The first ingredient for a successful competition law compliance program: Management Buy-in and Support

May 25, 2017 - Tags: Regulations

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.

As with any recipe, having the right ingredients will help ensure a successful dish.

In the Competition Bureau's last blog post, Our Best Recipe for Compliance Programs, we introduced the seven key ingredients to creating a credible and effective competition law compliance program.

We will now turn our attention to the first ingredient: management buy-in and support.

Having all managers on board is a key element in successfully implementing a compliance program. Behind every renowned restaurant is a business manager who is committed to the restaurant's success.

A great restaurant manager provides all of the necessary equipment, from ovens to mixers and plates, to deliver a successful dish. Likewise, business management needs to support compliance programs with proper resources to foster a culture of compliance within the organization. This will ensure the credibility of the program among employees.

It is also important to involve the board of directors. The board should expressly endorse the company's compliance program. As with any restaurant, the owners should choose the chef and endorse the chef's vision. This relationship will serve as an additional level of protection to ensure that management will better serve the interests of the company. The board of directors should also appoint a Compliance Officer.
Assigning the responsibility for the program to someone in a high-level position with independence is also very important. As in the kitchen, where there are multiple tasks to be accomplished, there needs to be a chef who has control over the kitchen. Organizations should designate a Compliance Officer who has high visibility in the organization and who has the opportunity to participate in senior management decision-making.

Remember, the way to get staff on board starts at the top. Having a company's leadership buy-in is an essential ingredient for a credible and effective compliance program.

For more information, see the Corporate Compliance Programs bulletin available on our website.

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