Brief Confessions of an ex-Compliance Officer

I normally find a riveting, edge-of-your-seat article or idea to write about, but I couldn’t help going back into my coffers of experience to do a little browsing around.  Let me give you some background…

My bio will tell you that I have government and private sector experience, but what it doesn’t tell you is that my previous position to Wolters Kluwer was as a Compliance Manager – THE government compliance manager for a start-up subsidiary.  I was excited to take the position.  It seemed like the right time and right place in my life to make a transition into the culmination of everything I had learned and experienced (before I found my current position).  I digress… 

There is a lot to this story that I really feel I could say, but once something is on the internet, it is there forever.  Let’s suffice it to say that whenever a compliance manager/officer/etc. is being put in a position that they cannot report to the high enough level to make an effective change within the compliance system (or lack thereof) something could be wrong.  I found a short video from MarketWatch that would have been nice to know before that position.  It could help the hopeful compliance officer and potentially warn the investor what to do if a CCO resigns or is not in place when there should be. 

My two takeaways from the video:

1 – If a compliance officer has resigned, is it because they got a better offer or because the company wasn’t really serious about the compliance issues they needed to be?

2 – The compliance officer (like internal audit) should report directly to the board.  THIS IS ONE I PUSHED FOR AND LOST.

Food for thought:  How big does a government contractor need to be before “worrying” about having a compliance manager/officer?

About Marty Herbert

With 13 years of government contract administration, analysis, finance, and audit experience, I have established a firm baseline in ethics and a specialization in government contracts that has prepared me to become a subject matter expert in my field. I am currently working on enhancing government contracts management and compliance through workflow tools and product offerings - attempting to make the process proactive as opposed to reactive.
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