Today’s global world, its ever changing laws and rules and the consumer expectations demand more transparency and integrity, forcing business leaders to consider risks across their businesses and operations – locally, regionally and globally.
Risks emanate from multiple areas – political, economic, socio-economic, technological, legal and environmental. The risks apply to small, medium and large companies, and result in image and reputational damage as well as penalties, fines and criminal implications - not only for managers and employees, but also for all agents involved in the production chain, distribution and market operations.
The extent of the potential risks, and hence damage, is significant and requires business leaders to embed a culture of integrity and transparency in their organizations and their partnerships from top to bottom. Without this broad and deep DNA, policies, procedures and controls will require constant evolution and monitoring, resulting in operational risks and uncertainty.
In the local and international environment, compliance programs are becoming the norm, and are the mechanism to manage the risks and minimize breaches of local and global rules. In other words, it is essential to take proactive and preventive action before there is a compliance challenge.
Compliance programs consist of establishing a framework through which a company can comply with the rules in a systematic and systemic way. The most critical steps include:
- Implementing a compliance program.
- Identification of prioritized risks for the company and current business practices
- Review of all legal requirements applicable to the company’s operations, locally, regionally and globally
- Integration of the compliance program into the decision-making, production and operational processes