Legal compliance cornerstone of corporate governance

"Core to good corporate governance is compliance with the laws of the land. This assists companies in their endeavour towards being a good corporate citizen," says Sai Chandravadhan, general manager, Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd.

According to him, Chess Management Services goes a step beyond of legal audit. "We do not conduct legal audits but offer legal compliance management service — a management service on a legal platform — through establishing standards for systems and processes that ensure compliance."

The assessment of an organisation's present statutory compliance status is only the first step in conducting a gap analysis. "Our emphasis is on enabling companies acquire the skill-sets and systems to ensure continued compliance thereby reducing the risk exposure," he remarks. Excerpts

Could you briefly explain the process involved in legal audit/legal compliance certification activity?
The legal compliance certification is a five-step process, each following the other. The first step is to define the key responsibility area and mapping the flow of compliance activities between departments and thereby determine the key responsibility area. This mapping removes any ambiguity in compliance.

Training the company officials by domain experts, normally a third party service provider, follows this. The third step is to install controls for compliance and assessment of the same through third parties. The management's commitment to compliance is measured through external standards. And, finally, a company is issued the legal compliance certification.