The fifth ingredient for a successful competition law compliance program: Monitor, verify and report Bread and butter for compliance!
This guest blog post is provided by the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that ensures Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.
Implementing a corporate compliance program is essential for all businesses, but making sure it's efficient in the long run can be challenging. To make this as easy as pie, here's the fifth ingredient of Our Best Recipe for Competition Law Compliance Programs: monitoring, verification and reporting mechanisms.
As we've mentioned in the previous blogs of this series, conducting a risk assessment to put policies and procedures into place is a good way to prevent breaking the law. This being said, the procedures might become irrelevant or inefficient through time. Simply put, it is not enough to simply tell managers and staff what to do; you also need to check to see if they are doing it.
Along with the training of staff, to ensure compliance programs are credible and effective, companies should be:
- Monitoring activities on a regular basis, either continuously or periodically, to ensure that your procedures and policies are effectively implemented. This will also help to identify staff that are exposed to heightened risk and determine if you need to offer more training or adapt your program to better suit your company.
- Conducting verification exercises to confirm whether the business, an area of business, or at-risk staff are compliant. If your company is still struggling to comply with the law despite having a program in place, maybe your policies don't target all areas of risk.
- Reporting potential problems before they arise. A confidential reporting procedure, preferably led by the Compliance Officer, should be in place to encourage staff to freely report any conduct that can contravene the Act and/or the compliance program.
Also, be sure to document all your compliance efforts, as this will help demonstrate that your program is credible.
Monitoring, verification and reporting mechanisms are vital to the success of any corporate compliance program. They really are your bread and butter when it comes to effectiveness, so make them a priority at the top of your menu!
For more information, see the Corporate Compliance Programs bulletin available on our website.