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Compliance Interview and Report

1. Brief Overview of the Industry

As Houston is widely recognized by its spacecraft and aircraft industry, it is needless to say that this kind of industry was chosen for precise analysis, because it is likely to give more accurate reflection on the compliance degree. Though, speaking about aircraft industry, it is to be noted that this industry is regulated by the several agencies, which, in the different ways, set the standards to be met by every company or enterprise in the industry. Therefore, the description of the industry is to be presented at the angle of regulations guided by various state, federal, and local governmental agencies, and basic laws or the administrative agencies related to the company. In addition, it is important to mention, that the presentation of the regulations is considered to explain their general purpose, rather than giving a detailed description of them.

First of all, it is necessary to admit the influence of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The general aim of NASA is to keep space entrepreneurs aware of the fact that any actions should be taken only under the control of the government in order not to uncover hidden business incomes, which are not included into the tax rates, but to provide enterprises with the up-to-date ideas and tendencies according to the constantly changing market. On the other hand, NASA just outlines the requirements to be met, while Department of Defence, especially Air Forces, actually is an executive body, which on a military basis prevents any exceeding actions to be taken. Such system of regulations may seem to be very strict, but in fact, many enterprises are willing to cooperate due to the government still being a primary source of investments and scientific basis, which federal and state organisations obtain. Furthermore, it is important to mention that actual obtaining of the approachable space is divided into the four approximately equal to each other parts They are military, public (for instance, weather and television satellites), which are also regarded as a result of private and governmental cooperation, private business itself, and joint projects (differs from public because of the aims, which are more of economical and scientific purpose rather than public) (Handberg 2-6).

2. Interviewee’s Job Title, Basic Responsibilities including Compliance Activities

As Interviewee was obtaining a position of the engineer of communication systems, the main duty of this job is a designing of systems for communication between the spacecraft and Earth, and the management of actual construction. In general, this job requires, first of all, a proper time management and constant quality level assurance, which actually depends on the innovations incorporated into the general design of aircraft and spacecraft. Therefore, the engineer of communication systems does not have a particular daily schedule, but has terms and deadlines, before which a certain piece of equipment, system, or just a theory should be designed. Consequently, this job position does not presuppose any compliance-related activities, but the results of work are directly connected with the standards, which were outlined both by the enterprise itself and by the relative federal or state agencies. On the other hand, daily and basic activities could be regarded as compliance-related, because their appropriateness and conducting of a high professional quality have their reflection on the actual quality of the job task given. Therefore, relatively, the outcome relies on the professional level and scrupulousness of N employee. Another consistent duty of the engineer of communication systems is leading a designing diary, which gives information about the key points of design or construction, and in a brief way describes the activities performed during a particular day. It is needless to say that any piece of information and even a conclusion that have been drawn in accordance with the data given should be relevant to the objective reality and coincide with the actual facts.

On the contrary, there is one important point to be mentioned. The development of space technologies is on its runaway success. Therefore, in the recent 5 years the requirements, which regulate compliance, have been changed in many ways. First of all, the requirements to the quality level increased several times. Moreover, the activities and regulations related to them have been changed or have been replaced (substituted by more up-to-date equivalents). Speaking about the regulations changes within 10 years, it is to be said that any changes of such long time period are considered to be drastic according to the certain factors; for example, quick development of space sciences and related to space sciences issues, necessity of space-based technologies in the daily life, designing of various international space programs, new discoveries of unexplored areas of an opened space, and so on. In general, it is to be outlined that the compliance-related activities are regulated by the changes in the connected to the space industry spheres: science, politics, social tendencies, and international relationships.

