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The code of conduct needs the stamp of the General Counsel

A company’s most fundamental expression of its values is its Code of Conduct. That document needs not only to lay out what proper behavior is expected of employees but also to guide enforcement. The general counsel has much to say about the content, format, and phrasing of the Code of Conduct.

For example, one decision for a global company is the number of languages in which to publish the code, as well as the mechanisms for explaining and enforcing its tenets (See my post of July 5, 2006 on on-line legal and compliance training tools.). A general counsel might opine on whether different versions of the code should apply to different regions. Another decision is whether employees must acknowledge that they have received a copy of the code; the further step being where employees attest that they have read and understand the policy and are committed to following it.

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