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Corpedia Announces Top Five Compliance and Ethics Steps Critical to Surviving Tough Economic Times

Offers 10 free tools to help companies assess code of conduct, policies and controls, risk and more

Submitted by: Ethisphere Institute

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Jul 16, 2009 – 10:31 AM EST

 

Jul. 16 /CSRwire/ - Phoenix, AZ - July 16, 2009 - As hundreds of thousands of businesses suffer due to trying economic challenges, Corpedia, a leading provider of corporate and institutional ethics training, consulting and risk assessment solutions, today issued recommendations on measures companies can take to help weather the storm. Corpedia's five "pointers for performance" are designed to help companies create a strong ethical culture and reputation for integrity so they can establish and maintain a robust organization that is more likely to outperform its competitors. What's more, Corpedia highlights 10 complimentary diagnostics as a measure to assist companies in assessing various components of their compliance and ethics programs and provide critical insight into potentially catastrophic shortcomings.

"Research proves that being ethical is more than just about saving face and preserving your reputation; this has become a 'bet the business' issue and good for a business' bottom line," said Tim Erblich, Executive Vice President of Corpedia Corporation. "With the government increasingly cracking down on violations and impropriety, companies will see that the gamble of skimping on ethical best practices such as accountability, transparency and conflict identification is not one that should be taken."

Erblich continued, "Look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for example: according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the Justice Department is investigating at least 120 companies, up from 100 at the end of last year. With fines in the millions of dollars range, or even billions like Siemens, companies need to take necessary precautions to inoculate themselves from risk."

Corpedia's top five simple pointers for performance include:

  • Don't wait till it’s too late: Take preventative measures by instituting an effective compliance and ethics program to not only avoid problems, but aid in defending your organization in the event of a compliance breakdown. Regulators and enforcement agencies tend to look more favorably upon those companies who've made an earnest effort to walk the straight and narrow.
  • Articulate expectations: Developing and effectively communicating a clear, comprehensive code of conduct to set and reinforce behavioral requirements will help safeguard employees from veering off the road to success. If you have a code in place, it should be revised every two years or so.
  • You can't run or hide: Make sure your house is in order. There has never been greater scrutiny or enforcement of anti-bribery conventions using mechanisms such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, so being organized, transparent and accountable is imperative.
  • Work out the old, bring in the new: Review and modify existing policies and procedures, and consider creating new controls to meet the demands of now and, even better, tomorrow.
  • Knowledge is power: Take advantage of available research that sheds light on others' successes and failures and outlines the framework for a bulletproof compliance and ethics program.

"Compliance programs cannot be devised and never revisited," said Stephen Martin, General Counsel and Vice President of Corpedia. "They must evolve and adapt to constantly changing rules and regulations. Revisiting and making changes to the critical components of an organization's ethics and compliance program can effectively address how the various facets stack up against important government criteria, as well as reasonable and best practices of analogous companies. Smart spending on a compliance and ethics program can save money now - and in some cases an entire organization later."

As a means of encouraging and assisting organizations to revisit their compliance and ethics program components, Corpedia offers a variety of complimentary diagnostics to help companies evaluate a number of critical program areas, such as code of conduct, policies and controls, risk assessment and more. These free evaluations are able to provide a quick and comprehensive overview of a company's compliance with wide-reaching regulations, such as the FCPA or Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), or how it fares in meeting regulatory and industry standards in compliance program elements like whistleblowing/hotline procedures and training efforts. What's more will equip decision makers with the knowledge they need to make sure their companies are out of harm's way, complying with all rules and regulations. To view a complete list of the free services offered, go to http://welcome.corpedia.com/contact/complimentary_diagnostics.

About Corpedia
Corpedia, founded in 1998, is a leader in ethics and compliance e-learning, risk assessment, code of conduct services and many other areas of ethics and compliance consulting. Working with over 500 customers in more than 150 countries, the company offers measurable and effective online instructional programs and supporting systems that help eliminate exposure and guide organizations through the complexities of today's compliance requirements. Corpedia offers an array of e-learning topics from antitrust to global privacy and protection and also specializes in code design, rewrite and review, and in-depth risk assessment consulting for those organizations that need to weigh their risk areas.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: (212) 446-1889

 

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