…means accordance, following the rules, both legally binding and ethical rules. The term is nowadays unambiguously associated with the specific way in which a company is organised in order to ensure a sustainable compliance culture in it. It concerns systems integrated into the company’s structures and processes and in the awareness of all members of a particular organization. The systems are to prevent violation of commonly applicable laws and standards voluntarily accepted by all the members of an organisation. They are called Compliance Management Systems, CMS for short (or Anti-Bribery Management Systems regarding anti-corruption). Depending on the adopted model, CMS may also be responsible for detecting irregularities within a company (e.g. through whistleblowing mechanisms or conducting internal investigations) and be a part of the sanctioning process.
CMS implementation is nowadays a world trend and legal obligation in some countries. Originating from the Anglo-Saxon countries, in the era of globalisation the systems have spread to many other legal orders. Globally operating concerns appreciate the benefits of unified mechanisms which assure adherence to rules throughout the whole structure. Consequently, compliance management systems have also reached other countries. However, the fact that the implementation of CMS in more and more companies and other organizations is caused by other factors as well:
- in some industries it is a legal obligation to have CMS in place (e.g. regulated industries of financial and insurance services);
- the legislator introduces legal regulations that promote CMS implementation (e.g. the obligation to establish whistleblowing channels and anti-corruption policy);
- operating in some industries is connected with specific risks, which causes the implementation of CMS to become a common practice required by the market (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry);
- compliance management systems are an effective tool in combating irregularities, (e.g. corruption or cartel related); risk minimisation is the basis of all economic activity;
- an important incentive for CMS implementation in public companies was the inclusion of provisions pertaining to the realisation of compliance functions in the “Good Practices of the Warsaw Stock Exchange listed companies”;
- many companies consciously follow world tendencies, which are reflected in the ISO standards: 19600 Compliance Management Systems and 37001 Anti-bribery Management Systems.
…means to us more than Compliance. We believe that a fair and value based systems are the condition for trustful and successful business. Integrity in terms of fairness is a fundamental aspect when creating a sustainable culture of compliance. Having rules and acting in accordance with them, respecting other people and acting as to the best believes is crucial in local, national and global environment.
…finally form the basis for compliance and Integrity. Both Compliance and Integrity are having human beings in their focus which means that people’s culture must be considered when implementing this kind of standards. Members of all kind of organizations represent different cultures and values as the most part of it. The values are responsible for creating behaviours and for the most fundamental decision whether or not to act in accordance with rules and regulations or in other words whether or not to be compliant. This is why we believe that Ethics, Integrity and Compliance should be considered jointly when creating management systems aiming to create and maintain a sustainable culture of compliance.