Welcome to Day 3 of 30 Days to a Better Compliance Program. Today I want to consider the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in your organization, through three prisms: access, resources and opportunities. 


What access does your CCO have to the top decision makers in your organization? While it really does not matter whether the CCO reports to the CEO, Board or GC; it does matter that the CCO have direct access to corporate decision maker.


This means both head count of personnel to operate your compliance function and the money available to implement the appropriate technology to sustain an effective compliance program. If your compliance team is run on a shoestring, you will likely be downgraded for your overall commitment to doing business in compliance with the FCPA. Put another way, if you spend more on paper clips than on your compliance program, your compliance program may well be under-funded.

CCO Pay, Opportunity and Expertise 

In the Pilot Program, the DOJ laid out another important element for every compliance program, which is expertise of your CCO and compliance function. I think the clear implication is that the DOJ will even look at salaries. Once again if a company tries to get by on the cheap, it may certainly come back to bite them in the end. Finally the DOJ has made clear that compliance is part of the corporate family by even requiring that the CCO have opportunities for advancement with the corporation at the senior management level and that the compliance function shall be afforded similar opportunities.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. The CCO must have access to the highest levels of your organization.
  2. The CCO must have adequate money and personnel resources to perform the function.
  3. The CCO must be qualified, appropriately compensated and have opportunity for advancement within the organization.

For more information, check out my book Doing Compliance: Design, Create and Implement an Effective Anti-Corruption Compliance Program, which is available by clicking here.