Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) are less concerned about personal liability as their role has gained a significant amount of independence, traction and prominence within the last year—that’s according to a recent report by global law firm, DLA Piper.

The 2017 Compliance & Risk Report also found that CCOs feel that much more work is needed to strengthen the relationship between compliance and the Board of Directors.

“With two-thirds of CCOs and 82 percent of directors at least somewhat concerned about personal liability, it’s important and appropriate for organizations to watch the compliance landscape very closely,” said Brett Ingerman, co-chair of DLA Piper’s Global Governance and Compliance practice. “Political events around the world – including Brexit and the election of Donald Trump – mean the compliance picture is fluid, another reason why organizations should be vigilant about developing and maintaining strong compliance programs.”

Listen to a recent podcast featuring Nardello’s Lucy Fato on the Current State of Compliance Under A New Administration

 Moreover, while monitoring remains a hot topic on the compliance front, 46 percent of the survey’s respondents agreed that it is still the weakest part of their compliance programs. The good news, however, is that number is down from last year’s 66 percent.

Other survey highlights include:

  • Greater CCO satisfaction with resources – Eighty-four percent of CCOs said they have sufficient resources, clout, and board access to support their ability to effectively perform their jobs, up from 77 percent last year.
  • Boards agree, to a point – A comparable percentage of directors (86 percent) said compliance has sufficient resources. But 53 percent of directors said compliance had sufficient resources to a great extent, compared to only 29 percent of executives.

According to last year’s report, CCOs called for direct access to senior decision makers, including the Board. Most of the respondents believed that reporting to the CEO or Board would help enhance the effectiveness of a company’s compliance program.