3. Keeping Current on Regulatory Change

Taking into consideration a wide range of factors and criteria, it is to be emphasized that the laws and regulations have been drastically changed, because of the constant competitive increasing of development of the space technologies, scientific discoveries, and integrated joint space projects. As the Interviewee mentioned, the main source of any updates of laws and regulations was a department meeting, which was usually held once a month or more often, in case of an urgent necessity to make the employees’ aware of the changes made. The introduction of changes is not just a stating of the particular facts, but a brief explanation of the basic principles and their application to the activities to be taken. Moreover, if it is necessary to give a precise plan of incorporation of a certain feature as a result of changes to the working process, the Head engineer provides his team with a detailed plan, according to which the further job is to be done. It is worth admitting that such kind of an incorporation does not recognise a gradual process of switching from the old regulatory system to the new one, so the employees are provided with a weekly trainings of the various types: psychological, methodological, decision-making, and team-working. These trainings make the changing working process much more easier and workers are more resistant to be affected by the changes in the connotation of organisation of working process and the quality of work performed itself. The Interviewee explained that there are no publications available for him, because the information is given in the form of a summary, so it must be several sources, but the Information department manages to provide employees with all the necessary information in the most comprehensive way. On the contrary, the Interviewee noted that in case any precise and detailed information was needed, it was quite reasonable to contact the Information department, which would give a primary source of information or would spread its own data in case it did not violate security and intelligence possession rules or laws. In general, any updates in the regulation system are immediately proclaimed to the workers by summarizing various sources, and the further actions are explained without the necessity for gradual switching, because of the trainings provided for the employees on a regular basis. The main aspect of incorporation of the changed features in one go is based on the necessity to meet the requirements without being affected by the outer factors and by following the tendencies in the internal and external markets.

4. Compliance Program

Taking into account the high level of requirements, which should be met according to the regulation system, it is worth going into details and finding out the presence and degree of compliance control in the company. It is necessary to find out whether the company is guided by some particular formal compliance program or the control is limited only to the punishment of actual violation of regulations and laws. As the Interviewee said, a formal compliance program was designed especially for the company in general and according to the peculiar features of every department. The program itself presupposes such activities as regular lectures about importance of meeting regulations, special bonus system was designed for praising those workers, who brilliantly follow all points of compliance policy; moreover, compliance is regarded as a crucial part of any job position in the company. Such a strict policy may seem unreasonable, but the space industry itself requires the highly-disciplined employees, who are responsible and reliable without no respect to any circumstances. On the other hand, taking into consideration all seriousness of this compliance program, the Interviewee admitted that there was no particular job position as a Compliance Officer. The duties of this job are divided among the heads of the departments, who are supposed to not only keep an eye on the working process of their department and have a feedback from other departments, but also to keep regulations and laws respected and followed. In such a way, the department Head is a kind of a guide for the workers of a particular department. This way of organization should be regarded as a problematic one due to the following reasons: compliance program is not able to be executed in the general integrated, the departments heads do not have an opportunity to consult a specialist in case of difficult situation, and it is hard to identify the reasons for violating compliance program due to the separation of supervising duties. Moreover, the Head of the department is physically not able to keep an eye on everything, because of having many different duties, which are considered as primary. It is suggested to hire the Compliance Officer, organize a Compliance program department, and take off any additional responsibilities from other duties. The department will take control of all the enterprise and in such a way eliminate the risks of subjective attitudes from the supervisor to the employee or vice versa. Basically, the main problem of the company in this extent is a lack of professionals, who will be able to conduct all the necessary control procedures over the enterprise staff and make this control in a suitable systematic way.

5. Ethics Program

In case the company has its own compliance program, it means that it definitely possesses a certain code of ethics, which is partially included in the compliance program. Therefore, it is reasonable to discuss the code of ethics in the more precise way in order to understand the essence of the compliance regulations policy from the ethic point of view, because it is needless to say that sometimes law and moral basics of conduct are not equal to each other due to the different aims of influence. Therefore, as the Interviewee admitted, the main statement of the code of ethics in their department could be introduced as “precise accuracy and doubts at anything which is possible to be doubted” (American Society Of Mechanical Engineers 12). According to this statement, the code of ethics focuses on the very careful work of the engineers, because they have a little permission to make any mistake due to the stressful deadlines and importance of the equipment they design for a spacecraft. Moreover, every single detail should be double checked and tested as many times as it is required, until it satisfies an engineer, and does not make him or her have any doubts about any aspect. Consequently, careful and scrupulous way of working is a direct aim to meet al the standards and requirements, which laws and regulations set for the industry. As it was previously mentioned, law and ethics are not the same means of regulation of people’s behavior and moral conducting. It is to be said that this case is not an exclusion, even though both law and the code of ethics are aimed at the same thing. The designing process and construction first of all are supposed to be conducted in the sharpest accuracy and safety to meet the standards of spacecraft equipment. To begin with, the law is focused on the idea of meeting the requirements for being competitive at the internal and external markets, forming a new standard to be followed, and proclaiming scientific and technological benefits. The code of ethics actually is based on the aim to make engineers aware of the fact that on their precise work the new discovers and even people’s lives depend. Their mistake or mishap may lead to the tragic consequences. Furthermore, the code of ethics, as a formal regulation, is supported by a high level of awareness of the employees. According to the Interviewee, the code of ethics is not only a formal regulation, but informal as well, because as the team of engineers is considered as a group of quite ambitious people, everyone respects themselves and their colleagues as a civilized, educated, and thoughtful people, who understand the whole significance of their accuracy at doing their daily activities.

