Regulatory compliance issues remain front and center for U.S. energy and utility companies. Experts that spoke at the 2015 SCCE Energy and Utilities conference cited industry challenges associated with declining budgets; increasingly complex and unpredictable regulatory compliance standards; and societal changes resulting from a multigenerational workforce as the biggest issues. In particular, regulatory compliance issues, including succeeding at compliance management, remain front and center for U.S. energy and utility companies.
“We have all heard the often used quote: ‘The only thing that is constant is change,’ so it’s true that we continue to see changes and new developments in the business sector centered on regulatory compliance. With these challenges, companies need to find ways of partnering both Compliance and IT groups together in alignment of tasks, responsibilities and commitments to find success. The process of getting alignment between these groups can be difficult; however, the alignment process can be successful by embracing proactive leadership, a clear mandate, valid monitoring and aligned incentives.”
— Joe Polen, Director of Regulatory Compliance, Iberdrola Renewables
Building a Resilient Compliance System
Polen shared the following advice for building a resilient compliance management system for your workforce:
- Identify a leader who has a focused vision and the authority to execute initiatives and programs.
- Identify business owners and what they are accountable for, regarding all compliance requirements.
- Focus on communicating a culture of compliance with clearly stated objectives.
- Align the workforce by forming workgroups made up of both HR, Operations, IT and Compliance personnel.
- Separate and distinguish tasks such as the ‘implementer” role of IT or the “tracker” role of compliance.
- Identify points of risk and use controls to mitigate. Also automate if possible.