BY HOWARD SKLAR
Compliance is essential for all organisations, not least because of the financial penalties and reputational damage that come with non-compliance.
This, however, is easier said than done when many organisations have no idea that they are failing to comply.
This can often be the case with global companies where they may find they’re complying in one country but not in another, or across the whole.
Furthermore the increasing legislation and complexities of the law, are a major challenge that organisations and their compliance officers face on a day-to-day basis. So, how can organisations best cope with compliance in today’s cutthroat regulatory business world?
The answer is a three step process that begins with education and training. Employees need to understand the consequences of not following guidelines or processes so as to recognise when their actions could result in a breach. Secondly, those processes must be enforced and followed in a bullet-proof manner and innovative technologies should be used in order to make compliance easier and automated.
Finally a new compliance-focused mindset needs to be adopted in all operations to mitigate the risk posed by those day-to-day pain points such as email.
Most essentially, corporate compliance needs to be directed by a hybrid legal and IT individual. An expert with a foot in both courts means that they have the expertise to ensure that the IT systems and compliance objectives align seamlessly.
Howard Sklar is Senior Corporate Counsel, RecommendIT Inc.
He represents Recommind to corporations and law firms. Prior to joining Recommind, Howard was Global Trade and Anti-Corruption Strategist at Hewlett-Packard Co., running HP’s global anti-corruption compliance program and providing counsel on compliance with US sanctions laws. Before HP, Howard was Vice President, Compliance and Global Anti-Corruption Leader at American Express Co. Howard was the chief of compliance for three operating divisions at American Express comprising 22,000 employees in 40 countries.
Before moving in-house, Howard served 12 years as a prosecutor and regulator, first as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, New York. As an ADA, Howard specialized in computer investigations and other high-tech crime, lecturing in-house and at police departments in the New York area. After, Howard spent six years at the Securities & Exchange Commission as a senior enforcement attorney in the Branch of Internet Enforcement. At the SEC, Howard investigated and prosecuted violations of the securities laws, including insider trading, accounting fraud, and market manipulation, specializing in those frauds which were perpetrated using the Internet as means of defrauding investors. Mr. Sklar holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Washington College of Law at The American University and a BA in History from Tufts University.