Definitions

compliance officer

Chief compliance officer

The chief compliance officer (CCO) of a company is the officer primarily responsible for overseeing and managing compliance issues within an organization. Generally, a CCO is in charge of overseeing and managing compliance issues within an organization, ensuring, for example, that a company is complying with regulatory requirements, and that the company and its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures. The CCO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer. The role has long existed at companies that operate in heavily regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. For other companies, the rash of recent accounting scandals, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the recommendations of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines have led to additional CCO appointments. Scott Cohen, editor and publisher of Compliance Week, dates the proliferation of CCOs to a 2002 speech by SEC commissioner Cynthia Glassman, in which she called on companies to designate a "corporate responsibility officer. The responsibilities of the position often include leading enterprise compliance efforts, designing and implementing internal controls, policies and procedures to assure compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations and third party guidelines; managing audits and investigations into regulatory and compliance issues; and responding to requests for information from regulatory bodies.

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