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The appropriate place for compliance in the organizational structure of large and more sophisticated companies has been a matter subject to substantial debate within company management, and it is fair to conclude that the stakeholders in this debate—senior management, external boards, the office of general counsel and senior compliance officials—do not necessarily see eye to eye. General counsel often chafe at the prospect of independent compliance management that operates outside their direct reports. Increasingly anxious boards oppose filtered compliance information, and senior management may balk at too many channels for reporting of critical information. Compliance professionals increasingly are more uniform in their view. They want direct reports to the CEO and the audit committee of the board. They need to know that their reports and information get to those with ultimate authority unvarnished. Compliance needs to stand on its own.

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