Aligning company compliance to current laws and regulations is essential, and the culture should run deep. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, it was challenging to abide by all of the required rules. Additionally, at least 12 prominent companies were charged with penalties for non-compliance in 2020. In this article at Corporate Compliance Insights, Calvin London shares how the pandemic created barriers to establishing a consistent company compliance culture.
Pandemic and Corruption Charges
Along with non-compliance for the outbreak, the DOJ and SEC collected a total of $6.4 billion in fines from several organizations for corruption. Goldman Sachs, Herbalife, Airbus, and Novartis are some of the companies that had to pay penalties. Goldman Sachs alone spent nearly $4 billion. Novartis coughed up $234 million to the DOJ for bribing top executives in Greece and Vietnam. Meanwhile, Herbalife paid $55 million to the DOJ and $67 million to the SEC.
Company Compliance and Culture
When authorities imposed social distancing rules for COVID, many people disregarded, ignored, and even resisted those. This further spread the disease. It is the same with company compliance. Though most organizations want to abide by the rules, employees follow the flock without ethical determination of good or bad. So, the staff of the above companies conformed to the corruption.
The pandemic will continue to cause more mayhem for company compliance. Due to business models depending on remote operations and employees working from home, organizations cannot create a stable compliance environment. So, compliance officers had to be “extra vigilant, extra cautious and inventive to re-establish a compliance culture,” insists London.
The coming years will also have the same troubles. Purdue Pharma LLP has paid nearly $5.5 billion in criminal charges. Johnson & Johnson is facing around 2,000 lawsuits with $2.1 billion as possible fines. Leighton Holdings, Unaoil, and Westpac are some of the names that will also do the rounds in courtrooms for company compliance issues.
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