Five ways to improve your compliance and investigation governance

There are many aspects to good governance in organisations. Things like policy and procedure management, financial and resource risks, audit functions, internal and external reporting, business performance, complaints management and disclosures are essential aspects of best practice governance.  

But if you have a compliance or investigative function (like any local or state government entity), have you considered compliance and investigation management frameworks? Think about the following:

  • Is there a review committee for failed prosecutions or infringements?
  • Does your organisation include investigations in quality audits?
  • Is there a framework to ensure consistent, accountable and transparent decision-making?
  • Is statistical and qualitative review used to drive better compliance and investigative performance?
  • Is gathered raw information being outputted as useful intelligence to assist with the best use of physical and personnel resources?

Most organisations believe their case management system provides the appropriate tool for ensure best practice in compliance and investigation management. And, it’s a great start!

Like any effective audit framework, there’s more you can do. Here’s five ways:

  1. Establish a Compliance and Investigation (C&I) Review Committee.

Members should include representation from governance, legal, management and operational staff. Consider monthly or quarterly meetings. Examine any prosecution failure, withdrawn matters, identified failed investigations or training and development inadequacies. Have a plan to move forward.

  • Establish workflow pathways in electronic case management systems that ensure team leaders/supervisors sign off proposed finalised cases.
  • Ensure that case management sampling (electronic and hardcopy) is undertaken on a monthly basis and recorded as part of the auditing program. Make sure outstanding actions are followed up and addressed.
  • Invest in quality compliance and investigation training. 

Ensure your training provider understands your industry and is teaching best practice. In government, a Certificate IV in Government (Investigations) is ideal. Also consider non-accredited, skill-based credentials as an option. Think about ‘take five’s’ and other methods of informing staff of things like changes in legislation, identified new practices, case law, etc.   

  • Impart investigative skills gap analysis and training into performance management.

Ensure that audit and quality review information is passed onto staff in a timely and appropriate way. The focus is on improvement, advice, guidance, coaching and mentoring. Document plans and follow through on progress.

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