Compliance Interview and Report Essay

For this report I interviewed Mr - Compliance Interview and Report Essay introduction. Gene at his business location.  He is the owner and President of a small computer business.  The company mainly builds and maintains networks for other local businesses.  His client list is very versatile and includes medical, legal, dental, and university organizations.  Since his employees deal directly with many different types of businesses, he has a vast array of compliance issues he deals with daily.  Mr. Gene and his employees are responsible for keeping all of the computers and networks of his clients working properly.  This gives Mr. Gene and his employees complete access to all information on each network and computer. With most of today’s medical, dental, legal, and educational information being kept on networks, it is important that Mr. Gene and his employees follow specific protocol.

The compliance issues dealt with by Mr. Gene vary depending on which client he is working with at the time.  When working at a medical office where there is medical information being available, Mr. Gene must make sure he and his employees are following privacy laws, similar to HIPPA laws.  Every employee at Mr. Gene’s business has the responsibility of maintaining privacy demanded by law.  The same is true when the employees are working at legal offices or universities.  Universities have many different compliance laws they must follow and they change frequently.  Mr. Gene must be sure that he and his employees are working within these laws while maintaining the networks of the university.

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Fines and penalties can be imposed if any information is shared by Mr. Gene or his employees so the issue is a very serious one.  It is Mr. Gene’s direct responsibility to make sure all of his employees take these laws seriously and comply.  If they do not, it is his responsibility to make them or to terminate them.  In a business like Mr. Gene’s there is no room for distrust.

Mr. Gene also stated he has financial clients, such as banks and accounting firms.  He stated he is familiar with The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act), also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999.  Mr. Gene noted that this is an area his business takes very seriously as the compliance laws are strictly enforced.  When working with the computers at a bank, for instance, Mr. Gene stated he and his employees must agree to abide by the Financial Privacy Rule.  This rule, he stated basically meant that he could not disclose any private financial information.  With the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, it is law that banks must have specific security programs that protects private information.  Mr. Gene’s business is often responsible for making sure these programs are effective and working.  Mr. Gene takes information security very seriously.

Mr. Gene knows that compliance issues will be much easier to deal with if his employees know the laws and regulations.  Therefore, he briefs each employee regularly on new laws and to remind them of old laws of compliance.  When a new client is added, Mr. Gene briefs employees on regulations that apply to the new client.  This helps him avoid any compliance issues by trusting that his employees are informed and are making the right decisions.  He stays informed by reading small business magazines targeting toward his business as well by watching as the national news.  Keeping informed is just a normal part of his life, and therefore he can easily obtain information he needs to use daily in his business.

In my opinion, Mr. Gene is very aware of specific areas of compliance that he must directly deal with in his area of business.  He takes them very seriously and expects his employees to do so as well.  In eleven years of business, he has never had a serious compliance issue because he and his employees realize the seriousness of the regulations.  He believes that informing his employees or what is and what is not acceptable regarding compliance is the best way to maintain the regulations, and this has worked well for his business.  His clients feel safe knowing he and his employees take the issues seriously.

I gained a lot of knowledge from the interview.  I think the most valuable knowledge was that education is the best way to deal with compliance issues.  By educating your employees and making them aware of the regulations, there is room for them to be responsible and act accordingly.  Briefing your employees specifically is probably the best way to deal with it.  By providing boring manuals for employees to read, you cannot guarantee the employees are getting the information they need.

Most employees may not even read them.  However, by also briefing employees on specific regulations that directly apply to their position, you can ensure they know the facts.  By taking the issues seriously yourself, as a manager, you can show them that the issues are worth taking seriously.  Therefore, everyone in your company can follow regulations easily.  This will eliminate many compliance issues, especially in a small business like Mr. Gene’s.  The larger the business, obviously the more room there is for error.

I found it interesting that Mr. Gene’s business has to deal with so many different compliance issues.  Although they mostly revolve around the issue of privacy, he has to be informed at many different levels.  This would seem overwhelming to some, but Mr. Gene says it is “not that big of a deal”.  He feels that as long as you do the right thing, it is not a problem.  This makes the issue seem less stressful.

Mr. Gene makes it seem easy for someone in his position to follow regulatory compliance issues.  In his line of business there are several issues that he needs to pay particular attention to and he does so with ease.  After this interview, it seems that the issue of compliance does not need to be a burdening one.  It is simply one that you should always keep in your mind when doing your job.  After a while it seems that following these issues is just second nature to those in positions of compliance.

Overall, the interview was a success. Mr. Gene was great and cooperatively told me how even small businesses must realize and follow compliance regulations.  He showed me that in certain business areas, you may have to follow several sets of regulations.  Therefore, it is important to always research new regulations and stay informed about your area of business.

Question Sheet:

1)      What type of business do you operate?

2)      What types of clients do you work with?

3)      Do you have any clients that are in the medical field?

4)      Do you have any clients in the legal field?

5)      Do you have any clients in the education field?

6)      Do you have any clients in the financial field?

7)      What type of work do you do for these specific clients?

8)      Are you exposed to any personal information when working on computers at these locations?

9)      Are you aware of the issue of compliance regulations for most businesses in the United States?

10)  How do compliance issues directly relate to your business?

11)  Are there any specific regulations that you find you deal with more often?

12)  How do you keep up with all of the regulations that pertain to your business?

13)  What is your approach to making sure your employees comply with any regulations that may be pertinent?

14)  Do you feel it is better to talk with employees or instruct them to read regulations in a manual?

15)  What do you do when an employee does not comply?

16)  How often have you had to deal with employees who will not comply?

17)  Is it difficult to make employees realize the importance of the issues?

18)  How serious do you feel compliance issues are to your business and your clients?

19)  Do you feel your clients take compliance issues seriously as well?

20)  Do you feel that if your clients know you always comply with regulations that they will be more willing to work with your business?

21)  Do you think compliance regulations are justified and necessary in your line of work?

22)  Is there anything else you would like to add on the issue of compliance?


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