Before compiling a compliance program, it is important to take stock of what compliance means to your business. Which laws and regulations apply to your company? By subsequently performing a risk analysis, it can be determined which risks of non-compliance occur within your company. Certain risks will be the same for every company, such as the risk of breaching privacy laws. However, in general, the risks of non-compliance will vary from company to company and depend on the legal framework in which your company operates.
A law firm is usually faced with other non-compliance risks than an energy or airline company. For one company, the risks are more related to good file management, client identification and conflicts of interest, while for another company the emphasis will be on, for example, competition law or bribery. Once you have visualized what compliance means for your company and what risks may arise, then a compliance program can include appropriate measures and procedures to ensure that your company complies with the laws and regulations that apply to it. In addition, you can not only have your company’s standards, values and goals laid down, but you can also have a code of conduct included, consisting of the most important principles of your company and then elaborate these into policies.
Compliance and Banking
Compliance Trust Offices
Competition Law and Compliance
Behaviour and Culture
Setting up or having a compliance program is not enough. Until now, the description of the compliance function has mainly focused on the formal side of compliance, i.e. acting in accordance with laws and regulations. However, compliance is more than that and there is also an ethical issue. The compliance program must be effectively complied with by the employees and directors within the company and a certain behaviour is expected from both employees and directors. They must also behave neatly and with integrity within the company, i.e. carefully, intelligibly and steadfastly.
Such behaviour is to a large extent dependent on and influenced by an integer corporate culture, in which, in addition to complying with laws and regulations, people also behave or act in a way that can be explained and justified. In order to guarantee an integer corporate culture in which employees and directors are encouraged to act in a compliant manner, both internally and externally, it is important to maintain the following pillars:
Differences in perceptions of company goals should be minimized; when everyone within the company has the same goals in mind, these goals can be achieved more effectively and consistently.
To this end, as part of the compliance program, your company must ensure through training and communication that your employees are made aware of both the prevailing goals and policies within the company as well as the risks the company runs through violations of both internal and external applicable laws and regulations.