To say I am excited would be putting it mildly. Yes that most premier of compliance related conferences is on the short horizon; Compliance Week 2013 is nearly upon us. It will be from May 20-22 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. As usual, Matt Kelly and his outstanding team have put together a first rate program for the General Counsel (GC), compliance practitioner (in-house or outside counsel), FCPA Bar/FCPA Inc. or even Mike Volkov’s good friends, the FCPA Paparazzi. If there is one national compliance conference that you can attend each year, for my money, this is the event.
As Matt Kelly has said, the theme of Compliance Week 2013 is “Seeing All the Data” and is designed as “a testament to how vital it is that compliance executives have visibility into all the information and operations at their enterprises. That could be anything from tracking all your third parties, or monitoring all the data your business collects about customers, or seeing all the regulatory risks you face as you build a risk-management program.” This theme is certainly appropriate as I believe that 2013 will be the year that the use of data in transaction; third party; relationship and all other forms of ongoing monitoring will make any compliance program more robust. There are several sessions where these topics will be explored, including the following: Continuous Transaction Monitoring That Works, the Kroll Benchmarking Report, Mapping Data on Information Governance, Automating Third Party Risk, and Financial Reporting. This plethora of sessions speaks to the emergence of technology as a tool to support compliance.
Another key theme of Compliance Week 2013 is leadership. The first day of the conference is the subject of leadership. The first keynote speaker on Day One is Ed Breen, the chairman and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tyco International Ltd, who had to pick up the tatters of that company in 2002, as his predecessor went off to prison, and then rebuild the entire operation. The second keynote speaker on Day One is retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie, former head of U.N. peacekeeping forces in Yugoslavia, Central America, Middle East and Vietnam. Some of the sessions on Day One regarding leadership will focus on the practical; how to position the compliance department as an asset rather than an obstacle; how to craft a Code of Conduct that fits your business and culture; how to do business in India, Latin America, and elsewhere.
For the FCPA consigliori amongst you, I will once again be leading a conversation on the most recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) developments. With the recent Parker Drilling Company and Ralph Lauren Corporation resolutions and the various individuals who have been indicted or have pled out, it promises to be an interesting and informative time for anyone interested in all things FCPA. If it turns out that after my session you are still craving more insight about effective compliance with the FCPA there will be a session entitled “FCPA Guidance, Right From the Source”. This session will address any lingering questions you may have about the FCPA guidance published last fall by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The panel will include the top FCPA enforcers from both the DOJ and SEC, who will offer their latest thinking on anti-bribery enforcement and answer questions from the audience about best practices and putting agency guidance to good use.
If your compliance challenges reach beyond the FCPA, there will be sessions which deal with broader compliance themes. In the area of export control, one conversation will have regulators who will discuss issues related to sponsoring a foreign-born worker here in the United States; some of the implications of the export control reform effort on investigations and prosecutions; and the absolute requirement to know your customer. There will also be a session which showcases the Boeing Co.’s approach to trade compliance, from monitoring regulatory changes to developing processes that simplify compliance and examples of how the Boeing program was implemented in its business units.
If internal controls are more to your taste or needs, then check out the panel discussion regarding FMC Corp. You will hear from the company’s internal control team that implemented an automated system to collect and monitor financial data: the software they used; the controls they streamlined; the high-level components of internal controls they did not automate, and the results so far. More focused on training? One session will discuss how to align business and compliance objectives with training, how to ensure you get the data you need to demonstrate progress, and what tools you can use to deliver training to a diverse workforce cost effectively. If you want to move beyond training and into embedding compliance into your company’s DNA, check out this session “Beyond Training: Articulating & Embedding Company Values”. This session will discuss how organizations with the most ethical rigor want to embed their cultural values in everything they do, so employees know how to conduct themselves in any circumstance, not just in moments of obvious crisis.
So whether it’s by plane, train or automobile, I hope that you can get to Compliance Week 2013. To help you do so, I have been authorized to offer a discount to readers of my blog. For registration and information, click here.
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© Thomas R. Fox, 2013