30 Years 30 Years in securities law

Regulatory and Compliance

Regulatory compliance refers to systems or departments at corporations and public agencies to ensure that personnel are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws and regulations.

In general, compliance means conforming to a specification, standard or law that has been clearly defined.

Corporate scandals and breakdowns such as the Enron case in 2001 have highlighted the need for stronger compliance regulations for publicly listed companies. The most significant regulation in this context is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act developed by two U.S. congressmen, Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley in 2002 which defined significant tighter personal responsibility of corporate top management for the accuracy of reported financial statements.

Compliance in the USA generally means compliance with laws and regulations. These laws can have criminal or civil penalties or can be regulations. The definition of what constitutes an effective compliance plan has been elusive. Most authors, however, continue to cite the guidance provided by the United States Sentencing Commission in Chapter 8 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

On October 12 2006, the U.S. Small Business Administration re-launched Business.gov which provides a single point of access to government services and information that help businesses comply with government regulations.

There are a number of other regulations such as GLBA, FISMA, and HIPAA. In some cases other compliance frameworks (such as COBIT) or standards (NIST) inform on how to comply with the regulations