Leveraging Industry Guidelines to Measure Effectiveness

Converge19 had the pleasure of having Cheryl Forino Wahl, SVP / Chief E&C Officer of MetroHealth Systems present on Leveraging Industry Guidelines to Measure Effectiveness. Her insights are broken into 5 parts: Why Bother, The Standard, The How, Lessons Learned, and Continuous Improvement.

Why Bother

The why can be a challenge but it is imperative to creating an effective program. It can also help make a business case for strengthening a program.

  • Reduces penalties and fines – Learn more about Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations
  • Provides direction about where you should focus your efforts
  • Preserves resources or help justify additional resources
  • Facilitates Board reporting on the health of the program

The Standard

Let’s take a brief trip through the history of program standards. In November 1991 the FSGO was released stating organizations must have “an effective program to prevent and detect violations of the law.” In 2004 FSGO added that directors and executives must take an active role in the management of its compliance and ethics program, promote an organizational culture that complies with the law, and demonstrates ethical culture. The Department of Justice began its focus on compliance with A Resources Guide to the US FCPA released in November 2012, followed by the Benczkowki Memo in 2018. Leading us to the compliance buzz of 2019… DOJ GUIDANCE. Those guidelines send a clear message that effectiveness matters – not just the existence of a compliance program.

The How

How does a compliance team measure culture and by proxy effectiveness? It’s a challenging task with no easy solution. As Cheryl puts it – “Measuring compliance effectiveness is seeking the Holy Grail. We all want it very much, but it’s very hard to achieve.”
There are 5 key resources to help with this challenge:

The Lessons Learned

The evaluation of a company’s program should be in relation to the DOJ Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. It should culminate in a gap analysis and use the resources listed above.
Cheryl warns that this will be a tough process, it will take 2-3 times longer than expected, and creates many “to-dos”. She recommends using a team approach and not tackling all the challenges at once. She reassures that in the end, the process will be worth it.

Continuous Improvement

To measure the continuous improvement Cheryl suggests reading the Compliance Metric Handbook as well as measuring how much the “compliance bar” has been raised year over year using Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies Award Application.
Lastly, it’s important to note that this is not a one-off project, but a repeatable cycle and your efforts should be showcased to the Board.

If you have a question about what to address with the board check out, The eBook Board of Directors FAQs.