Communications Policies Should Cover More Than E-Mail

Lora Bentley

Continuing the communication policy theme, a recent article suggests that corporate policies should extend beyond e-mail to include all internal communications, especially those between the C-suite and the board.


Writer Marie Leone explains:

Say, for instance, a CFO feels the need to set up an internal committee to investigate an aggressive tax strategy. The CFO should give the committee members not only a clear goal and decision-making parameters but also a routine for how results should be reported back to senior management.


Setting out formal policies reinforces the importance of keeping a record of such processes, according to Michael Mann, a partner in the law firm of Richards, Kibbe & Orbe. In essence, he told, it's taking "a compliance approach and overlaying it on a business approach."


Another area in which companies would benefit from formal communications policies is in dealings covered by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA. How does your company respond to parties that ask for or offer bribes in exchange for business? If there is a firm policy already in place, there is no need for hand-wringing or fretting about what to do, Mann says. And if you have established policies that are followed, it is easier to demonstrate that the FCPA was not violated when questions come up.

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