CURRENT VIEWS ON COMPLIANCE & GOVERNANCE
In 2008/2009 Governance and Compliance will continue to be hot topics, with the terms well bandied around about what levels of governance are relevant to business at all levels. There is likely to be a scramble for “more compliance” after the collapse of Lehmann Bros and the large financial bailout programmes undertaken by government treasuries across the globe!
The key economic issues that larger and medium sized organizations are likely to face will affect compliance programmes as a direct result of the significant collapse in share and financial markets which now is cascading across into other sector areas.
Governance programmes will be potential targets for cost reductions and shrinkage in size with bare minimum levels of governance being sought, rather than aspiring to best practise. It’s a survival factor.
Why? Loss of jobs that flow down through downturns on sales and emphasis on reduction in costs will result in organizations wanting to pay LESS attention to compliance (or find ways to cut corners) in all the key areas you have highlighted.
With one exception. I see good risk managers stepping up to the plate and becoming quality advisers who will be called on to focus on how an organization can reduce its reliance on governance and compliance programmes, (ie; what is the bare minimum needed) and what does this reduction in compliance do to the risk registers?
In other words, risk trade-off studies will become more important tools of trade for an organization as they seek to recover from the significant impacts of the current economic conditions.
In smaller organizations, who can ill afford the overhead cost of excessive compliance, compliance and governance activities will be reduced almost to zero as they know how to go into survival mode, real fast! They will slash and burn governance and compliance programmes unless they are a regulated industry that relies on a governance programme to be able to trade. Here the exception will be in the health and safety area as that is one area that will remain, although the tendency to cut corners will surface also.
Here's what we wrote back in 2003/2004
Larger, highly regulated and complex businesses started discovering in late 2003 and early 2004 that they need to make significant improvements in business performance to meet increasing levels of corporate governance which have arisen through such areas as Sarbanes Oxley, CLERP 9, CoBIT. Many organisations are now facing increasing scrutiny to ensure they meet their ISO accreditation requirements. There is a cascading effect into the medium and small business sector areas as well, that are facing increasing levels of regulation and compliance.
The requirement to demonstrate "compliance through corporate governance" has evolved after the collapse of many large corporations (Enron, Worldcom, Parmalat, HIH, FAI and many others) through lack of accountability and transparency in reporting and management systems. The fundamental requirement arises through shareholder dissatisfaction and government dismay and dissatisfaction over corporate collapses that leave many unemployed and large debts owing to creditors and other parties.
In analysing the "fallout" from these collapses, a common "catch cry" emerges through the press commenting on the investigating report that invariably identifies (amongst other things) that an organisation had inherent weaknesses in its "internal processes and procedures".
GOOD DOCUMENTATION IS FUNDAMENTAL
Further analysis illustrates that some of the fundamental issues that have resulted in "failed business performance" emanate from "out-of-date" or "poorly written" internal policies and procedures, which are used to run and operate the business entity.
Previously the documentation to "run the business" i.e. it's Policies and Procedures was held under the name of the "Quality Management System". We like to call this the Business Management System, as the repository of all the policies, procedures and forms needed to operate the business effectively.
KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES
Many organisations are struggling to maintain their ISO accreditation due to the rapid changes occurring in their own industry sector area. Not to be underestimated are the large numbers of external regulation changes that are occurring and published daily through government (federal, state and local) and industry body regulators.
In 2004, to manage the myriads of changes to the documentation, and the documentation itself, contained within the business management system, businesses are discovering that that they need a purpose built solution with unrivalled flexibility, which can deliver up-to-date documentation in a controlled format. They also need "procedural" documentation that s easy to read, and can be operated without interpretation.
This is a MUST if the organisation is required to demonstrate that they are compliant.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY COMPLIANCE?
It doesn't matter what industry sector you are in the issues of compliance and corporate governance will affect the way you do business and demonstrating that you are compliant through your Business Management System will reduce your risk in a number of areas.
