Ethics and compliance programs are facing stagnant or reduced budgets, despite an increasingly complex global business climate. However, the primary goal for ethics and compliance leaders in EMEA and APAC is to go beyond “check the box” measures, moving toward creating meaningful risk mitigation and changing the business culture, according to NAVEX Global’s2015 Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) State of Compliance Programmes Benchmark Report.

Building a strong organization culture rooted in integrity and ethics was one of the top objectives for the business leaders surveyed for the report, but the pressure on frontline managers may be stalling this change. Individuals at this management level are referred to as “culture carriers,” but the report notes that this group often lacks training and confidence on how to manage pressures, communicate clear expectations and respond appropriately to employee concerns.

In addition, some of the top challenges to establishing an effective compliance program were cited as measuring program effectiveness (55 percent), lack of time (49 percent) and managing regulations across different jurisdictions (48 percent).

Many boards of directors are not receiving regular compliance reports. Forty percent of respondents indicated that they are either not on a regular reporting cadence with their boards, or they are unsure. Organizations headquartered in the Middle East and Africa were much less likely to provide detailed reports to their board on a regular basis, likely because they cited more often than any other region that they lacked the reporting capabilities to provide detailed reports.