How to prevent company incidents? – Corporate compliance entails adherence to regulations and ethical norms
The first session of the Corporate Compliance Association, as well as the first open panel discussion about the topic: “Why is corporate compliance important for each of us?” was held last week in Belgrade.
Ahead of the panel, representatives of the Association addressed the audience, emphasizing the importance of the way companies in Serbia operate, corporate culture and ethics, as well as the requirements for sustainable operations of any company. Also, it was pointed out that the Association was a reflection of the tendencies of various individuals and companies from many sectors of the economy to contribute to education, synergy and general advancement in the sphere of business and even society.
The panel showed that the topic was universal and provided a more concrete insight into how different organization approach compliance with the legal framework, the best business practice and the rules of the profession, what resources are needed to make an impact on corporate culture and what the biggest challenges faced by representatives of various industries and institutions are.
Individuals from various organizations who deal with activities and topics relevant to the field of corporate compliance took part in the panel. In addition to representatives of the economy’s private and public sectors, active in EPS, Hemofarm and Lidl, the panel included representatives of the Association of Serbian Banks and the Commission for Protection of Competition, and the discussion was moderated by a corporate compliance expert from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade.
The introductory presentation was made by Milos Tanjevic, the president of the Corporate Compliance Association and the head of the Directorate for Corporate Compliance Control at UniCredit Bank. Tanjevic talked about the main idea behind the founding of the Association and its main goals.
– Corporate compliance is a wide field, with special features in each branch of the economy. The simplest way to describe corporate compliance is to say that it is the harmonization of operations with regulations and ethical principles. One of the carriers of this feature in companies is the compliance position, which entails advisory and control activities to the end of maintaining the reputation, integrity and credibility of the organization. Flaws in the system of internal control and violations of the rules of conduct are at the base of numerous examples of systemic company incidents globally and locally. The Corporate Compliance Association was founded to provide support to organizations in preventing situations that compromise both them and the society as a whole. It aims to improve the overall business climate in Serbia through education and resources.
Prior to the panel, the attendees, experts in the field of corporate compliance, representatives of similar associations and media representatives, were welcomed by Dr. Miloje Obradovic, the president of the Commission for Protection of Competition.
– Within the context of its main purpose, which is to secure equal conditions for all participants in the Serbian market, the Commission for Protection of Competition strongly supports and welcomes the founding of the association which will deal exclusively with corporate compliance, especially considering that one of the most important segment of the associations’ activities is the harmonization of operations with the Law on Protection of Competition. In the past few years, the Commission has intensively worked on raising awareness of the importance of complying with the rules of competition between participants in the market. We will continue doing so, but also implementing the measures discussed here – Obradovic said.
On behalf of the host, Rasko Radovanovic, a partner at CMS Belgrade, welcomed the attendees.
The recently founded Corporate Compliance Association aims, among other things, to provide support to everyone dealing with this topic in finding information relevant to them in a quick and simple way. Among the main challenges in the implementation of corporate compliance are balancing between risk and profit, securing an adequate level of education in all tiers of the organization, but also when it comes to the organization’s partners, securing the necessary resources and tools for carrying out corporate compliance procedures, local implementation of international corporate policies, and in some cases, management support.
The role and an adequate support of the state and its institutions is recognized as crucial in the process of raising public awareness of the direct relation of corporate compliance with corporate sustainability. That is why the Corporate Compliance Association sees the state as one of the main partners in the process of education of the workforce and the implementation of processes favoring corporate compliance.
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