Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Marshaling Integrity - William Prachar

These excerpts are taken from our interview of William Prachar, a long time compliance officer and current outside advisor.

To be effective, you have to understand the overall culture of the organization. The field certainly has HR elements, but it’s not HR, and I think it does it a disfavor to compare it to HR. Certainly, on the helpline side, most of the complaints and issues that come up are HR complaints, but the fact that compliance officers develop a program means they have to understand the business. In fact, I think some of the best ethics officers come out of the business side of the house…

[t]he first month you’re on the job, even before you come to the job, do not think about ethics and compliance. This is the thing I tell all people that get into the business. You need to think about the business of the company. What does it do? What do they make? What are the pressures that are on people in this business? You’ve got to understand the business, because if you don’t understand the business, you can’t understand how to effectively help. What you need to do is design some kind of program that’s going to have some effect on the overall culture of the organization, and the only way you can do that is to understand what the people do.

William Prachar's interview is included in Working for Integrity: Finding the Perfect Job in the Rapidly Growing Compliance and Ethics Field.

(All interviewees spoke to us about their own personal experiences and opinions; interviewees were not acting as a spokesperson or otherwise representing their current or former employers.)