Ethics and Compliance Hotline Leading Practices

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Assuring compliance within policies, procedures, and legal and regulatory requirements is an important activity that supports the function and reputation of successful organizations. Due to various governance regimes, including the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a compliance and ethics program has become commonplace when supporting the improvement of governance practices within an organization.

This tool features a number of leading practices for managing an ethics and compliance hotline, including:

  • The hotline provides a web-based reporting capability as well as a toll-free telephone-based service.
  • The organization prohibits retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports a possible violation to the hotline or who participates in an investigation, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the concern.
  • The appropriate action against any individual determined to be engaging in retaliatory conduct should be ensured.
  • The hotline establishes its credibility based on procedural justice. Procedural justice refers to the fairness of the implementation of a company’s policies and procedures both formally and informally and is a primary way that firms can foster positive moral obligations toward its rules.
  • The ethics and compliance hotline adopts a self-regulatory approach that is more effective in gaining employee rule-following than a command-and-control approach.

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