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NEWS RELEASE For immediate release: For more information, contact Rachael Gass, 571-480-4405, Rachael@ethics.org Arlington, VA, January 17, 2017 – The Board of Directors of the Ethics Research Center (ERC), the research arm of ECI, today announced the appointment of Larry D. Thompson as the Chairman of the ERC Board, effective immediately. Patricia Harned, Ethics & Compliance Initiative’s president and CEO, made the announcement. “We are honored that Larry Thompson is going to be leading ERC,” Harned said. “His expertise in ethics and compliance will be an invaluable asset in leading the organization...
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NEWS RELEASE For immediate release: For more information, contact Rachael Gass, 571-480-4405, Rachael@ethics.org ECI Honors Ford Motor Company’s Top Ethics Officer 2016 Marshall Award Winner ARLINGTON, VA – January 12, 2017 – The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) awarded the 2016 Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics to Ford Motor Company’s Global Director of Compliance, Raphael Z. Richmond. Richmond was honored at a ceremony and dinner during the ECI Fellows Meeting last evening. She joined Ford’s Corporate Compliance Office in May 2013, and has made significant contributions...
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NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release For more information, contact Rachael Gass, ECI, Rachael@ethics.org Matthew Bashalany, FTI Consulting, Inc. matthew.bashalany@fticonsulting.com Survey Finds Nearly Half of Supplier Firms' Employees Have Witnessed Misconduct ARLINGTON, VA , December 13, 2016 - Businesses that rely on extensive webs of third-party suppliers and contractors face a heightened risk of ethics and compliance breakdowns, which can damage reputation and create legal and financial consequences, the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) and FTI Consulting found in a new survey of employees in 13 major global...
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ARLINGTON, VA, November 2, 2016 - The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) has named compliance industry veteran David Childers as Vice President for Marketing and Communications. Childers, a certified ethics and compliance professional, is a charter member of the Open Compliance and Ethics Group and a former board member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. He is a widely-regarded pioneer in governance along with risk and compliance, further providing ECI with significant experience in brand management, organizational strategy, marketing and communications. "David Childers will provide ECI with an astounding breadth of experience and insight...
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Over the past few weeks I have been writing about ECI's High Quality Program framework (HQPs) ; and the resources available to your organization through our community. This post addresses the fifth and final principle; accountability . The subject is an ideal way to end this series because it focuses on what happens when, despite every best effort, somebody in an organization breaks the rules. The way a company responds to a violation may be the most critical test of its commitment to ethics. As our Blue Ribbon Panel reported earlier this year, in companies with HQPs "the organization takes action and holds itself accountable when wrongdoing occurs."...
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Over the past few weeks I have been emailing you with information about ECI's High Quality Programs framework , and the resources we provide to help your organization achieve that standard. I'm writing today to tell you about the fourth element of an HQP: a speak-up listen-up culture . Although senior leaders must accept ultimate responsibility for establishing a speak-up culture, employees at all levels have to feel supported enough to raise a concern. The stakes are high. In a strong culture, employees act as an early warning system for ethical lapses by reporting misconduct when they see it. But when the ethics environment is weak, employees and...
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COMING NEXT WEEK: Essentials of Ethics & Compliance Tuesdays, October 18 - December 13, 2016 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET WHAT: This comprehensive course, delivered online, offers a solid foundation for leading and sustaining a high quality ethics and compliance program in any organization. Completion of E2C qualifies you to take the Leading Professional in Ethics & Compliance (LPEC) certification examination and obtain the LPEC designation. WH O : E&C professionals at all levels. Space is limited! HOW : Register online . ECI...
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The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) provision, requiring senior financial officers to adopt a code of ethics does, in fact, lower restatements of earnings often associated with financial mismanagement. A longitudinal study, Sarbanes–Oxley Section 406 Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers and Firm Behavior , spanning a decade provides some of the first substantive support for the effect and effectiveness of SOX, Section 406 . Dr. O.C. Ferrell and Dr. Linda Ferrell both Distinguished Professors of Leadership and Business Ethics at Belmont University were key drivers of the research, co-authored with Dr. Saurabh Ahluwalia (University of New Mexico) and...
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As you know, I've been sending a series of emails to tell you a little more about ECI's framework for a High Quality Ethics Program (HQP), and the ways our organization can help your E&C team work towards that objective. Today I'm writing to tell you about the principle that I personally feel most strongly about - building and sustaining a " Culture of Integrity. " To me, it's appropriate that this is the middle principle of five in the HQP framework. A strong ethical culture is central to an E&C effort; the success of all your efforts depend on it. Just as an arch crumbles if you remove the keystone from the middle, without a strong culture,...
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You may recall that last week I sent an email to tell you about several new and exciting resources that are now available at ECI. I shared that ECI is dedicated to providing ongoing support to our members as you pursue the goal of establishing and sustaining a high quality ethics and compliance program (HQP). Last week I also talked about the first principle of an HQP - making ethics and compliance central to business strategy and a core element of every operational function. This week I'd like to share a few thoughts about how ECI can help your organization focus on the second principle of an HQP; risk management. In assembling its report on HQPs earlier...
