Under Pressure: The Life & Times of the Modern Compliance Officer

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Under Pressure: The Life & Times
of the Modern Compliance Officer                                                                                    EDITORIAL

I  recently had the pleasure of moderating a roundtable forum in New York on supply
   chain compliance, and the debate turned to a theme I often hear at these discussions:
How far should your compliance program go to please government regulators?
                                                                                                                Scott S. Cohen
    On one side were the realists, arguing that no compliance program can stop all mis-
conduct, so you simply need to demonstrate that your program makes a competent and                                Editor-in-Chief
good faith effort. Then there were the cynics, arguing that government regulators will                              Matt Kelly
                      use any incident of non-compliance they find to wring some sort of
                      concession out of you, so you need to catch them all.                                     Managing Editor
                          Spoilsport that I am, I decided to rain on the parade of both camps.                    DeAnn Orie
                      Regardless of whether you believe in trying or catching, I asked, how                dorie@complianceweek.com
                      does your budget for that look these days?
                                                                                                                 Assistant Editor
                          That was actually a rhetorical question. We all already know the                        Jaclyn Jaeger
                      answer, which seems to range somewhere from “ugh” to flagging the                   jjaeger@complianceweek.com
                      bartender for a double whiskey.
                          Now let me rain on the parade even more. Regardless of what                      Director, Production & Design
                                                                                                                     Erin Lynch
                      camp you’re in, or how your budget looks, the regulators are coming
                      for you.                                                                                     Contributors
                          In January alone, we saw a flock of powerful senators file three          Melissa Klein Aguilar   Scott Mitchell
                      bills guaranteed to complicate your life. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y)                          Neil Baker   Todd Neff
and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) filed the Supplemental Anti-Fraud Enforcement Markets                         Caron Carlson     Harvey Pitt
Act, a $110 million dollop of spending for 500 more FBI agents, 100 enforcement law-                        Bruce Carton    Richard Steinberg
yers at the Securities and Exchange Commis-                                                         Colleen Cunningham      Dan Swanson
sion, and 50 more assistant U.S. attorneys at the                                                          Stephen Davis    Stephen Taub
                                                                                                           Jon Lukomnik     Lou Thompson
Justice Department. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
                                                                                                               Cindy Ma     Tammy Whitehouse
filed legislation to cap executive compensation                                                           Richard Meyer
at $400,000 for any company taking federal                     
Description: I suspect the new high-value skill for chief compliance offi cers in 2009 will be negotiation ability-because you're going to do a lot more of that as emboldened, empowered regulators stare across the table at you and your drum-tight budget.
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