Compliance Report Assigment
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BA 3301 Legal Environment of Business
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Compliance Report Assignment *
Associate Professor Lee Usnick, JD
BA 3301 Lead Professor
I. ASSIGNMENT OVERVIEW
What is compliance?
You will have a solid answer to this question once you complete this assignment. Until then, start with the basics. Virtually all business activities conducted in the United States are regulated, not only by governmental entities, but by professional entities as well. Compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances is a prerequisite to the long term health and survival of any business. And compliance with industry and professional practice standards can be equally important, especially when mandated for accreditation and government contracts qualification.
Certain industries are more regulated than others. Some highly regulated industries include health care, financial services, accounting, oil and gas, and public utilities. When a business fails to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and standards, the business and the individuals who manage it often face a variety of sanctions. Sanctions can range from the loss of an operating license and/or program certification, to civil and criminal sanctions including monetary penalties and fines (corporate and person), to prison sentences.
Is a compliance report reality-based and relevant to today’s business practices?
YES! This assignment is designed with two purposes in mind: (1) to increase your awareness of the depth and breadth of compliance activities (and challenges) in today’s business environment, and (2) to inform you about emerging careers in compliance relevant to all BBA majors.
The compliance function is a critical function for management professionals. To help you learn about compliance generally, you will visit several websites which provide a glimpse into the evolving field of compliance. “This field exists to prevent harm at its source and to make powerful organizations safer and more ethical. Many people may expect their government can protect them from the harm corporations and large organizations can cause. But it is the nature of government and the legal system to always be reactive. Compliance and ethics professionals offer a link to the regulatory world that can allow government regulations to work.” (Joseph E. Murphy and Joshua H. Leet, Building a Career in Compliance and Ethics: Find your place in the Business World’s Hottest New Field, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9792210-0-2. (To order this publication, contact Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, 1-952-933-4977, www.corporatecompliance.org).
II. ASSIGNMENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
By completing this assignment, students will accomplish the following:
A.Gain increased awareness of the U.S. regulatory environment generally, and of the role of the compliance function;
B.Gain increased awareness about emerging careers in compliance and ethics, including job titles, job functionsand salaries; and awareness of the tools available to assist management and compliance professionals in adhering to laws and regulations and industry standards;
C.Demonstrate critical thinking (evaluation) skills by articulating the student’s personal observations about, as well as reactions to, compliance as a component of professional business practice (as assessed by the College of Business Critical Thinking-Evaluation Rubric incorporated into the grade rubric for this assignment); and
D.Demonstrate effective written communication skills (as assessed by the College of Business Writing Rubric incorporated into the grade rubric for this assignment).
NOTE: The grade rubric will be available to students in the assignment folder. Please review the rubric prior to writing your paper, then use it to self-assess your work. In other words, score yourself on the grade rubric. Does your paper do what it needs to do to achieve a top score? Use the rubric to answer this question.
III. STEPS FOR COMPLETING & SUBMITTING THE REPORT
Learn about compliance in the context of corporate governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC).
For brief background information, read the items listed below. You do not need to read each one in detail, nor will you be required to include all of this material in your report. The purpose in Step 1 is to learn about compliance as an on-going essential business activity, and to find resources serving as a portal to primary sources for future use. I find them all very interesting, and after looking at each, you will have a good overview of the increasing significance of compliance functions for U.S. businesses.
A. Google GRC at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governance,_risk_management,_and_compliance.
NEVER quote from or cite Wikipedia in any academic or professional paper; it is not a credible academic research source!It can be useful in locating quotable, scholarly, primary sources.
Read the first page/section which defines the term “Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance.” Have you heard this term before? You need to know what it means in order to understand the systems approach to compliance which is becoming the norm in today’s legal environment of business. In other words, compliance is no longer something that happens only in the company’s lawyer’s office: it impacts all activities and personnel in a company.
B. An interesting federal government website is www.dol.gov. Put your cursor on Topics (at top of page) and a page of topic links will appear. Click Elaws. Elaws stands for employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses, providing a wealth of information.