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From Enron to Volkswagen to even more recent headlines about corporate scandal, one can’t blame the public for wondering if comedian George Carlin had it right when he joked that “business ethics is an oxymoron.” But, in truth, most organizations work hard to comply with the law, and scandals are big news precisely because they are actually unusual. That reality doesn’t diminish the pain and damage when business leaders do wrong. But as compliance experts told the House Judiciary Committee recently, recognizing that headlines may make things appear worse than they are provides important perspective as we consider how to cut down on...
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ECI Member Orientation

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Are you new to ECI membership or a long-time member who wants to see what has changed about your membership lately? Join us to hear about all the benefits of ECI membership. You will see an overview of the website and hear about upcoming community events, research projects and certification opportunities. Ronnie Kann , EVP for Research and Program Development, and Cathy Hooper , Membership Development Manager, will bring you up to speed on ECI’s current and upcoming activities. WH EN : Wednesday, September 21 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm ET Register Now .
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Several studies and numerous news articles have suggested that self-driving cars present important ethical questions that require resolution before the vehicles are allowed to take the road. But the engineers working on this new technology say it’s all just overblown hype because the stark choices in the studies and articles simply don’t happen in real life. Most of the moral discussion centers around variants of the famous “trolley problem,” which requires a choice between two tragic outcomes. In the case of self-driving cars, one typical question is whether the car should be programmed to swerve into a loaded bus rather than run over an infant....
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According to Secretary of State John Kerry , there’s one more reason to fight corruption: it’s the root cause of terrorism. In a little noted speech during his recent trip to Nigeria, Kerry said the humiliation, marginalization, and poverty produced by corruption are valuable recruiting tools for terrorist organizations. He said fighting corruption should be “a global security priority of the first order.” He said nothing is more demoralizing to people than believing that the system is rigged against them and that frustration will lead some to fight back with acts of terror. “Corruption is not just a disgrace and a crime. It is also dangerous,”...
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A new study out of Baylor University says “employer branding” that includes an emphasis on ethical conduct can boost company performance by building employee loyalty and reducing turnover. The study, based on in-depth interviews with corporate executives, says companies should treat strong ethics as a competitive advantage in recruitment efforts and then follow up with new hires by focusing orientation on the company’s core values. “Promoting core values is a way to engage employees and increase their commitment to the organization and, at the same time, encourage ethical decision-making,” says study author Marlene Neill. She warns that organizations that...
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When making tough decisions, ethical considerations inevitably come to the forefront. Writing in Harvard Business Review , business ethics professor Joseph L. Badaracco weaves ethical considerations throughout a five question list to guide decision-making. In addition to such fundamental business considerations as the net impact of a decision and whether it will work in practice, Badaracco notes that the decision-maker must be able to live comfortably with the decision and be able to defend the human implications to a close friend or mentor. Badaracco also says that in making choices, a decision-maker also should ask “who are we?” He urges decision-makers...
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Ethical supply chains aren’t built by accident . They require a thoughtful, carefully planned strategy including a procurement ethics policy that aligns with company values and policy. Among other best practices highlighted at supplychainquarterly.com are the identification of performance metrics besides cost and sharing procurement ethics policies throughout the organization. In addition, suppliers’ ethical standards are critical, the article says. Companies should be willing to pay somewhat more, if necessary, to work with ethical suppliers. Most critically, organizations must maintain constant vigilance against pressures, such as overly aggressive...
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For all the attention and investment businesses are giving data theft, its incidence is rising and the primary cause is insider threats. According to a new survey by the Ponemon Institute , three out of four organizations have lost critical data over the past two years – an increase of nearly ten points from a similar survey two years earlier. IT respondents said insider negligence is more than twice as likely as other causes and that too many people have access to client information. Eighty-eight percent of end users say their job requires them to access proprietary information, including client data, and more than six in ten say they have access...
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Maybe, they were frustrated by the technology or thought they were entitled because prices were too high, but a new study suggests that grocery store shoppers who use self-service checkout often take a few items home unscanned and without paying for them. According to an analysis by professors from England’s University of Leicester, grocers suffer a four percent loss when shoppers check out on their own – about double the average loss to shoplifting and one percentage point more than their typical profit margin. The study looked at 12 million shopping trips to retailers in Britain, Belgium, the United States, and the Netherlands. It audited one million...
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When two companies make different decisions about the same set of facts, can they both be right – or might they both be wrong? That’s an overriding question amid reports that Fifth Third Bancorp, claiming conflict of interest, fired its General Counsel, Heather Russell, because of a romantic relationship with Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos, but her partner was able to keep his job. Russell and Mayopoulos, who are separated from their spouses, had voluntarily disclosed the relationship to their companies’ ethics and compliance offices. Fannie Mae officials did not believe there was a conflict of interest and Mayopoulos remains the company’s top officer,...
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