Five steps to begin your anti-corruption compliance journey
It doesn’t matter how well you have maintained the culture in your organization or how well you treat your clients, partners, and employees, your business is always prone to corruption of some degree. From simple bribery to abuse of discretion, and many forms of corruption can take place in your business.
You might be thinking that corruption is something linked with multinational companies, and it has nothing to do with your small or medium-sized business, but that’s not true. After looking at the surveys and gleaning informations, you will discern that corruption has become a new normal for even SMEs. This is why it becomes necessary for you to have an anti-corruption culture of compliance. Through such a culture of compliance, you will be able to outline what’s included as an honest, ethical, and legal business. The culture of compliance for anti-corruption is built over time by following set standards and formats.
But the good news is that any firm, regardless of its size and industry, can build an anti-corruption culture of compliance. So let’s go through the five steps that are included in forming the anti-corruption culture of compliance.
Commitment from the upper level of management
One of the first steps in building a compliance culture of anti-corruption in your organization is to get the upper level of management involved in the program. If the senior management is not committed to the program, then you will not be able to move the compliance program to the lower level of the hierarchy. This is why the anti-corruption compliance journey begins with the board of directors and senior executives.
All the managers and the employees will take cues from the senior management, and that’s why their commitment is essential. Even a properly designed compliance program that is enforced in good faith will have no effect if the senior management will encourage employees for corruption.
Effective standards and controls
Another essential step in building an anti-corruption culture of compliance is to have adequate standards and controls. These standards and inspections will include all the procedures and policies that will address the risks associated with the business in the real world. But just the formation of these standards and controls isn’t enough as you will even need to implement and follow it as well. Through using effective standards and controls, you will be able to make your employees and clients aware of the requirement of the firm, and this will draw them into a circle of compliance.If the employees are forced to comply with the firm’s hospitality and gift rules strictly, then, all the employees will become sensitized to the issue of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
Seamless communication from the board of directors and executive managers
The senior management should have seamless communication with other employees of the organization to remind them about their importance with the success of anti-corruption compliance. For example, if there is an annual meeting, then the CEO of the company or the board of directors of the company can talk about the legal compliance, integrity, and honesty that the company follows. The senior management should keep reminding the employees that any type of intolerance regarding the anti-corruption resources compliance culture will never be tolerated, and at least the employees working in the company should be should never compromise with the anti-corruption program.
Regular anti-corruption resources compliance training is another important step in building a culture of compliance in your organization. During the training program, you can inform the employees about how the company is keeping up with its anti-corruption compliance policy, make them understand the thin line of difference between bribery and gift, inform them about the risks involved in dealing with foreign clients and make them realize that the company is very serious regarding the compliance policy. You can also include FCPA compliance-related examples during the training program to make things clear to the employees. Training programs are necessary to make employees and clients understand the value of anti-corruption compliance.
Ongoing monitoring and auditing
The final step to give a proper shape to the anti-corruption culture of compliance is ongoing auditing and monitoring of anti-corruption compliance. By doing so, you will be able to make sure that the industry standards and the guidelines outlined for the anti-corruption program are being followed properly. If you find any problems during the monitoring and auditing process, then you should resolve it without any delay. If there will be no monitoring and auditing, then you can never be sure that what you designed is being implemented and followed or not.
There are various elements involved in forming an anti-corruption culture of compliance, and you will need to consider every element. From including senior management to building a seamless communication channel, every step mentioned in this blog post will contribute towards anti-corruption compliance.