Most legal and compliance departments in Fortune-1000 companies report that systems designed to boost ethical and compliant behaviour in the rest of the business are not being properly communicated.

In 63% of companies, internal performance standards in these areas are ‘neither clear nor adequately expressed’.

That is the conclusion of benchmarking research by Consero Group carried out among members of its chief compliance officer forum.

The companies questioned also reported problems in ensuring the organisations they did business with, such as suppliers, met such standards. Metrics for third-party performance standards were ‘not clearly expressed’ in 76% of companies.

Half of all departments in the research did not have the resources needed to manage the compliance and ethics function effectively.

Poor resourcing in particular required action, Consero CEO Paul Mandell told the Gazette: ‘Budgetary concerns remain an issue, which warrants attention as chief compliance officers face increasing regulatory complexity.’ Internal training was a ‘top priority’, he added.

Forum members had a better story to tell on access to senior board members and chief executives. The overwhelming majority (93%) reported that their executive team was ‘moderately’ or ‘extremely’ supportive of their department. Access to the board of directors was ‘sufficient’ in 78% of companies, with 96% reporting satisfaction with access to the chief executive.