C. Compliance is now a profession with thousands of trained and certified professionals working in many industries. For information on the compliance profession generally, check out the two websites below:
(1) Go to www.glassdoor.com. In the Job Title box, type compliance; leave the Jobs box alone; in the Location box, type Houston. You should then see a list of jobs by title with salary ranges. This gives you an idea of what the compliance industry is all about. Other job websites include Careerbuilder.com and Indeed.com (type compliance in ‘what’ and Houston in ‘where’).
(2) Visit www.corporatecompliance.org to learn about this professional organization. Select the tab “About SCCE” and read this. Then select the tab “FAQ” and look over the Questions. You might read the answers to a couple, such as the one about how certification by SCCE compares to other compliance certifications. This organization offers training conferences and tests that enable you to earn your certification as CCEP, a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional. Certification can be a stepping stone for career change and/or enhancement, regardless of the industry you work in now or seek to enter after graduation. There is also an international designation for positions in multi-national corporations, the CCEP-I, if International Business is your interest.
D. Some industries are more advanced in their compliance and ethics efforts than others. The health care industry is a perfect example. Check out the Health Care Compliance Association at http://www.hcca-info.org. Click on “About HCCA” and read the paragraph about this group. As you can see, there are associations of like-minded professionals who engage in continuing education and training so as to excel in their roles as compliance and ethics professionals. And the business of healthcare is one of the top growing industries in the U.S. (all majors needed).
E. There are numerous associations whose sole focus is assisting businesses in compliance activities. For example, the Open Compliance and Ethics Group is a large non-profit engaged in compliance and ethics support activities. Visit the website at http://www.oceg.org. This site will show you tools available to compliance professionals. (You can also create an account for free if interested). Also visit http://www.globalcompliance.com. This website offers compliance products and services to all industries.
After visiting these websites, you should have an understanding of the education, training, and resources available to thoroughly implement a compliance program in a business.
STEP 2.RECENT COMPLIANCE PROBLEM & ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Learn about the main laws used in current enforcement efforts by the U.S. government regulators. Many actions are based on the following laws:
A. the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/foreign-corrupt-practices-act),
B. the False Claims Act (https://downloads.cms.gov/cmsgov/archived-downloads/smdl/downloads/smd032207att2.pdf),
C. the Securities Acts (https://www.sec.gov/ where you can read about recent litigation, new regulations, and other interesting topics).
Open the links to short explanations of these two very important statutes, the FCPA and the FCA. Federal regulators currently have over 100 open investigations based on these laws.
STEP 3. SELECT AN ARTICLE FOR YOUR PAPER & SUBMIT TO INSTRUCTOR FOR ARTICLE APPROVAL
Using one of the websites below (or other approved business website – check with your Instructor if in doubt), read about a recent (within the past 60 days) compliance breach, enforcement action, agency and/or court decision. Ideally, the article will address an alleged breach that occurred in the past 60 days. However, it can cover the results of a federal enforcement action concluding an investigation or prosecution of a breach that occurred months ago. Pick an article about a business in an industry of interest to you. The business must be a non-governmental entity. Stated another way, the business or entity cannot be owned and operated by a political subdivision such as a city, county, or by the state or federal governments. The laws or regulations discussed must be U.S. laws. The entity can be a publicly traded company, a private company, a large corporation or a small business. It cannot be a governmental entity. The laws or regulations discussed must be U.S. laws. Be sure to cite your article’s URL on the title page, and the date you last visited the weblink, so that your Instructor can locate the article. Test the link (open a new browser and paste link and go) before submitting the article for approval. If the link fails, you cannot receive approval. Failure to submit and receive approval of the article may result in points deducted from your report score.
- www.nytimes.com (select Business in the tool bar)
- www.sec.gov (see “Latest News” section)
- www.justice.gov (see “Justice News” section)
6. Wall Street Journal (through UHD library periodicals)
7.The Economist (through UHD library periodicals)
8.other approved business periodical – send message requesting approval before going forward
Once your Instructor approves your article, you can start writing your paper. You do not need to do any additional research for this assignment. This is not a law school paper on the details of the law allegedly violated. Additional research does not add points to your score. Additional articles will not add points to your grade. You may refer to our textbook if so desired.
STEP 4. WRITING THE PAPER
Organize your paper in the 3 parts below, using the given subheadings. Do not use Q&A format. Do not restate the question in your paper.
