Sue Egan

S.E.A.L. Governance

Corporate Governance can be simply described as the checks and balances that are in place in any organisation to help it meet its objectives. The formalisation of Corporate Governance in the UK really began with the Cadbury Report of 1992 that described Corporate Governance as “the system by which companies are governed and controlled”.

Since 1992 there have been several other reports published, and acts and laws passed in the UK, USA, and other countries to help organisations to avoid the problems that beset several companies in the early 2000s, including Enron (2001) and WorldCom (2002). In the USA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was born as a result of these and other scandals; it imposes a significant burden on those organisations large enough to need to comply with its provisions.

Most large organisations now have a mission statement and a Code of Conduct that help their staff to understand the organisational expectations, but many still do not. This is an important preventative step, assuming that the organisational culture also supports what is written in the mission statement and Code of Conduct.

Sometimes, failures of Corporate Governance can be attributable to individuals who do not understand that what they are doing is wrong. One area that is often misunderstood is Conflicts of Interest; people may assume that they are being accused of fraud or other wrong-doing if this topic is raised with them. It is important for organisations to have clear rules and processes around conflicts of interest, and to conduct effective education and training so that people know what is expected of them.

We can help you to develop and implement the optimum Corporate Governance structure and practices for your organisation. Click to find out more about our Corporate Governance Services.

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