The Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) Oversight Committee has announced the formation of a new subcommittee that will focus on developing a Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS) governance, risk and compliance (GRC) task code set. LEDES standardized UTBMS Task Codes are used by legal professionals and service providers world-wide for budgeting, billing and metrics measurement purposes.

Within the LEDES organization, the GRC Subcommittee is expected to have the following near-term objectives:  (1) to recommend a task code set for GRC services; (2) to recommend supplemental codes to the Time Keeper Attributes, Budget, Activity and Expense Code Set subcommittees; (3) to provide inputs to the LEDES 98B, 98BI, 2000, and XML maintenance committees on any recommended format enhancements to advance GRC budgeting and spend analytics; and (4) to maintain alignment between the GRC Code Set and any subsequently developed UTBMS code sets or LEDES formats.

The GRC Subcommittee will also look to align the GRC Code Set with the GRC-XML standard developed by the Open Compliance & Ethics Group (OCEG and the Legal Rule ML standard being developed by the Legal XML section of Oasis-Open www.legalxml.org.

First on the agenda of the new subcommittee will be whether the work of OCEG (www.oceg.org) in developing the GRC Capability Model v. 2.1 can be leveraged as the task codes or whether a new development effort is required. If utilized, the ongoing responsibility of the GRC Subcommittee will include maintaining alignment between the GRC Capability Model and the GRC Code Set.

In accordance with LEDES standards development protocol, the proposed code set will be published for public comment on both the www.LEDES.org and www.UTBMS.com websites maintained by the LEDES organization, a not-for-profit charged with creating and maintaining open standard formats for the electronic exchange of legal billing and project management information.

“GRC and regulatory compliance in particular are and have been for the last few years the top concern for CEOs, CCOs, CROs and CLOs alike,” said Kelly Ray, Legal Solution Strategist at Tata Consultancy Services, who also serves as Chair of the GRC Subcommittee. “Due to a lack of standards, prior endeavors to fully understand the total cost of GRC have stalled. The GRC Code Set will be a significant first step in advancing spend analysis, metrics, KPIs, and control. By coupling the LEDES standards with other industry standards, corporations and regulators can begin to understand the potential market, industry, national and global economic impacts of existing and proposed mandates and the resulting risk analytics.”

Jane A. Bennitt, president of the LEDES Oversight Committee and founder of Global Legal Ebilling, LLC continued “We recognize that current UTBMS standards are not helpful in classifying, controlling and analyzing services performed on governance, risk and compliance matters. We respect OCEG’s leadership and domain expertise and believe that the GRC Capability Model will help to fast-track the LEDES standards development process. We hope to have a new standard in place by this time next year.”

The LEDES Oversight Committee (LOC) is currently inviting its members to participate in the GRC Subcommittee. If you are not currently an LOC member, consider joining if you are a GRC solution provider, a legislator or regulator, or a professional involved in delivering GRC services within or to corporate clients, including consulting, auditing, educational, lobbying, secretarial, investigations, whistleblower hotline/helpline, and legal advisory services. Joining LOC is easy and affordable. Be sure to indicate your interest in the GRC Subcommittee on the online application form www.ledes.org/ApplicationForm.aspx

The LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard) Oversight Committee (LOC) is an international, voluntary, not-for-profit organization comprised of legal industry representatives and is charged with creating and maintaining open standard formats for the electronic exchange of billing and other information between corporations and law firms.

The Uniform Task-Based Management System (UTBMS) is a series of codes used to classify the legal services performed by a law firm in an electronic invoice submission.