Chief compliance officer
The chief compliance officer (CCO) of a company is the officer primarily responsible for overseeing and managing compliance
Compliance (regulation)
In general, compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law. Regulatory compliance describes the goal that corporations or public agencies aspire to in their efforts to ensure that personnel are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws and...

 issues within an organization. Generally, a CCO is in charge of overseeing and managing compliance issues within an organization, ensuring, for example, that a company is complying with regulatory requirements, and that the company and its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures. The CCO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operations Officer. The role has long existed at companies that operate in heavily regulated industries such as financial services
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

 and healthcare. For other companies, the rash of 2000s accounting scandals
Accounting scandals
Accounting scandals, or corporate accounting scandals, are political and business scandals which arise with the disclosure of misdeeds by trusted executives of large public corporations...

, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Sarbanes-Oxley Act
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 , also known as the 'Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act' and 'Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act' and commonly called Sarbanes–Oxley, Sarbox or SOX, is a United States federal law enacted on July 30, 2002, which...

, and the recommendations of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines have led to additional CCO appointments. Scott Cohen, editor and publisher of Compliance Week
Compliance Week
Compliance Week is the leading information service on corporate governance, risk and compliance that features weekly electronic newsletters, a monthly print magazine, proprietary databases, industry-leading events, Compliance Week Jobs, and a variety of interactive features and forums.Anchored by...

, dates the proliferation of CCOs to a 2002 speech by SEC commissioner Cynthia Glassman
Cynthia Glassman
Dr. Cynthia Aaron Glassman of Alexandria, Virginia was a commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs....

, in which she called on companies to designate a "corporate responsibility officer." The responsibilities of the position often include leading enterprise compliance efforts, designing and implementing internal controls, policies and procedures to assure compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations and third party guidelines; managing audits and investigations into regulatory and compliance issues; and responding to requests for information from regulatory bodies.

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