28 April 2014, Curitiba, Brazil. Corruption is recognized as one of the world's greatest challenges. It is a major obstacle for sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities. The impact on the private sector is also considerable - it hinders economic growth, distorts competition and brings serious legal and credibility risks.
Recognizing this challenge, the Entrepreneurial Anti-corruption Law, which came into effect in 2013 in Brazil, brought to attention the challenges and processes involved in the application of mechanisms that ensure transparency and integrity inside corporations.
With the objective of contributing to the fight against corruption and facilitating a discussion on how to surpass current compliance challenges and create a business environment free of corruption practices by starting and developing compliance systems inside companies, CIFAL Curitiba together with the Global Compact and other key actors such as the Ethos Institute hosted the inaugural workshop “Risk Management and Compliance Methods in the framework of the Brazilian Anticorruption Law” in Curitiba on 15 April 2014.
Different from the approach of the 2013 Transparency and Competitiveness Forum organized by CIFAL Curitiba last November, in which the debate was conducted by Brazilian and foreign specialists about entrepreneurial damages caused by corruption, this time participants had the chance to share experiences and knowledge concerning the culture of compliance, governance, risk management and reporting channels.
The discussion about these topics during this year’s workshop reinforces Brazil’s progress in creating a legal framework and control systems aimed to fight corruption. Brazil has been showing a consistent progress, according to Felipe Saboya, Executive Advisor of the Ethos Institute. With the new legislation, the company itself is held legally accountable for corrupt practices, instead of punishing only its employees in cases of proven allegations. On the other hand, if pointed as corrupt, companies with a compliance system in place will have legal benefits and mitigations.
The workshop allowed attendants to participate in a step by step exercise on how to implement compliance systems. According to Maurício Reggio, partner director of ICTS Proviti, consulting, business risk management and entrepreneurial ethics firm- “a well succeeded application of a compliance system depends on five factors: clear and known standards and procedures, effective and prepared organizational structure, clear knowledge of risks, effective controls and adequate measures to eradicate unethical practices.
Elements such as constant monitoring, auditing and evaluation of program effectiveness in order to combat new ways of corruption, code of conduct, risks committee and commitment of the company’s high level management with processes of corruption risk prevention were also pointed as important elements for a successful implementation of a compliance system and searching for updated and effective ways of achieving a transparent and clear environment in the business field.