“Better safe than sorry”: Compliance programs.

“Better safe than sorry” is a phrase that personally reminds me of my father, who has always provided me with a set of recommendations for many things. However, in several cases these recommendations were not implemented, and consequently, unfortunate events occurred.

Although this may often happen to us in our private lives, companies often face a similar reality. Clearly, companies do not have parents to give them recommendations or warnings, but they do probably have advisers to recommend –or require- a compliance program.

Regulatory compliance or compliance programs are based on diligent practices to govern a Company. According to the WCA (World Compliance Association), the compliance program is a set of procedures and good practices that companies adopt to identify the operational and legal risks they face, and then establish internal prevention, management, control, and reaction mechanisms to confront them.

These compliance policies are the result of both international and national legislative developments, as more and more companies and organizations are exposed to endless regulations with different levels of demand, increasing the risk of the Company being exposed, not only to breaching of the law but to also to ignoring or wrongly interpreting regulations.

This breach, ignorance or erroneous interpretation of regulations by a Company and/or its members, may have consequences such as damage to the Company’s reputation, the imposition of fines or penalties by regulatory entities, failure to execute different businesses; among other damages that could have been avoided or at least mitigated if the Company had a risk prevention mechanism.

While incorporating these programs into their management is not mandatory for Companies in Paraguay, different countries around the world do require so. Even various governments have developed incentive policies to promote compliance programs in Companies, such as reducing penalties for organizations that have a regulatory compliance.

In addition to risk prevention, management, and control, compliance programs provide additional value to organizations, since these programs usually include the principles or codes of ethics and conduct that generate a consolidation, both within and outside the Company, of good practices.

Thus, the incorporation of a regulatory compliance in a Company is becoming more and more recommended, since, as the saying goes… better safe than sorry.

If you are interested in incorporating regulatory compliance, contact Attorney Gabriela Melgarejo gmelgarejo@altra.com.py