Many entrepreneurs are considering the introduction of so-called compliance program into internal processes and corporate culture. It is a key element of everyday business life. However, the concept of Compliance is still unknown to many.
Compliance means the action of complying and is an important part of managing an organization and its core processes. It is an internal system of risk management mainly resulting from regulations or laws. This internal system is most often called the Compliance Program or Compliance Management System (“CMS”) too. The CMS usually consists of several complementary elements, such as risk assessment, implementation of policies and processes, training and communication, monitoring, consultation, reporting and control. The individual elements of the CMS differ depending on the subject of business or from the industry in which the organization operates, and of course, the individual elements of the CMS also depend on the internal processes of the organization. The purpose of introducing such a system is to prevent the occurrence of risks, especially financial and reputational ones. In highly regulated industries, such as banking, telecommunications, the pharmaceutical industry or the automotive sector, compliance is profiled in dedicated departments that control the organization’s greatest risks (for example crime fraud prevention, internal fraud, or business partner and suppliers control). The compliance management system currently represents two key elements, which are integrity and sustainability.
Integrity means doing the right thing – by keeping the organization and its employees in line with common corporate values. Integrity as a concept, unlike Compliance, has a broader meaning that is better understood in a global environment. Integrity understands and respects cultural differences and prioritises universally valid values. Through integrity, we learn to take responsibility for our actions, decisions and adherence to the rules. The goal of Integrity is to enforce legal procedures, internal and external regulations, agreements with employee representatives, as well as codes of conduct. Integrity determines that decisions are made consciously and transparently. Everyone is encouraged to think about their actions.
Sustainability and social responsibility represent the human dimension of business. Not only must product production be sustainable, but our efforts to protect the environment must also be conscious and visible. We strive to achieve an exemplary environmental and energy balance on a local as well as global scale, and we do not turn a blind eye to current and future environmental challenges. All this and much more is the successful Compliance Management System of the organization, which is headed and represented by the company’s top management.
Tone from the Top is key and represents the conscious acceptance of these values by the company’s management. The Compliance Management Cystem is currently taking on the form of Integrity Management, and such a concept and designation appear to us to be more appropriate and specific. Integrity cannot be outsourced or replaced by occasional consultations. It is an integral part of everyday business life. Benefits that the Compliance Management System resp. Integrity Management delivers are long lasting and create a healthy business environment.
JUDr. Martin Sasinek
Legal and Compliance Manager, Mercedes – Benz Slovakia s.r.o.