Thursday, May 4, 2017


There is no doubt that International Compliance may be a headache due to several instruments.
• Global Compact’s 10th principle against corruption;
• The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC);

• Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (1999);
• Revised Recommendation on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions (1997);
• Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2000)

• Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption (1999)
• Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (1999)
• The European Union Convention on the Fight Against Corruption Involving Officials of the European Communities or Officials of Member States (1997).

• Organisation of American States Inter‐American Convention Against Corruption(1996).

• African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Related Offences(2002).

• Transparency International’s Business Principles for Countering Bribery;
• International Chamber of Commerce:
– Rules of Conduct on Extortion and Bribery in International Business Transactions (1977, 1996, 1999, 2005)
– Fighting Corruption: A Corporate Practices Manual.

• United States Sentencing Guidelines’ 7 Elements of an Effective Compliance Program;
• the US Department of Justice’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
• the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010;
• the UK Ministry of Justice’s Guidance on the United Kingdom Bribery Act.

• International Council on Mining and Metals Sustainable Development Charter, Ten Principles
• UNICORN, Trade Union Anti‐Corruption Network.
• The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
• Healthcare compliance initiatives.

How to deal with all these instruments? On December 2014 ISO released the best alternative for Multinational companies to comply with all kind of local and international regulations: the ISO 19600. ISO 19600 is based on AS 3806, a Standard developed in Australia. AS 3806 was originally created in 1998 following a request from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It was updated in 2006 and adopts a ‘principles approach’ to compliance, based on four key aspects of compliance being: commitment; implementation; monitoring and measuring; and continual improvement. It was almost on time due to increasing regulations globally as mentioned before. Regulatory environment changes, leading to new and challenging influences on an entity. There is no way to manage a compliance program if it is not flexible enough to adapt to current and future changes. ISO 19600 states that ‘in a number of jurisdictions, the courts have considered an organisation’s commitment to compliance through its compliance management system when determining the appropriate penalty to be imposed for contravention of relevant laws’ Multinational companies must use a compliance framework to develop any specific program locally or internationally. The framework could be used to mitigate any potential penalties handed down by regulators or the courts.ISO 19600 is a flexible guideline containing no normative references. It provides recommendations based on the principles of good governance, flexibility, proportionality, transparency and sustainability. ISO 19600 covers all areas of compliance: anti-corruption, anti-competition, anti-money laundering, export control, data privacy. It is designed to provide guidance for establishing, developing, implementing, evaluating,maintaining and improving a compliance management program. The guidelines are applicable to all types of organizations, irrespective of size, industry, risk exposure or global reach. Multinational companies and non-multinationals have had difficulty to decide which compliance requirements are appropriate and capable of serving as good indicators of a functioning compliance program. Now, the International Standardisation Organisation's (ISO's) may fulfill all these needs. June 2015