Challenges for Compliance Professionals in an Era of Distrust and Discontent
January 16, 2024
A growing sense of discontent and distrust continues to permeate the compliance community, extending beyond traditional concerns such as return-to-office mandates and budget cuts, according to an article from the FCPA Blog. Author Harry Cassin says the crux of the issue lies in a profound lack of trust in governments. Only 16% of Americans trusted the government in 2023, with President Biden’s approval rating hitting a historic low of 39%, reflective of a global trend where leaders like British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also face dwindling support.
This pervasive distrust poses a significant challenge for compliance professionals. The foundation of compliance relies on a standard, whether public law or private policy. However, if individuals lack trust in those implementing the standard or the standard itself, non-compliance flourishes. The situation becomes complex when distinguishing between compliance with good policies, non-compliance with bad policies, compliance with bad policies, and non-compliance with good policies.
The diminishing trust in institutions extends to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which reports an “unprecedented rise” in threats against the agency. With only 17% of Americans expressing a “great deal” of confidence in the DOJ, the erosion of trust correlates with a decline in compliance with laws prohibiting threats against public servants.
For compliance professionals, navigating this landscape requires a multifaceted approach. The evolving dynamics demand a blend of legal expertise, philosophical understanding, advocacy for freedom, and a role as a peacemaker. As the compliance community braces for a tumultuous future, the call for wisdom becomes paramount in fostering trust and steering organizations through an era marked by skepticism and uncertainty.
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