The Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI) has released the final version of its report, Principles & Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs. The report was prepared by a Blue Ribbon Panel of ethics and compliance practitioners, academics, white collar and whistleblower attorneys and former enforcement officials. It is the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive framework for creating E&C programs that are of high quality and go beyond the basic regulatory requirements. A diverse group of ethics and compliance practitioners and other members of the public were invited to offer comments on a draft of the report that was released in November 2015, and their feedback was included in the final report.
The final report provides detail about organizations with ethics and compliance programs that go beyond the minimum standard; demonstrating that high-quality programs (HQPs) have a purpose of “establishing and perpetuating a high standard of integrity that becomes part of the DNA of the organization.” The report discusses five core principles that are shared by these organizations:
- Principle 1: Ethics and compliance is central to business strategy.
- Principle 2: Ethics and compliance risks are identified, owned, managed and mitigated.
- Principle 3: Leaders at all levels across the organization build and sustain a culture of integrity.
- Principle 4: The organization encourages, protects and values the reporting of concerns and suspected wrongdoing.
- Principle 5: The organization takes action and holds itself accountable when wrongdoing occurs.
The expenses for Principles & Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs were funded in part with a grant from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
Principles & Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs was first released in draft form in November of 2015. Members of the public were allotted two months to submit comments. This report is the final version that incorporates the feedback received.
Read the full report here.