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Key Elements of a Top-Notch Compliance Program

January 7, 2015
John F. Kuppens , Andrew Rink

Reprinted with permission from the Association of Corporate Counsel

In this era of increased regulation and transparency, companies must be proactive to ensure regulatory compliance and to protect their brand. To that end, it is important for companies to ensure that they have an effective compliance program. Having a compliance program designed to establish, monitor and maintain protocols for identifying product hazards or noncompliance and regulatory reporting will help improve the ability to identify risks, enhance the ability to defend corporate decisions and minimize the risk of adverse regulatory action. In today’s global economy, in-house counsel are called on daily to advise clients on regulatory compliance requirements and risks. In this era of heightened regulatory scrutiny and enforcement, in-house counsel are called on to integrate risk management considerations into their business processes. As strategic advisors, in-house counsel play important roles in helping companies assess current practices and think ahead.

Solutions

Companies should examine their internal product safety and regulatory compliance processes to help ensure that they position the company to identify risks and comply with any reporting obligations in a timely manner. This article will map out key elements of a product safety and regulatory compliance program and will suggest means to proactively design an effective internal program through a list of steps and checklists to equip in-house counsel with the best practices for improving their company’s state of compliance.

Regulatory climate

The number of companies facing regulatory proceedings has been on the rise in recent years. Many observers attribute the upward trend to a stricter regulatory environment and increased scrutiny from a broad range of state and federal agencies. In particular, companies are under increasing scrutiny and government regulation by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and similar federal regulatory agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Food and Drug Administration. These measures are having a greater financial impact on companies as well.

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