local governmental bodies.

While this emphasis on external governance is undoubtedly necessary, I would like to point out an equally important challenge rapidly arising within the non-governmental, non-regulatory compliance sector – internal governance. There is an increasing need for new policies at board and top management levels to creatively deal with new demands for recognizing stakeholders other than equity shareholders, greater public interest in sustainability and acceptable policies regarding the environment. (continue reading… )


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