Part 1: Recent Compliance Problem and Enforcement Action
Using your selected article about an alleged legal/ethical compliance breach, answer the following questions (using A,B,C,D,E formatting). If the article does not address the question, state that the article did not address this point.
- Identify the industry in which the compliance problem occurred or was alleged to have occurred.
- What is the non-compliant behavior? When did happen? What laws or regulations were allegedly not followed?
- When did the regulatory agency and/or court take action on this behavior?
- What penalties and punishments resulted from this behavior?
- What steps will be taken by the company to prevent the behavior from happening in the future?
Part 2: Student’s Opinion About the Recent Compliance Problem and Enforcement Action
This section is your opinion about the activities your article describes. What do you think about what happened, the company’s behavior, the government’s interventions, the impact on the industry and consumers and the public in general?
Part 3: Student’s Opinion About Compliance
Think about the information you have read in the compliance websites and about the compliance breach and enforcement action in your article, then answer the following questions (using A,B,C,D,E formatting). Do not use Q&A format. Do not restate the question in your paper.
- Prior to this assignment, did you know the term GRC? After reading the websites listed in this assignment, what is your understanding of GRC today? Did your understanding change? How would you explain the term GRC and the role of compliance to your management team who are unaware of these terms? Does compliance impact all business functions, and if so, how?
- Prior to this assignment, were you aware that compliance is becoming its own industry? Why do you think compliance is becoming a discrete industry?
- What were some of the jobs from the jobs websites you visited? What were the salaries? Do you think a job like one of the listed jobs might be in your future after graduation? Why or why not? Why do you think compliance jobs pay high salaries? Identify at least 4 jobs by title and salary if given.
- Assume you take a job after graduation that DOES NOT have ‘compliance’ in the job title. Do you think you will be required to perform compliance activities in that job? Stated another way, who do you think is responsible for compliance? Everyone in the company, or only those persons trained and certified in compliance?
- What role to you see for compliance functions in the next 5 to 10 years in the U.S. legal environment of business?
STEP 5.REPORT DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS: CONTENT & FORMAT
The report should be written in a manner meeting the requirements stated below.
Use Complete Sentences and Correct Writing Mechanics
Use complete sentences, though listing of specific duties, requirements, or laws in bullet form is permitted. To improve your writing skills, take advantage of the COB and UHD writing tutors. They are available for face to face meetings, drop box, or Zoom (online) reviews. To schedule an appointment, go to uhd.mywconline.com, or call 713.237.5400, or visit uhd.edu/northwest. If you review your draft report with a writing tutor prior to submission, and you submit documentation of at least one tutor review, no points will be deducted for writing mechanics errors.
Report Content & Format
The body of your report must be a minimum of 3-4 single-spaced pages (12 point Times Roman font, 1 inch margins for all margins). You may exceed the minimum length if needed. You may reference websites within your text (as opposed to creating a Works Cited page at the end). Any standard citation format is acceptable.
The Report’s title page is separate from the body of the report and does not count in the minimum page count. It must contain the following information in the following format:
Course Name and CRN:
Report Submission Date:
Title of Article and Author of Article:
Weblink to Article:
Date Article Last Visited:
Format the body of the report with these subheadings and content:
Part 1: Recent Compliance Problem and Enforcement Action
Refer to the questions listed in Step 4 Part 1. Answer each question. If your article does not address an item, say so. Do not do additional research. No extra points are earned using additional articles. Use the required formatting. Do not repeat the question then provide the answer (as Q and A format). Rather, use the question’s letter designation, then answer the question in narrative form.
Part 2: My Opinions of the Recent Problem and Enforcement Action
This section is your opinion. You should base your opinion on what you have learned about the industry and company under scrutiny, the relevant laws and regulations mentioned in your article, the alleged non-compliant behavior, the resulting injuries/harm. What would be happening in this company or industry without these laws and regulations? This section is for your thoughts and opinions. You may refer to our textbook here if relevant.
Part 3: My Opinions of the Role of Compliance in Business
Refer to the questions listed in Step 4 Part 3. Answer each question. Use the required formatting. Do not repeat the question (as in Q and A format). Rather, use the question’s letter designation, then answer the question in narrative form.
STEP 6:REPORT SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS (Follow directions 100% or points will be deducted).