6. Interviewee’s Opinion about GRC

The next point, which is to be mentioned, is the personal Interviewee’s attitude to the GRC and the way he interprets it. To begin with, it is worth noting that the Interviewee is obtaining a quite common position for many years, so he has enough experience, and the most suitable position, which can tell more information about GRC as the main set of regulations aimed at the average employee. So, the Interviewee concerns GRC as a basis of a reliability of engineers’ work. This source should be regarded as a constant reminder of the necessity to be careful and attentive. The Interviewee describes a human factor as a very crucial aspect, so the GRC is decreasing this factor and in such a way diminishing the risks of failures (Tarantino 42-43). Taking this into consideration, it is to be concluded that the Interviewee’s opinion is quite personal, and as they as well mentioned is not supported and based on the information from any organization or resource dealing with compliance. Consequently, the Interviewee does not have any certification proving their Compliance Officer position or at least proof of being specially trained for controlling a compliance policy at the company. Moreover, the Interviewee responded negatively to the suggestion to become certified as a Compliance Professional, because of their personal strong belief that it would spoil their own views and influence the quality of their primary job. In other words, a worker should comprehend this at the level of sub consciousness and keep focused on their target job. It should be a special person, who is responsible for a stimulation of the compliance at the department.

Generally speaking, the Interviewee considers GRC to be the mean of regulation as a reminder for employees to be attentive and careful any time, and regards it as a moral and even philosophical issue, which should not be taught, but comprehended and realized, so it is worthless to get any certification. Moreover, obtaining additional position is quite unreasonable from the point of regulations system: division of attention only decreases the general quality of the job. Therefore, the attempt to control the compliance implies the violation of it. All in all, the Interviewee keeps to their personal outlooks and is willing to be concentrated on their primary job. Such an attitude should be concerned as an appropriate one according to the compliance policy, even though the individual is not aware of any organizations or sources providing employee with a necessary basic and detailed information. Taking this into account, to make the Interviewee’s opinion more clear, it is worth mentioning the general opinion of the student.

7. Student’s Opinion on Compliance Activities and the Role of GRC in U.S. Business

Speaking about the student’s opinion about GRC, it is to be said that first of all, it is regarded as certification or verification that a certain doer of the action meets particular requirements of accepted practices, legislations, prescribed rules, regulations, special standards, and terms of the contract (King and Khan 31). In other words, it is not only means of regulation of the quality of job performed by the workers of a certain industry, but as well a kind of guide to be followed. Furthermore, GRC predicts possible risks in the decision-making and allows to manage the regulations of the particular means of the information system by providing more security of data and extending its reliability. GRC is designed not only to regulate the worker to do a particular activity according to the certain set of rules, but also it can be considered as a tool for providing security and decreasing the level of possible risks.

In other words, GRC regulates not only the doer of the action, but the action as well on the basis of certain methods or techniques. Nowadays GRC has a special value due to various factors. First of all, in growing competition it is important to keep enterprises motivated to follow the standard, so keeping focused on the requirements, which set the government, it is much more difficult for monopoly to be spread over the market of a certain industry. In addition, by following the national standard it is easier to predict economical instability and resist it in the most beneficial ways, because the instability is reflected in the federal or state compliance requirements. Moreover, GRC has a significance for publicity as a target audience, because it provides people with products only of high quality, which are produced according to the standards of the industry, which the government has set. In contrast, GRC is not a good mean of fighting the hidden and illegal business. GRC certificates only legally registered companies, while the hidden ones keep producing products of a poor quality, which are relatively cheaper than the certified ones, so they have chances to be bought by an individual at least once. To sum up, it is to be said that GRC is an important aspect of regulation of business in accordance to the law. It should not be regarded as an attempt of the government to invade a private business. GRC is designed to stimulate companies to be competitive and scrupulous at their production in order to make internal and external markets more competitive, provide publicity with the products of a high quality, and guide employees in completing their daily activities in the most appropriate way, succession, or combination.

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