One way to operationalize compliance is to implement a regional model for oversight. Such an approach can more effectively ensure employee and third-party compliance with your code of conduct by integrating compliance into every aspect of a company’s functions and generating the necessary information to continuously improve your program. A regional compliance committee can operate on multiple planes to fully operationalize compliance in a company, augment existing internal controls, and make the company a more efficient and profitable entity.
The formation of a regional compliance committee creates more direct ownership, accountability, and transparency, and it integrates the compliance function into all levels of the company’s operations. This approach also significantly improves consistency of compliance execution and helps to ensure that a company’s business objectives are achieved in a legally compliant fashion. Regional compliance committees can also advise and provide insights to the CCO and disseminate information from the corporate compliance function regarding applicable regional requirements and industry standards. A regional compliance committee should not have primary responsibility for internal investigations, but should rather report any known compliance issues to the corporate compliance department.
A regional compliance committee is designed to promote clear and frequent compliance-related communication throughout the region and strengthen the company’s compliance culture. It allows compliance topics to be more thoroughly discussed at regularly occurring operational meetings and should have communication structures designed to facilitate communication both up and down the chain.
A regional committee also gives the compliance function greater visibility within the organization because compliance has been moved further into the middle and lower levels of the organization.