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Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Testifies at U.S. Sentencing Commission March 17, 2010 Hearing on Proposed Amendments

Thursday, March 18, 2010 General News J E 4
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Focus of SCCE Testimony: High-Level Personnel Involvement, Compliance Officer Reporting Authority, and Incentives

MINNEAPOLIS, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) announced it will testify on its behalf and on behalf of the Health Care Compliance Association before the U.S. Sentencing Commission at today's hearing on the proposed amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Organizational Guidelines. The proposed amendment makes numerous changes to Chapter Eight of the Guidelines Manual regarding the sentencing of organizations. (proposed amendments: http://www.ussc.gov/FEDREG/20100114_Proposed_Amendments.pdf).

The SCCE commended the U.S. Sentencing Commission for its "trailblazing leadership." Speaking before the Commission Joseph E. Murphy, SCCE Director of Public Policy noted that the SCCE has "developed books, articles, videos, conferences, and an interactive social network and website dedicated to proselytizing the Sentencing Commission's underlying message of responsible corporate citizenship through the use of effective compliance and ethics programs."

Mr. Murphy explained that the testimony he would give is focused on three points: two related to giving credit for programs despite high-level participation in misconduct, and one to suggest an additional modest revision to the Guidelines' standards related to incentives.

The SCCE supports the proposed amendment that a compliance and ethics program still be able to receive credit even if a high-level person is involved in an offense, as long as the organization has taken certain responsible steps. This change "recognizes that the involvement in an offense by one manager, whatever the position, is not the same as involvement by 'senior management,'" said Murphy.

In its testimony, the SCCE commended the Commission for its focus on "having the compliance person report to the highest governing authority as one condition for this credit," but Murphy stressed that the compliance officer's reporting authority to the board "needs to be clarified and enhanced."

In its final point, the SCCE noted that application of the "incentives" standard, added in 2004, in practice has been limited. To underscore this, the SCCE pointed to a recent survey it conducted of its members that found incentives are being underutilized in compliance programs as well as a white paper ("Building Incentives in Your Compliance & Ethics Program" January 2009) posted on the SCCE website. (Survey: www.corporatecompliance.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Resources/Surveys/default.htm)

(White paper: http://www.corporatecompliance.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Resources/IssuesAnswers/BuildingIncentivesInYourComplianceProgram_NonMemb.pdf).

The SCCE recommends adding an "explanation in the commentary, drawn from excellent material promulgated by the Canadian Competition Bureau in its 2008 Compliance Program Bulletin," to the existing, one word reference to "incentives" in the Sentencing Guidelines item 6, said Murphy.

For the complete SCCE testimony click here:

http://corporatecompliance.org/SCCE_Testimony

About the SCCE

The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE) is a membership organization made up of compliance and ethics professionals. It is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN.

The SCCE has developed a Code of Professional Ethics for Compliance and Ethics Professionals, which has been published in 8 different languages. The SCCE offers Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) certification and Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional-Fellow (CCEP-F), an advanced certification program for compliance and ethics professionals from all industries.

Its mission: The SCCE exists to champion ethical practice and compliance standards in all organizations and to provide the necessary resources for compliance professionals and others who share these principles.

Visit the SCCE Web site at http://www.corporatecompliance.org, Toll-Free Tel: 888-277-4977. Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics is located at 6500 Barrie Road, Suite 250, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55435. E-mail: helpteam@corporatecompliance.org.

SOURCE Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
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