This tip is the second in a summer series that will address the question, how we get compliance with the rules? I have created a checklist that spells Comply and today I will talk about what makes up the O. The O in Comply stands for observe. We need to observe the behaviors that are important to the organization. We can observe meeting attendance and turning in expense reports on time. It is only if we observe the behaviour that we can decide which behaviors are important enough for us to establish policies and procedures.
I have told a story for years about my son and his friends taking the wheels off their skateboards and using the boards to slide down the stairs in my home. This behaviour was not one I could have anticipated, having no brothers. If I did not observe this behaviour I would not have known how to establish a policy that would prevent this dangerous activity.
Without seeing how well our stakeholders are complying with the rules, we are unable to make the right changes to the rules.
I often ponder the question, how do we get people to follow the rules? I see this type of challenge in both my work as an accountant and when I am doing governance training. This tip is the first in my summer series that will address the question, how we get compliance with the rules? I have created a checklist that spells Comply and today I will talk about what makes up the C.
The C in Comply stands for Communicate. The first step in getting people to follow the rules involves communicating the rules. People will not follow rules if they do not know what the rules are. We ask people to read policy manuals, information on websites or forms.
How does your group let people know about your rules? I see a lot of signs. Think about driving a car. What percentage of people have read the Motor Vehicle Act since they passed their drivers test? If it was not for signs then none of us would know that we are supposed to give a bicycle room on our roads.
The sign tells you what the rules are and how they apply. Think about how your group gets the word out about policies and procedures.
The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) is responsible for regulating the sending of commercial electronic messages in Canada. They hold hearings based on complaints that are made to them.
A recent decision involving a company called nCrowd is of interest to officers and directors. The president of nCrowd was surprised to be charged a $100,000 fine by the CRTC because his corporation did not follow all of the rules under the legislation CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation). The rules that were not followed appear to be sending email to someone who you do not have permission to contact and failing to take people off the list when they unsubscribe.
The president was held to be personally liable as he is the person who had control over the corporation. This is a concern for directors and officers, as no one is looking for additional liabilities. A director should have an answer to the question “how do you know that your organization is compliant with CASL?” A director would only be liable for a fine if there is a problem, so make sure that there are no issues with CASL compliance.