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Q&A Session

Q&A Session

 

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Full video transcript available below:

 

Welcome and thank you for joining today's webinar, hosted by me, Bethany Sirven of MyComplianceOffice and Robin Singh. Today's webinar will cover reasons why anticorruption programs fail, practical ways to strengthen an anticorruption practice that needs to be incorporated, advise on how to improve your existing program, and we'll end with a live Q&A section to answer your questions.

Now, allow me to introduce my co-host today, Robin Singh

Sure.

Okay, everyone. Thank you for sending in your questions. We had quite a few interesting ones come in. Robin, the first question I have here, is there a difference between an ethics and compliance program and an anti-bribery corruption program and is there a risk of not having an ethics and compliance program?

 

Okay, so you have two questions in that part. I'll try to answer both of them separately. Ethics and compliance program is born out of your compliance register. A compliance register might have multiple risks surrounding fraud, corruption, third party, and gifts, and various other elements. When you say that you have a program which covers corruption, I feel that you are missing out on the other risks. Now, you might have covered some of the other risks under your anticorruption program itself but it is not necessary that you would have covered all the risk relating to conduct of an employee or an organization under the anticorruption program. Besides that, the ethics and compliance program is not only selected laws based or it is not just [SAPA 00:43:23] or UK Bribery Act focused. It covers various other laws, depending on the jurisdiction. It also covers aspects of accrediting bodies. These are no laws but you complaints might still be following it. Some might be [ISO 00:43:39] related. Some might be JCI, joint commission, and healthcare related.

 

The compliance and ethics program covers a lot more and is quite huge in scope while the anticorruption program is quite focuses in approach. I would say it falls in the subset. Rather the anticorruption fall as a subset of the ethics and compliance program.

 

Okay. Thank you, Robin. We have another ... I think we have time another couple of questions. Should anticorruption training be limited to marketing or sale staff and how do you monitor if there has been an improvement?

 

Your training program has to come out of somewhere. Mostly, the mechanism used nowadays is the risk-based training. Depending on the type of risk you have and the type of department an individuals that are under those risks, you would carry out the anticorruption training for them. At the end of the day, you would need to monitor all of this and how would you monitor this is that could depend on, first of all, the type of training you're conducting. Is it a face-to-face training or is it a web-based training? In my organization, we have a punch-in system for people who come in for a face-to-face training. Now, that's a different story that they can doze off, but still, that's the monitoring mechanism. If you go down one more step of monitoring the web-based which is a little more easier because everything online and people will have to definitely click the next to move onto the slide. They cannot go onto the quiz section directly.

 

One more level deep, as far as the monitoring of employee course, you would have to carry out a quiz prior to the training and post the training. One, this would help you to see if the employee performance has gone up after you have provided the training. Secondly, to make sure that you note all the scores and you can compare the anticorruption training from previously of Mr. X who have failed and this year again, he or she has failed, and third time, he or she never appeared for the training. These would be the symptoms of the rogue employee. It would totally depend on the type of risk-based appetite you have, the type of organization, and then structuring your compliance and ethics program, training for them.

 

Okay, great. Thank you, Robin. Last question, in your first pitfalls ride regarding the mindset, can you give an example of a new business opportunity in whistleblowing?

 

Let's speak about the new business opportunity first. Supposed your company wants to venture out in a risky geographical zone to sell some of the products. Maybe Afghanistan, Iraq, or something similar, so after you have provided training and placed a policy, the management would be able to venture out in the market, sell the products, and make a profit of maybe $1 million. Now, it is because of your training and the policy you've put in place and monitoring efforts that the management was able to go and make that bunch amount of money, but, obviously, you wouldn't put the whole figure in. Imagining that you have contributed 1% to the whole thing, you would have saved about $50,000 and that's the number. You need to be near reality but it may not be 100% perfect.

 

Now, moving onto the next quadrant of whistleblowing. Now, whistleblower sometimes come with an implicit threat, reward me or else I'll go to the government. You need to make sure that you persuade him or her and they can speak out to you and you need not give out any incentives for doing the right thing. However, there are a couple of approaches and hard process in the market. Some believe that they should be incentivized, while the other believed that it's a normal natural ethical act for which no one should be incentivized. Depending on the different type of stories that you believe in, you have ensured that you have received all the information from the whistleblower. You've carried out the investigation and in turn, you have saved a major cost for the company or make sure that you have plugged the gap wherever there was revenue leakage.

 

Now, before this could go out to a [SCC 00:49:01] or DOJ and they could come and enforce a million-dollar penalty on you, you've taken all the required action and you have helped save company X thousand dollars and that is the amount that you would put that in in the matrix. You need to be a little innovative and creative and make sure that you're not taking the whole amount. You're taking a very small percentage of it because at the end of the day, compliance is not a [inaudible 00:49:31] profit center. It's basically there to help ensure you have the right set of values and your governance and everything is in place and people are doing the right thing. That's the most important focus. This is only preliminary. Making sure that you can grab management's attention to get what you want at the end of the day, budget and resources to carry out something which would help the management earn more stronger values and achieve their mission and vision objective. That's it.

 

Okay, great. Well, that covers the questions that we wanted to handle. Thank you, everyone and Robin, especially, for your time for the webinar today.

 

Appreciate it. Thank you very much, Bethany, for the opportunity.

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