Andrew Wise Comments on Boeing's Compliance Reforms in Advance of Company's Settlement with Prosecutors in Wall Street Journal

"Prosecutors Credited Boeing for Compliance, Organizational Reforms"

Wall Street Journal


Andrew Wise commented on Boeing's $2.5 billion settlement with prosecutors last week, which underscores a continuing focus by prosecutors on ensuring that compliance programs are effectively structured and independent of certain business considerations. Boeing undertook a series of structural reforms in the run-up to its settlement with prosecutors over the company's interactions with regulators over a flight-control system on its 737 MAX airplane. It created a centralized team overseeing product safety, and reorganized its engineering function so that technical specialists report to a chief engineer, instead of the company's business units. The creation of a board-level committee is in line with language from U.S. Department of Justice guidance highlighting the importance of having board-level oversight and involvement in compliance processes, Wise said. The changes in reporting lines reinforce principles from the same guidance related to ensuring that compliance functions remain independent from intervention, he noted. "The value of that improvement is that folks that have the technical knowledge and can spot issues have a centralized way they can report them, so that they are insulated from interference by business leaders who may be more swayed by economic or bottom-line considerations."