Compliance and Governance affects;
A KEY SOLUTION TO REDUCE RISK
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Axion's 4TQToolKit is a complete Business Management System, originally created as a purpose built solution with unrivalled flexibility, which can deliver up-to-date documentation in a controlled format that is easy to read, can be operated without interpretation and readily deployed to all sites.
for Compliance and Governance comprises:
"Readily enables mapping of external views of Regulations, Codes Of Practise, and Standards to INTERNAL documentation, to allow you to easily demonstrate compliance to governance requirements."
makes process mapping of Customer Requirements, Standards, Regulations,
Corporate Policies, and Strategic Objectives into an integrated suite for
ease of recognition of compliance hot spots and allows for rapid gap
analysis of an enterprise business management system.
4TQPolicy links each of the above requirements to an internal 'policy' statement and these statements are organised under your own, coherent headings, making it easier for you to identify and resolve any conflicting requirements. Produces a comprehensive report at any time to prove your systems cover all the requirements of any of your standards.
4TQPolicy builds you the exact status of compliance based on any dates entered which will then show all your standards current at that date, which policies were in place at that time and which documents (with their revision status) met those policies. In this increasingly litigious society, with more and more accountability resting with directors and employees, 4TQPolicy makes it easier to prove compliance.
4TQPolicy can produce the "quality mandated" manual for each standard at the click of a button, (which means it is fully deployable to every desktop) and it's always up-to-date.
4TQPolicy handles change management very easily. Prior to imposition of a new or a changed set of requirements, identify exactly where the organisation will be non-compliant and implement plans to ensure compliance. 4TQ Policy is the perfect tool for planning the changes required by ISO9000-2000 or any other standard, code of practise or regulation.
"Enables creation of any process or procedural document using 4 basic symbols, assigns owners of tasks, maps to clauses Regulations, Codes Of Practise, and Standards, and can generate a printed configured and controlled document to satisfy any Quality System auditor".
|4TQFlow - makes process mapping and flowcharting as easy as - build a process map based on 4 simple symbols , then click a button to create a fully formatted 'procedure' mapped to regulations, codes of practise, ISO standards etc - click another button and publish your entire set of process documents to a web site - complete with automated configuration management (document control), audit planning and recording. Most sites write their "procedures" verbose, then draw a flowchart, then experience all sorts of drawing/editing issues surrounding technical authoring. Finally they need to organise a configured version that has all the signatory records as evidence of deployment and control. 4TQFlow includes the entire process within ONE software module and with the press of a button after initial creation of the flow chart containing the process steps the "procedure"' is written! 15 minutes will create the simplest complete configured document (in your format) that meets the most stringent requirement of any ISO auditor.|
"Create Explorer views that are specific to department, district or manager level using existing documentation by drag and drop linking of relevant file detail".
|4TQExplorer - visually shows how all your documentation and processes interrelate making analysis and improvement much easier - allows you to create different 'views of the world' eg; by department or function, (similar to Windows Explorer folder view) for different departments and even individuals, while eliminating maintenance costs. No need to re-write all your documents, they can be left "as-is"' and viewed in 4TQ Explorer, adding new documents with 4TQFlow starts the changes needed to move forward.|
"Measure and Monitor process performance measures with ease".
|4TQLink - provides the tools for quality and process improvement to make business improvement projects measurable and accountable – identify and monitor process performance measures, linking them directly to the process documents that drive them.|
"Automatically generates Intranet ready web pages containing links to all documents without any web author skills needed".
|4TQWebGen - provides the tools to automatically generate all documents created and publish them in an Intranet format for ready use and deployment across an organisation WITHOUT any HTML coding, web authoring or manual linking. The system generates the HTML web pages and publishes them with all links referenced for ready access. If the desktop is connected to the network then the new or changed procedure has been "deployed to the user" and all that is then required is followup by management and supervisors through training/information sessions to ensure that newly deployed items have been acknowledged and adequate training is given. Its never sufficient to just "publish" a procedure You need to ensure it's deployed effectively through training and instruction to meet operational and occupational health and safety standards.|
"Look and Feel document structure"
|Enables creation of documents that "Look and Feel" like existing in-house documentation, to ease the transition throughout you business.|
"These Compliance Templates identify level 1, 2 and 3 clauses in relevant Standards and Codes of Practise in use in Australia".
provided for clause headings in the following standards and codes of
Templates can be easily created by generation of CSV formatted files containing clauses in any regulation, standard, customer requirement etc
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