Corporate executives increasingly make efforts to demonstrate that they do everything to guarantee compliant behaviour and prevent criminal acts by employees. Under the heading "compliance", numerous measures of varying quality and effectiveness were taken in the past few years.
In 2013, Austrian Standards published ONR 192050 that for the first time laid down specific requirements for effective compliance management systems. It served as an essential basis of the International Standard ISO 19600 "Compliance management systems - Guidelines" that was published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in mid-December 2014.
The Standard defines internationally consistent guidelines for compliance management systems and offers organizations and enterprises of all types and sizes a system that is reliable and applicable world-wide. Hence, an internationally agreed standard is available for setting up and operating such systems and makes it possible to identify, understand and properly respond to the risks of non-compliant behaviour.
Pioneers in Australia and Austria
During the development of the compliance standard, the ISO committee was able to build on an Australian guideline and on ONR 192050 on compliance management systems published by Austrian Standards in 2013.
For Dr. Barbara Neiger who represented Austria in the preparation of the ISO standard, Austria was a pioneer in the development of an internationally applicable compliance standard. In addition to Austrian delegates, compliance experts from Australia and nine other countries were involved in this work. Another 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan and the USA, had observer status.
As its development took less than two years, ISO 19600 is a model of efficient standardization. Australia's Martin Tolar who chairs the competent ISO committee believes that this is owed to the professionalism of the experts from all over the world and to the extremely efficient working process.
Certification evidences conformity
"The field of compliance is a highly sensitive issue. For this reason, demonstration of conformity with the standard is of utmost importance here," explains Dr. Peter Jonas who is responsible for the area certification at Austrian Standards.
Austrian Standards offers organizations the opportunity to obtain certificates both on the conformity of their compliance management systems and the compliance officers in charge of them. The audits for the "Fair Business Compliance Certificate" are exclusively performed by subject specialists such as lawyers or certified accountants.