Begoña Fernández

Outsourcing reporting channels helps companies improve their compliance procedures – Deloitte Legal

Many companies could improve their compliance procedures by outsourcing the management of reporting channels to external parties, says Begoña Fernández, partner at Deloitte Legal.

Fernández says most companies have compliance systems in place, particularly relating to criminal liability and data protection. “There is also greater awareness of the role of the compliance officer, not just at top management level but, increasingly, across organisations,” Fernández says. However, many companies have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to compliance. For example, Fernández says the use of reporting channels is not widespread: “Reporting mechanisms and related protocols of action are not mature yet.” Fernández believes that outsourcing can be a way of ensuring progress on this issue: “Outsourcing the management of reporting channels to external parties can be an effective solution, and more companies are choosing to delegate this function.”
Another challenge companies face is integrating existing compliance initiatives into a single programme. “Designing a comprehensive programme which takes account of all the compliance issues facing a company, from data protection and anti-money laundering to criminal liability, is a huge task,” says Fernández.  
The publication – in May 2017 – of the Spanish UNE 19601 standards for the management of criminal compliance has prompted many companies to review existing compliance models. “We are reviewing and updating models which in some cases had been in place since the reform of the criminal code in 2010,” says Fernández. “Law firms have a key role to play in evaluating the operational effectiveness of existing controls, and proposing alternative solutions such as the outsourcing of reporting channels.”