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From: Agenda By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez

Despite increased public scrutiny over corporate ethics and compliance lapses — and intensifying blowback when something does go wrong — some boards remain ineffective when overseeing these functions, according to directors and compliance professionals.

Having an effective compliance program can mean the difference between paying a ten-figure fine to regulators — such as the more than $1 billion price tag that Ericsson was slapped with last December — versus something in the two-comma range. It can impact whether a company and executives are saddled with court- or regulator-appointed monitors. And in the most egregious cases, substandard compliance mechanisms can be the impetus for fines and criminal penalties for companies and individuals.

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