Without any doubt, it is challenging to determine whether companies act appropriately in compliance with laws and regulations, and whether they maintain their ethical standards, and coordinate risk management carefully. However, these factors are critical for each organization; thus, it is essential to find ways to assess compliance, ethics, and risk management. Fortunately, the OCEG questionnaire can help to do so, as it is clearly designed to collect useful information regarding these factors.
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The OCEG questionnaire can be divided into seven blocks: culture, scope and strategy, structure and resources, policies, communication and training, issue management, and evaluation. In my opinion, it provides clear analysis of answers and gives a profound understanding of each aspect. I would like to pay more attention to the three blocks, which play crucial roles in any company and particularly interest me.
First, the block about structure and resources consists of three questions that help to determine some critical issues. According to Elgammal et al. (2016), “several studies have shown that compliance management is a daunting task, and organizations are still struggling and spending billions of dollars annually to ensure and prove their compliance.” Therefore, it is essential to understand who is responsible for compliance and ethics and realize how resources are allocated to deal with this “daunting task,” which prevents numerous organizations from growing. The possible answers to the OCEG questions in this block might be the unclear distribution of responsibilities and articulation of resources which can be regarded as an indicator of impending problems. Undoubtedly, it is a complicated process to control the coordination of the maintenance of the ethics and compliance programs, but the possible outcomes are worth the effort.
Second, the block about communication and training proves that it is vital for the management of a company to communicate its values of the compliance and ethics programs and provide different training plans and evaluations. According to Wessels et al. (2016), “ethical leadership determines the ethical culture of an organization.” Hence, the answers to the questions in the block about communication and training can help the leaders of the organization realize the advantages and disadvantages of their strategies and determine how to alter them. For example, one of the indicators of impending problems is the practice of only formal communication among employees; thus, the management of a company should encourage informal communication as well.
Third, the block about evaluation consists of the questions, which determine whether a company monitors its compliance and ethics programs effectively. Without any doubt, it is not enough to have excellent strategies and be able to implement them. An organization needs to systematically monitor its programs, analyze them, and make conclusions to solve different problems. If monitoring and evaluation are not applied, it can be treated as the warning signal. The compliance and ethics programs are often underestimated. Still, the understanding of their importance and full attention to them is likely to contribute to dealing with risks related to compliance and ethics.
In conclusion, the OCEG questions can play a crucial role in evaluating the ability of an organization to approach the challenges as it can help to identify the steps that should be taken to improve the ethics and compliance programs. Each block of questions emphasized a specific aspect ranging from structure and resources to evaluation. Therefore, the questionnaire is worth full attention and deep consideration, as it helps to identify complex issues such as compliance, ethics, and risk management.
Elgammal, A., Turetken, O., Heuvel, W., & Papazoglou, M. (2016). Formalizing and applying compliance patterns for business process compliance. Software and System Modeling, 15(1), 119–146.
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Wessels, H., & Wilkinson, N. (2016). Assessing organizational governance maturity: A retail industry case study. Risk Governance and Control: Financial Markets & Institutions, 6(2), 58-71.