19 November 2013

The Legal Research Network (LRN) has published its 2013  Ethics & Compliance Leadership Survey Report. LRN is an NGO (established in 1994 “BE” – before Enron) that promotes the democratisation of information to help people around the world do the right thing.  It began promoting open government long before the Open Government Partnership was contemplated.

The survey findings are based on responses from ethics and compliance leaders across industries and geographies.

  • 80% saw business performance and value creation as the greatest benefits of an ethical culture
  • 74%  listed data privacy as the top ethics and compliance risk
  • 70% considered conflicts of interest as the second greatest threat
  • 68% rated electronic data protection as the third greatest threat,  and
  • 62% saw bribery and corruption as the next threat to ethics and compliance.

Interestingly, the survey indicates that ethics leaders consider social media to be a top risk also.

A finding is that programs with the primary mandate of “ensuring ethical behaviour and alignment of decision-making and conduct with core values” score higher on the LRN Program Effectiveness Index than programs that focused solely on “ensuring compliance with rules and regulations.”

The message is that compliance with codes of conduct for compliance sake is less effective than an organisation structured around the “6 trust elements – where

  • there are standards of integrity and conduct
  • there is promotion of the standards of integrity and conduct
  • the standards of integrity and conduct are integrated into the behaviour of employees
  • managers model the standards of integrity and conduct in their behaviour
  • staff know the consequences for behaviour that breaches the standards of integrity and conduct
  • the organisation acts decisively when breaches occur.

Awareness of these 6 trust elements will be measured in the State Services Integrity and Conduct survey now underway.