GUIDELINES TO HELP BUSINESSES DEVELOP CORPORATE COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

1. The purpose of this information bulletin is to provide general guidance and best practices for businesses on the development of corporate compliance programs. These programs may help businesses facilitate compliance with the Rules and/or CASL. Specifically, the bulletin describes important components of an effective corporate compliance program and provides guidance to develop such a program. The tools outlined in the bulletin should not be seen as prescriptive, but rather as illustrative. The bulletin is also not intended to be exhaustive, since businesses may take other reasonable steps to comply with the Rules and/or CASL. Further, the content of this bulletin is not intended to serve as legal advice. Businesses seeking legal advice regarding the development of a corporate compliance program should obtain independent legal advice.


2. The Commission recognizes that each organization is different. Depending on the size and risk exposure of the organization, not all the components of a corporate compliance program described below may be necessary, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized businesses. The Commission also recognizes that small and medium-sized businesses do not have the resources that large corporations have. As such, while compliance is required regardless of the business’s size, compliance programs will vary widely. The Commission will assess compliance with the Rules and CASL on a case-by-case basis. The Commission recommends that businesses adapt the components described below to their particular circumstances.

Why is a corporate compliance program important?
3. Non-compliance with the Rulesand/or CASL may expose businesses to significant administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) and other costs, such as legal fees and reputational damage. The development and proper implementation of a documented and effective corporate compliance program is a useful risk-management strategy: it may (i) reduce the likelihood of businesses violating the Rules and/or CASL, and (ii) help businesses establish a due diligence defence in the case of a violation of the Rules or CASL. See Porter Airlines fined

4. Commission staff may take into consideration the existence and implementation of an effective corporate compliance program if the business presents the program as part of a due diligence defence in response to an alleged violation of the Rules or CASL. Although the pre-existence of a corporate compliance program may not be sufficient as a complete defence to allegations of violations under the Rules or CASL, a credible and effective documented program may enable a business to demonstrate that it took reasonable steps to avoid contravening the law. Thus, the program may support a claim of due diligence. As well, Commission staff can take the existence of such a program into consideration when determining whether a violation of the Rules or CASL is an isolated incident or is systemic in nature, and whether sanctions against a business should include AMPs.

Components of a corporate compliance program
5. Senior management involvement
In the case of large businesses, the business’s senior management should consider playing an active and visible role in fostering a culture of compliance within their organization. Rules and policies by themselves have a greater chance of success in preventing misconduct when senior management strongly conveys that violations of the Rules and/or CASL are not acceptable. In addition, a member of senior management could be named as the business’s chief compliance officer, who is responsible and accountable for the development, management, and execution of the business’s corporate compliance program.

6. In the case of small and medium-sized businesses, the business could identify a point person who is responsible and accountable for compliance with the Rules and/or CASL.

7. Risk assessment...

Read The Full Article

Watch The CRTC Video


 

0 Comments Write your comment

    1. Loading...