One of the most important focuses of the DOJ’s 2019 Guidance was around culture. This means how far has the culture of compliance been driven down into an organization. The 2019 Guidance posed the following:
Culture of Compliance – How often and how does the company measure its culture of compliance? Does the company seek input from all levels of employees to determine whether they perceive senior and middle management’s commitment to compliance? What steps has the company taken in response to its measurement of the compliance culture?
These questions point to a CCO or compliance practitioner demonstrating how a culture of compliance is being burned into the very fabric of an organization. While leadership at and from the top has long been considered by both the DOJ and compliance professionals as a key element to move compliance forward, the 2019 Evaluation has also crystalized thinking around compliance culture throughout the organization, including at the bottom
Too often, strategies to move a compliance program or even an initiative come from the top of an organization and are pushed down. To fully operationalize compliance, you must have leadership in compliance further down the organization which (hopefully) has been a part of the design process and can lead the implementation throughout an organization.
Three key takeaways:
- While tone at the top is critical, the tone at the bottom can work to more fully operationalize compliance.
- 95% of the work is done at this bottom level.
- Use HR to come up with a strategy to move compliance into the bottom for more complete operationalization.