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Governance and Compliance for Government and Public Agencies
Nov 13, 2020

Governance comprises regulations and plans to ensure the smooth functioning of government agencies. Governance also combines activities to provide the right support to government bodies.


Regulatory compliance refers to the following rules and regulations connected to business procedures. When regulatory compliance is disregarded, then it leads to a lawful penalty. Some rules and regulations that government agencies must comply with include the Dodd-Frank-Act, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS),Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Frameworks such as COBIT and NIST, a compliance standard, inform government bodies on how to keep pace with regulations.


Key Regulations Government Agencies Must Comply With

Let's take a look at important regulations government agencies must comply with:


Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a standard for companies that manage registered credit cards fromlarge card schemes. The PCI Standard is commanded by the card brands, but it is supervised by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.


This standard was built to develop security all around the cardholder data. Every company that acquires and progresses card payments should cooperate with the PCI-DSS. This includes all government agencies that take card payments for provisions.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a non-regulatory government company that improves technology, metrics, and standards to encourage creativeness and business competition among U.S. based companies.


NIST creates principles to support government agencies and help them reach the necessities of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). NIST also helps those agencies by safe guarding their data. It creates the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) per FISMA. The Security Of Commerce accepts FIPS, with which the government agencies must cooperate.

Challenges of Compliance and Governance for Government Agencies

The main challenge for government agencies to follow compliance rules has been an incapability to recognize and gather facts from across their company. The challenge is expanded because of mixed technologies being scattered across agencies, an absence of immediate observation across systems, and the incapability to modify and scale according to administrative requirements.


To efficiently establish compliance, knowledge exchange and involvement from various stakeholders are necessary to construct end-to-end opinions. This helps management monitor the status of compliance across different systems, confirm any non-compliance, and take required measures.


The governance challenges that a government agency faces are as follows:


1.   There is a lack of an organized approach to manage compliance.


2.   Compliance strategies are not followed through to the end to actually see benefits.


3.   Junior-level employees are assigned to project management positions with limited help to be efficient and effective.


4.   Agencies that work separately from each other keep introducing new rules and regulations, which further complicates governance.


The True Cost of Non-compliance

Here are some of the costs of non-compliance that government agencies must consider:

Personal liability

Compliance errors can be a monetary cost, not just to an agency but also to individuals. Personal liability is an issue for compliance officers responsible for compliance at their agency. Honesty, integrity, and morals are a huge part of compliance, and individuals are held accountable for ignoring the regulations for their business.


When an agency fails to comply with the business executive necessities, it leads to a $5000 fine or imprisonment for the concerned officers.

Inconsistencies across an organization

Most of the time compliance is restricted to a small number of divisions or people, but obeying rules often demands information from more functions. Thus, it's important for everyone in a team to be informed about the meaning of compliance, how it can influence their part, and how it qualifies into the broad view.


Failure to follow compliance in an organization often points to deeper issues with communication and collaboration across an organization.

Time consumption

Time is another hidden cost of non-compliance. Some nations accept business filings online, but 44% of the nations need the filings to be presented personally.


The lack of a well-defined system to handle compliance procedures can cost hundreds of wasted hours to an organization. Thus, it's important for organizations to employ a specialist to arrange the filings in the domestic dialect and file the proper forms at the domestic jurisdictions office.

Best Practices for Good Governance and Compliance Within A Government Body  

The best and efficient way to manage compliance advice is to adopt a system that meets present-day information gathering, observing, and circulating necessities across the organization and helps organize administrative procedures in a better way.


At its core, the best compliance management systems offer the following:


A tool should offer a system which can accommodate the company’s business procedure elements and also be flexible to modifications.


Your compliance solution should easily be able to include new users, procedures, and be used for several different compliance-related functions such as risk management and assessment.

Data Source Agnostic

It should immediately interact with all data sources needed to observe, evaluate, and reach compliance necessities.


With those pointers in mind, let's take a look at what good governance looks like at a government organization:

Good Administration

An agency must enforce sound administration obligations and liabilities, significant policies, and individual supervision.

Proper Administrative Framework

Good governance relies on an administrative framework that assists the agency to attain the objectives.


Practical Planning

Practical preparation helps to control and utilize resources efficiently, expand compliance capabilities, and develop asense of responsibility across an organization.

How Software Helps Government Agencies Manage Compliance Easily

Here a few ways in which compliance management software helps government agencies better manage their governance requirements:

Adherence to regulations

Timely adherence to social, legal, corporate, environmental, government, and financial compliance helps agencies avoid fines and penalties. Compliance management software helps automate these activities, so agencies never fall back on their responsibilities or miss important compliance deadlines.

Effective Procedures and Management

Compliance management software makes sure there is an appropriate record of inspections, assessments, and developments. It also helps agencies develop reliable processes and procedures to ensure everyone in an organization is aware of their compliance duties and responsibilities.

Effective Collaboration

Compliance management software helps government agencies collaborate more effectively and save time on compliance activities. These resources can then be allocated to other areas that need them.

Wrapping up

While government agencies work to improve the social life of their citizens, they must also adhere to rules and regulations that help them meet these goals.


To efficiently manage compliance and governance needs, agencies must employ tools such as GRC software such as VComply and establish a compliance strategy that helps them stay ahead of the curve.

VComply Editorial Team
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