10Minutes on whistleblower reform

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10Minutes 07/15/2013 by Center for Board Governance
10Minutes on whistleblower reform

At a glance

Whistleblower reform is having significant impact. The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower has one full year of operation under its belt, and with it 3,001 tips and two awards to date. Leading companies are looking closely at the Office’s first-year report and drawing lessons for building stronger ethics and compliance programs. They’re also considering what it takes to create a highly ethical culture. This 10Minutes highlights the importance of having an ethical culture at the workplace.

With the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, the focus on behaving in accordance with laws and regulations has increased. Having a strong corporate compliance culture is thus more important than ever.

Leading companies are learning from the Office’s experience with the whistleblower program in its first year of existence. Many companies are rethinking what it takes to create a highly ethical culture and foster an environment of trust where employees feel comfortable going to their managers and supervisors with an issue. Companies will want to ensure they have processes to identify and investigate internal reports of suspected securities laws violations. Understanding the recently implemented whistleblower provisions is essential to educating employees and supervisors, managing potential legal and reputational risks, and continuously improving company culture.

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