- Name the report file (your last name)_(your first name)_(Report). Example: Smith_Bill_Report.Do not use ( ). Save the file type as a PDF.
- Submit your report through the Blackboard assignment tool. Submitting through a message or to a UHD.edu email account will not count as submission. You must submit in Blackboard’s REPORT assignment tool. If you do not know how, please ask.
- NOTE the submission deadline on the Course Calendar. Please plan accordingly. Late submissions are accepted until the late submission deadline on the Course Calendar, not thereafter. Do not wait until the last hour of the last day as your computer could crash, Blackboard could go down, you could attach the wrong file, you could lose Internet access, we could lose electrical power, and any number of other reasons why you could miss the deadline. Professionals plan ahead. If I were you, I would save my file to my One Drive (Cloud) account, in addition to my computer. Also, email the file to yourself so that you have a backup just in case all else fails.
IV.REPORT GRADE RUBRIC
The Report Grade Rubric was composed with the COB’s Writing Rubric and the Critical Thinking-Evaluation Rubric in mind. The Report Grade Rubric will be posted in the Assignment folder and shows the points assigned to each listed report trait. You will be able to view grade rubric points and comments once your report is scored. Access this feedback through the Report Grade (view attempt) in your grades. Use the rubric to evaluate your work prior to submitting. You might discover weaknesses or errors you can then correct.
As to your writing mechanics, I strongly urge you to take advantage of COB or UHD Writing Center tutors. You can do so in person or online or by dropbox. Why run the risk of losing points for writing errors when you can review your draft one time with a tutor and document the visit? The tutor sends a confirmation email or gives an appointment confirmation listing the activities undertaken in the session. If you provide documentation of your visit, no points will be deducted for any errors in your report. Save the documentation electronically and attach it as the last page in your report.
* Revised 8/7/18
|BA 3301 Compliance Report Grade Rubric:Scoring Trait Descriptors||No submission or content missing=0||Addressed minimally=7||Addressed adequately=13||Exceptional; very thoroughexplanation = 15|
|Rubric by Usnick, revised 8/8/18|
|Identifies U.S. industry regulations and the noncompliant behavior addressed the article||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||uses general descriptions only; name of laws, regulations not given||gives name of specific laws, regulations at issue, specific acts at issue||gives specifics of law, regulations at issue, describes in detail the bad acts, clear explanation of problems|
|Identifies the U.S. regulatory agency and the enforcement action(s) taken by the agency||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||agency not identified; enforcement ingeneral terms||agency identified; specific enforcement actions described||agency identified; enforcement actions described in detail|
|Describes target U.S. regulations, the enforcement problem(s), and a logical opinion about this industry’s risk||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||descriptions ofregulations are vague, opinion vague or not discussed||regulations’ purpose(s) explained, opinion about regulations brief but clear||gives detailed description of regulations, and clear, grounded opinion given|
|Demonstrates knowledge of GRC, compliance challenges, and regulations’ role in today’s U.S. business environment||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||gives only 1-3 sentences defining GRC, but too brief, too general||gives a short, clear explanation of GRC functions, demonstrates understanding||thorough explanation of each of GRC function, their interrelationships|
|Demonstrates an awareness of the kinds of compliance jobs available in Houston (gave details for a few jobs from career websites)||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||gives only 1-3 job titles, no job descriptions, too brief overall||gives 3-4 or more job titles with some discussion, demonstrated visit to websites||gives 4 or more job titles, discusses some job function details|
|Follows all directions on (1) article selection, (2) document preparation, and (3) submission; includes working URL to article||no submission by due dates, or traits were not addressed||no URL given; did not follow all submission directions||URL given; all but one submission requirements followed||gives working URL, and meets all format and submission rules|
|Correct writing mechanics demonstrated||Too many errors:0 – 3 points||Improvement needed:4 – 6 points||Acceptable:7 – 9 points||Superior; or tutor reviewed:10|
|Sentence structure, punctuation, subject verb agreement, spelling, word choice||multiple errors impair the message||number, type of errors detracts from the message||few errors, not a significant impact on message||almost error free OR tutor reviewed at least once|
|Total Points Possible=100|
A. Scott tucker
C. U.S. Deparemtn of Justice