How can a board work to incorporate the compliance function into a long-term business strategy of the organization? A board can do so by engaging with the CCO and compliance function by being committed to doing business ethically and in compliance with anti-corruption laws such as the FCPA and engaging actively with the CCO and compliance function.
The first point is to develop a framework for incorporating compliance into the long-term strategy. Setting up the framework for evaluation of the compliance function is a three-step process that you can use to determine how comprehensive your compliance program is as a starting point.
Step 1: Has the company identified the compliance issues relevant to the board?
Step 2: Has the company assessed and incorporated those compliance issues into its long-term strategy?
Step 3: Has the company communicated its approach to compliance and the influence of those factors on its overall strategy?
From this initial inquiry you can move into some specific questions that the board can use to determine the overall state of your company’s compliance program. First, a board can work to identify compliance issues material to your organization. This can be accomplished with compliance related to key performance indicators, which a board should then prioritize to elevate their impact on compliance. A board should consider these through the life-cycle of a business line or geographic sales area. Next, the board should work to move compliance into both the long-term strategy for the company and also have the CCO detail the long-term strategy for the compliance function.
The board should oversee the incorporation of KPIs into senior management performance evaluations and compensation; should make sure certain systems are in place to quantify or measure performance related to compliance issues; and should establish performance goals against which it measures compliance achievement.
Finally, the board should work to communicate the influence of compliance factors on overall corporate strategy by demonstrating how compliance was integrated into the business. Not only is this good from a business perspective and shareholder expectation, but also the Justice Department has made clear it expects the operationalization of compliance going forward.