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Compliance Management Best Practices for Public Agencies
Nov 13, 2020
5
Minutes

Good governance is essential for every organization. And government agencies are no exception to this. Government, regulatory agencies, and public sector companies need to comply with a myriad of regulations. Regulatory compliance comprises the rules and regulations connected to business procedures. When regulatory compliance is disregarded, then it can lead to a lawful penalty and damage in reputation. 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 how to keep pace with regulations.

 

Key Regulations Government Agencies Must Comply With

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

FISMA

The Federal Information Security Modernization act made it a requirement for federal agencies to develop, document, and implement an information security and protection program. The act mandates that these agencies provide information security for the data and systems they and their industry partners manage.

PCI-DSS:

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a standard for companies that manage registered credit cards from large 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.

NIST:

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 requirements 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 the inability to gather data and manage programs across the organization. The challenge is expanded because of mixed technologies used by various teams, and the inability to modify and scale according to administrative requirements.

 

To efficiently establish compliance, the involvement of all the stakeholders is necessary. The management needs to monitor and oversee the status of compliance across different systems, report any non-compliance, and implement measures to remediate issues.

The major 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 communication and collaboration issues across an organization.

Time consumption  

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.

Good Governance and Compliance Best Practices for Government Agencies  

The best and efficient way to manage good governance and appropriate culture within government agencies is to introduce an effective governance framework across the agency.  At its core, the best compliance management systems offer the following:

Sound Administrative Framework

Good governance relies on an administrative framework that helps the agency to attain its objectives. The agency should establish a sound governance framework that is embedded throughout the organization.

Transparent Processes

Establish processes and policies across the organization, implement controls, and create and conduct audits to test the effectiveness of controls.

Good Coordination

Ensure that there is visibility of governance framework and good coordination among inter-related agencies.

Practical Planning

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

Training

Train employees and executive management in compliance fundamentals and help them execute their compliance responsibilities.

How Software Helps Government Agencies Manage Compliance Easily

Here are 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 knows its compliance duties and responsibilities.

Effective Collaboration

Compliance management software helps government agencies collaborate more effectively and save time on compliance activities. You can then allocate these resources to other areas where they need them.

Wrapping up

While government agencies work to implement programs to better 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 GRC software tools such as VComply and establish a compliance strategy that helps them stay ahead of the curve. The VComply platform provides a suite of products that offer effective risk management frameworks and controls while revolutionizing regulatory compliance management. This tool enables seamless digital collaboration and gives you real-time risk management solutions.

Devi Narayanan
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