The concept of the burden of proof has a long history in legal literature. It also has a place in today’s business environment. Ever-changing rules and regulations place relentless pressure on organizations to meet increasingly stringent compliance regimes. The burden of proof within organisations often translates to an overwhelming administrative load. The everyday struggle to maintain currency and compliance, combined with the associated supporting evidence, in an environment of dynamic change, can be overwhelming.
However with careful consideration of process design and pragmatic integration of processes to capture and retain data to evidence compliance, good governance is possible.
The evidence required by a demanding matrix of sources including regulators, certifiers, clients and audit, and an ever-increasing corporate aversion to risk is putting pressure on data demands. Organisations must keep pace and be ever vigilant in efforts to develop and maintain the required evidence. The challenge is to develop greater economies within processes, data and records management while retaining the evidentiary rigour to ensure that legal actions, audit, inquiry or any other due diligence activity or oversight process can be successfully contested.
Identifying the correct balance for the size of the organisation, assessing the risks accurately to support cost benefit analysis and having the best tools and partners to achieve organisational sustainability is critical. The balance between maintaining a nimble organisation that can adapt to changing environments, and the rigorous evidence requirements of governance, is delicate but achievable.