This chapter’s title is a little provocative. The role of the Chief Compliance Officer is not to increase profit but to ensure that business is conducted in complete respect of relevant laws.
Organisations have been externalising their whistleblowing arrangements through third party providers for many years now.
Some have done so, so as to conform with legislative requirements.
Some have done so because their peers have done so.
Some have done so because they required to tick a box in their compliance handbook and in an attempt to present an outward appearance of ethical transparency and excellence.
The ISO 37001 is a new anti-bribery standard that could significantly help businesses thrive in a challenging global environment. It won’t open any pod bay doors, but it brings to organizations a much-needed level of anti-bribery guidance, combined with meaningful incentives for standard adoption. And it’s applicable to all institutions, regardless of size, structure, geography, or jurisdiction.
The question of what budget should be allocated to anti-corruption compliance is a difficult one for any company. For Top Management, compliance has a cost – undoubtedly necessary – whose expenditure cannot be reconciled in a tangible manner or with a physical receipt. The impossibility of defining return on investment often results in the compliance budget being kept to a minimum. The Compliance Officer, on the other hand, is aware of an allegation or act of corruption’s potentially dramatic effects on the company and views a compliance budget as a sort of insurance policy which should cover the company’s identified risks to an appropriate degree.
When we think of corruption, we automatically associate the word with a state of rotting affairs, events pernicious to our health and/or that of our countries. Such images are only natural, as historically the term was first associated with the decay in moral standards and only later did it assume legal connotations. Its conspicuity in the media is a relatively recent feature, however. Since the mid ’90s corruption has become a regular feature of front pages and TV reports throughout the “free” developing world, as well as a regular topic of conversation in many industrialized nations.
In October 2016, Tim Sloan, the new CEO of Wells Fargo (WFC) and successor of John Stumpf who has been accused of allowing fraudulent practices to occur within Wells Fargo for years unobstructed, stated, “as the new CEO, my immediate priority is to restore trust and confidence in Wells Fargo. We are fully aware of the fact that it will take time and a lot of energy to rebuild our reputation. We have made mistakes and we apologize.”
Compliance Officers have long been preoccupied by their potential exposure to legal liability; worries seemingly justified by recent cases of prosecutions – and convictions – of compliance officers.
The B20 stands for “Business 20”. It is the voice of global business in the political discussions held by the Governments of the twenty, economically strongest developing and developed, countries, the “G20”.
The ISO 37001 standard declares: “This document specifies the implementation by the organization of policies and procedures and controls which are reasonable and proportionate”. Two lines later it states, “this document can help the organization implement reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent, detect and respond to bribery”.
The African Development Bank estimates that USD 148 billion is lost to corruption in Africa every year. While sub-Saharan Africa has become a commercially significant market, bribery and corruption risks are deterring higher rates of investment and the ability of companies to conduct business fairly on a level playing field. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) together with the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently published an Anti-Bribery Policy and Compliance Guidance for African Companies (‘Guidance’) as a practical tool to help raise awareness of anti-bribery compliance measures.
On February 8, 2017, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued guidance on the “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (the “Compliance Evaluation Guidance”).1 In deciding whether to charge a business organization, the DOJ asks these “common questions” regarding an organization’s pre-existing compliance program and its remedial efforts.
Richard Bistrong has been contributing to the ETHIC Intelligence Experts’ Corner for a couple of years now, but he usually does it from the comfort of his office. This time, however, with the termination of probation and return of his passport in January 2017, he has been traveling. Richard has recently visited Beijing and Shanghai to address law firms, multinationals, and cross-industry compliance groups. He shares some of his observations of corruption prevention and compliance in China.
Companies and public entities that are covered by the new French Anti-Corruption law, Sapin II, are required to adopt a compliance program that includes an internal whistleblowing mechanism “to allow employees to report acts or behaviors that violate the company’s Code of Conduct”.
Thank you so much for having me! The new book is called the Wildly STRATEGIC Compliance Officer Workbook, and the goal of the book is to transform compliance professionals from fire-fighters into in-demand business assets by using planning and strategy secrets.
The publication of the ISO Standard 37001 and its certifiability has caused a debate as to whether the standard offers legal protection or not in the event an act of corruption is discovered at a company. As corruption is an offense that can result in the corporation’s criminal prosecution, companies want to know what kind of legal protection comes with an ISO 37001 certification.
Yes. French authorities have been long criticized for ineffective enforcement of their anti-corruption legislation. The “Law Regarding Transparency, the Fight Against Corruption and the Modernization of Economic Life,” known as the Loi Sapin II, was promulgated on December 9, 2016 and provides for some significant changes in the current French anti-corruption legal and regulatory administrative structure, as well as some specific amendments to the general French criminal law and procedures.
The recent publication of the ISO standard 37001 on anti-bribery management systems is garnering more and more interest from a variety of sectors and organizations. For the first time, more than 80 countries were able to agree on a set of requirements which facilitate the design of an anti-bribery management system. The requirements apply not only to companies but also to administrations, associations, NGOs….
The last decade has seen a surge of collective actions at the initiative of civil society, professional federations or international organizations. Many have benefited from the support of the Siemens Integrity Initiative which has demonstrated the usefulness of such actions in the fight against corruption at the local level.
On December 21, 2016, US and Swiss prosecutors announced that Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest construction conglomerate, had agreed to a wide-ranging bribery resolution with authorities in Brazil (Ministério Público Federal), the United States (Department of Justice, and Securities and Exchange Commission) and Switzerland (Attorney General) with combined penalties of at least US$ 3.5 billion. These penalties are by far the largest monetary sanction ever imposed in a global foreign bribery resolution, dwarfing the previous record of US$ 1,6 billion imposed on Siemens AG in 2008.
The multiplication of national guidelines published on the issue of anti-corruption compliance over the past few years has some compliance officers shaking their heads with perplexity.