Moving Toward Internet Compliance - Page 1

Dec 7, 2005

Tony Rundella

The growing need to supply information to the public and the community of customers, suppliers and business partners require companies focus their attention on information delivery.

In order to ensure the quality and integrity of the information they supply, the corporate enterprise has a growing need to develop processes along with associated policies and guidelines to aid in the distribution of information over the Internet.

Why focus your attention on Internet compliance?

There are a number of reasons to address information delivery over the Net: reputation; violation of credo, principles and ethics; advertising compliance; and privacy violations that could lead to law suits.

Corporations have a responsibility to provide leadership for the development of effective programs and processes that improve the quality, compliance and integrity of their websites and the information they deliver.

With a defined quality compliance process you can reduce risks, reduce costs to implement, experience a better return on investment, and reduce time to deploy websites.

These processes and guidelines also ensure the corporate legal, regulatory and credo standards are enforced.

Innovative companies are creating a corporate function to research the legal, regulatory, advertising and marketing components of information being distributed over the Net, an Internet Compliance Office, if you will.

This office is responsible for the collection and distribution of policies, procedures and guidelines that govern Internet compliant websites as well as the processes to stay in compliance.

Companies are also establishing compliance teams that consist of Internet compliance authorities, subject matter experts, and technical liaisons trained in the policies and guidelines that govern Internet compliance. These teams are involved in writing standard operating procedures for content approval, document closure and obtaining corporate approval.

They are also responsible for managing the auditing and monitoring of corporate websites to ensure they continue to meet compliance standards.

Internet compliance methodology’s are also being developed to define the development of compliant websites. These, in essence, are mini system development lifecycles that outline the lifespan of an Internet site from conception to retirement.

The steps for establishing a compliance environment include:

  • establishing a working compliance team.
  • educating the team on all aspects of compliance policies.
  • developing and utilizing established corporate policies, guidelines and procedures.
  • writing local standard operating procedures (SOP) for content approval and all other aspects of compliance.
  • developing the sites using the compliance process, document closure and obtaining local approvals.
  • managing the team changes, improving the SOP’s and auditing the compliance environment process.
  • The following is an example of a seven stage process for developing a compliant Internet website:

  • Stage 1: Website Conception
  • Stage 2: Access and Apply Internet Compliance Policies, Guidelines & Procedures
  • Stage 3: Resolve Design, Content & Technical Issues
  • Stage 4: Site Development
  • Stage 5: Site Testing
  • Stage 6: Document Compliance Closure
  • Stage 7: Site Deployment and Monitoring
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