Compliance and the Culture Challenge
The 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes believed that, without appropriate social controls, life would be “nasty, brutish and short”. This rather dim view of humanity pervades much modern compliance practice. In a nutshell, the assumption is that people will do the wrong thing and the job of compliance departments is to prevent wrong-doing and if we can’t prevent it, we need to catch and punish the wrong-doers.*
The value of whistleblowing systems in corporate investigations and forensics
The cost of non-compliance, in both financial and reputational terms, is now so high that many organisations are turning to external law firms to help manage compliance and ethics risk. In particular, companies are increasingly looking for support and advice around screening, managing and investigating cases that come to light through their whistleblowing systems. And it’s easy to see why.
What worries me about whistleblowing…
I’ve been worrying about whistleblowing lately. In particular, whether traditional methods of reporting are really effective – because the level of reporting in many organisations just seems low. And I’m not sure that this is a situation where ‘least said is soonest mended’, as the saying goes. If there’s misconduct occurring the compliance team needs to know, and fast.