Anticorruption: Key compliance strategies – KPMG Forensic
When it comes to corporate crime, companies need to be aware of the best models to ensure compliance and avoid charges, and advisers can help
Recent legislative moves have clamped down on corporate crime and placed compliance at the epicentre of major multinationals’ business agendas.
“There is a lot of anti-corruption legislation worldwide, such as the cross-border powers of the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Spanish Criminal Code 2010, which means that, for the first time, businesses can be held criminally liable in Spain,” explains Enric Olcina, a Partner at KPMG Forensic. “This, coupled with a much more aggressive approach to enforcement, means that an in-depth understanding of compliance is critical for companies as well as their advisers.”
Olcina says that tougher regulations are likely to continue into next year, including another change to the Criminal Code that would strengthen enforcement powers. This environment has led to an increased demand for specialist advisers. They are being hired to develop internal compliance and anti-corruption systems and also conduct investigations and issue reports if any anti-corruption breaches occur.
Ángel Requena Rodríguez, also a Partner at KPMG Forensic in Madrid, says his firm is working on many projects for clients over compliance matters, and that putting an effective strategy and structure in place is vital for a company’s corporate governance. “There are seven key factors that companies need to embrace, with the most important being what we refer to as ‘tone at the top’,” Requena explains. “Senior executives need to be familiar with anti-corruption laws, both in Spain and in key jurisdictions worldwide. Management needs to get the message across to employees about how important compliance is.”
Requena concludes that a structure needs to be established to identify risks in the company, and implement adequate training and monitoring of the compliance programme. “Compliance is not a one-off concept, and it is imperative that everybody – from the top to the bottom – is acutely aware about the risks and of their duties.”