Impact of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions: What Companies Are Doing!

Sep 15, 2011, 11:38 ET from Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics from ,Health Care Compliance Association

Increased communication about internal reporting mechanisms Increased training of managers  

New Survey results from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and Health Care Compliance Association

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Predictions that the whistleblower provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank Act would undermine existing compliance programs, appear to have gone unrealized according to a survey conducted by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and its affiliated Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA). The survey, conducted during July and August, was fielded among compliance and ethics professionals to determine the impact Dodd-Frank has had on compliance and ethics programs.

This study reveals that the Act has led companies to increase employee communications on what to do when encountering wrong doing, and to greater training of managers about how to handle reported wrong doing.

"The survey results will likely strike some as surprising. In terms of the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions, it does not appear that it is causing wholesale changes to compliance programs. In fact, there may be some positive benefits from the Act. Making employees more aware of internal mechanisms for reporting wrongdoing could head off a lot of problems," said Roy Snell, Chief Executive Officer, SCCE and HCCA.

Survey Findings
Only 6% of survey respondents reported that Dodd-Frank has led to a "great deal" of change to their compliance program. And of publicly traded companies—those facing the greatest risk from Dodd-Frank—only 8% reported that their compliance program had changed "a great deal" as a result of the Act, while a greater number—46%—report no change in their compliance program.

The ubiquity of company anonymous help lines is one possible explanation for the reported lack of change. Overall 90% of respondents reported having help lines in place and 99% of respondents from publicly-traded companies report having help lines in place.

Changes that were reported due to Dodd-Frank include the following:

-Increased communication to employees for reporting wrongdoing (75%)
-Increased communications to managers about how to handle employee allegations of wrongdoing (46%)
-Changed anti-retaliation policies (13%)

When looking to future changes, 74% of survey respondents (and 83% of respondents from publicly-traded companies) expect employee communication to increase. In addition, overall 66% of respondents (74% of respondents from publicly traded companies) reported an expected increase in manager communication about handling allegations of wrongdoing.

"It's also good to see increased training of managers in properly responding to allegations of wrongdoing. This training and communication will likely lead to quicker and better resolutions of allegations. Moreover, it will demonstrate to the workforce that companies are committed to integrity and genuinely expect people to work in a compliant, ethical manner," added Snell

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About the HCCA
The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), established in 1996 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, is a non-profit professional membership organization made up of compliance and ethics professionals working in the health care industry. HCCA is dedicated to improving the quality of compliance. Visit HCCA's Web site at Tel: 888/580-8373.    

About the SCCE
The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE) is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Its mission: SCCE exists to champion ethical practice and compliance standards in all organizations and to provide the necessary resources for compliance professionals and others who share these principles. Visit the SCCE Web site at, Tel: 888-277-4977. Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics is located at 6500 Barrie Road, Suite 250, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55435. E-mail:

SOURCE Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics; Health Care Compliance Association