The Law Society Gazette: Companies equip compliance officers to see off risks

Originally Published In The Law Society Gazette | May 20, 2014 | By Kathleen Hall

The role of chief compliance officers is growing as organisations seek to mitigate regulatory risks, according to research.

Some 60% of chief compliance officers say their budgets have increased over the last 12 months, according to events company Consero.

Of the 63 surveyed, 75% said they have sufficient access to resources, compared with just 53% last year.

Regulatory risks were named as the top area of concern for 2014 (34%) followed by ethics training (23%) and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (18%).

Some 74% of respondents said their whistleblowing systems are handled by a third party, in order to ensure matters flagged by whistleblowers will be handled without bias and avoid being trivialised.

The majority (67%) also reported measurable improvement in compliance training. Around 87% of respondents use in-house trainers to carry out compliance and ethics training.

Paul Mandell, founder of Consero, said: ‘Companies generally seem to recognise the importance of corporate compliance and are increasingly providing sufficient resources to support the compliance function.’

However, 52% said third-party suppliers could pose threats to their organisations as they are not sufficiently focused on minimising risks.

‘Suppliers that are not sufficiently concerned with mitigating risk are a source of significant frustration and anxiety for chief compliance officers, and unfortunately, CCOs seem to have few easy solutions to this problem,’ said Mandell.