Fri Apr 8 06:47:16 PDT 2016

Oversight: How are different sorts of duties prioritized in determining what to protect and how well?


The hierarchy of duties is defined and followed with precedent and priority given in the following order:

Priority Source
1 Legal and regulatory duties.
2 Contractual duties.
3 Chief Executive defined duties.
4 Board defined duties.
5 Owner-defined duties.
6 Auditor or other external source duties.
7 Line management defined and/or by conduct duties.
The oversight hierarchy


Legal, regulatory, and fiduciary duties.

These are duties imposed by laws in all relevant jurisdictions. They are generally enforced by government through civil or criminal legal proceedings.

Contractual duties.

These are optionally defined duties created through the creation of policies, processes, day-to-day behaviors, and written and verbal contracts

Owner defined duties

Owners may define duties directly without going through governance processes.

Board of governors, directors, or other defined duties.

The board of governors, directors, or others may define duties on behalf of the owners, or in the case of public benefit organizations, the public.

Chief Executive defined duties.

The chief executive may define duties and standards of practice, and these are generally approved by the board or owners. However, through conduct, chief executives may also define de-facto duties.

Auditor and other externally defined duties.

External bodies, such as auditors may create work product that is treated as a duty by the enterprise or as a result of their legal standing.

Line management defined duties.

Line management, through their orders, mandates, actions, or conduct may define duties. These duties are often defined de-facto.

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