Heathcliff is in many ways one of the most difficult and tragic figures in English literature. It is not the story of forbidden love but unrequited love which becomes rage which becomes obsession and true pathos. His love for Catherine is clear throughout the first section of the book (and the 1939 movie) as they romp across the moors together. However when Heathcliff only hears the first part of her statement “That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there, had not brought Heathcliff so low I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now;” and but not the second part, “so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire”; he stormed off in rage and fury.

He went to Liverpool and made his fortune. He returned to find Catherine still married to Linton. He proceeds to marry Catherine’s sister and ruin her life with his obsessive brooding over Catherine. After Catherine’s death, he even digs up her corpse and brings it to their estate. The novel ends with the death of Heathcliff, who has become a broken, tormented man, haunted by the ghost of the elder Catherine, next to whom he demands to be buried. Heathcliff grows restless towards the very end of the novel and stops eating. While many readers do not believe that he had the intention to commit suicide, rather that he simply lost the will to continue on without his Catherine. He wanted to be with Catherine for all eternity. And so he was as one of the last images is another family member seeing Heathcliff and Catherine walking arm-in-am across the moor.

Although the tragedy of Catherine and Heathcliff could have been prevented, I am not sure the obsession could have been deterred, given the nature of Heathcliff. This introduction leads to Part III of this exploration of an ACFE’s Fraud Magazine article, entitled “What’s Your Integrity Agenda”, edited by Vince Walden, partner at Ernest and Young LLP (EY), with contributions from Professor Eugene Soltes, Ph.D., of Harvard Business School, Jon Feig, CPA, and Andrew Reisman, J.D., of EY’s Forensic & Integrity Services practice. Today we conclude with measuring effectiveness and how to bridge the integrity gap.

Interestingly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been talking about the effectiveness of your compliance program since at least 2015. This was shown by the release in 2017 of its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (Evaluation) where it was clear the DOJ wanted companies under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) scrutiny to demonstrate the effectiveness of their compliance program through data. Former DOJ compliance counsel, Hui Chen, in an interview on the Radical Compliance podcast said, “We wanted people to see that we put a lot of emphasis on evidence and data. Don’t just tell us that you have a hotline. Show us how you know it’s working and how you’re using the information that you gain from these hotlines. When you say you have a great compliance portal, don’t just show us screenshots of it. Show us the hit rates and how you use that data to help you refine how you communicate with your audience.” The same was true for the requirement of strong leadership by senior management and tone from the top. Chen related, “If you tell us you have a strong, talented top, show us what concrete actions your leaders have taken personally to demonstrate that. It’s not just some words that they say” but show the evidence.

In the Fraud Magazine, Soltes said, “Leading companies are beginning to be more aware of the value of measuring the impact of their compliance initiatives. This starts by moving beyond overly simple statistics like percent completion and amount of time or effort spent on training exercises. Instead, anti-fraud and compliance leaders should consider what they want to achieve with a particular initiative and then design measures that more precisely capture that output. For example, did recent code-of-conduct training impact certain behaviors we see among our sales force? Or, is the total dollar amount of suspicious transactions flagged in our monitoring system going down over time as a result of recent monitoring enhancements?”

The penultimate conclusion of the piece is where Soltes suggests compliance professionals should move “beyond the silos of traditional reputational, regulatory and compliance risks.” They can do so by taking a more holistic approach to integrity effectiveness. He believes “one of the best ways to improve is to introduce an integrity agenda at the senior executive and board level where multiple aspects of the organization are represented. In these higher-level discussions, the word “integrity” applies to everyone and suggests more of a cultural responsibility — not just a compliance or an anti-fraud policy.”

To accomplish this compliance professionals are uniquely situated in a corporation to bridge these gaps. Of course this is what the DOJ has suggested in its Evaluation, the operationalization of a compliance program. The authors end by stating if you “use the levers of governance, culture, controls and insights to increase the discussion around your organization’s integrity agenda, you’ll help provide measurable improvements and increased business transparency to your organization and, once again, help keep it out of trouble.”

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018