Canada’s corporations need effective compliance to avoid national and international prosecution for bribery and corruption, writes attorney John Boscariol. The first step? A thorough risk assessment:
“Canadian companies are now beginning to understand the risks and costs of non-compliance with the [Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act] and other anti-bribery regimes that may apply to them, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act 2010, and the very substantial impact of compliance failure on their directors, executives and employees, share price, the inherent value of their company, as well as their attractiveness to others as a business partner or acquisition target. Many are now looking to take the next step: the implementation of processes and procedures to ensure effective compliance is achieved.
A quick search of the internet can easily locate many examples of anti-corruption compliance programs and employee and executive training modules. These plans may cover all the right bases, namely implementing written processes and procedures and appropriate internal accounting controls, appointing responsible compliance officers, demonstrating strong senior management support, periodic training and certification, internal auditing, internal reporting and voluntary disclosure, disciplinary procedures for non-compliance, agent and third party due diligence, and contract review.
It is, however, critical that companies ensure they have first conducted a thorough risk assessment before developing, adopting and implementing these compliance mechanisms. Without undertaking an effective risk assessment exercise and then properly tailoring your compliance measures to your company’s specific circumstances, the compliance program will be of little assistance, and in some cases can be harmful to the company.”
Read the full update, Anti-Corruption Compliance Message Received? Risk Assessment Is Your Next Step - John Boscariol»