Compliance program may prevent future leniency agreements
Despite their extreme importance, few companies use a good compliance program because they do not believe that it is necessary, and that is where they are wrong. Several current scandals around the country’s companies, such as the JBS leniency agreement, show that with a good compliance program this type of crime can decrease considerably. The leniency agreement is the “Awarded Deliberation” of the Legal Entities.
According to the Consultor Jurídico Magazine, “the leniency agreement makes it convergent to mandatory adoption of compliance programs.” This statement makes explicit that companies that have undergone ethical problems will not be extinguished and can return to the exercise, but assuming their social and dignified commitments to society. Companies will control more closely what goes on internally to avoid damaging their image and reputation.
The Anti-Corruption Law, which has a little more than 3 years, has led organizations to seek greater internal control and rules of conduct because it would link to reducing future fines in cases of irregularities.
Why do not compliance programs often get off the ground?
According to José Compagno, Latin America’s leading partner in EY’s Fraud and Disputes Investigation Service, “Compliance structures that exist formally but do not work in practice is something I come across every day at work.” The companies that went through the scandals could not close their entire scheme to create a program because it would make it impossible to continue the irregularity. At that time, the law did not have as much influence on companies.
However, the presence of a strong regulatory framework with enforcement actions and the dissemination of punishments cause the market and companies to undergo changes. Aiming to qualify Brazilian professionals, the American Chamber of Commerce recently organized an event called “1st Brazilian compliance mission in the US”. This shows that the Brazilian administrators are looking for information and improvement to prevent this type of situation from repeating itself.
Why have a good compliance program?
The clearest reason is that the company will avoid future problems related to corruption, tax evasion, fraud, among others. It is extremely necessary for top management to understand that a good compliance program is a necessary strategic action and that it is three times cheaper to invest in it than not to implement it.
What is the solution to implement a good compliance program?
First, you should seek to analyze and systematize all of your company’s most fraud-sensitive business rules and procedures, and this is not an easy task. Mapping these procedures, stipulating the rules and putting them on paper is a first step. You can make this effort internally or look for compliance specialists in the market to lead you to design a program that fits your company’s reality.
To help you get started organizing, there is a package of 10 integrity policy documents containing some procedures and codes of conduct to serve as a basis for getting you started.