Dealing with regulators

Even though there is always a feeling by business managers that regulators are, at the least, not there to help them, it is important that you maintain good day to day working relationships with government bodies that regulate your business.

A business should have a clear published policy that its officers and employees must treat regulators with courtesy and respect, and not obstruct them in their lawful activities. If they are asked by a regulator to provide information, your employees must not intentionally mislead or deceive them or destroy or conceal relevant information.

The regulatory officials will quickly sense whether you are being open or trying to mislead them and this assessment will influence their dealings with you. You can unwittingly turn a technical mistake into a criminal offence.

In Why have a compliance program? a former director of the US Office of Export Enforcement says:

An experienced federal investigator knows that when he or she finds a company operating without an effective compliance program, the odds are in favor of discovering evidence of a crime.

In Responding to Business Crimes Investigations a former deputy US Attorney General says:

Where a company ends up has as much to do with how it manages the response to a business-crime challenge as it does with the attitude and policies of prosecutors.

It is worth noting that the 8 former US partners of KPMG have been charged with concealing information as well as the original creation of the alleged fraudulent tax shelter.

In The regulator’s approach to compliance ACCC Commissioner David Smith says:

"Given the massively increased financial penalties and possible criminal sanctions that corporations and their executives now face for ignoring this obligation, I suggest it will now be crucial that a corporation be able to demonstrate to its shareholders the existence of a corporate culture that is effective in the management of compliance.

To do this, a company needs a system of deep-rooted values, attitudes and beliefs that affect the way those within the company perceive the
company itself and what it stands for and the way it perceives its relationship with suppliers, customers and regulators."

Read the complete pdf article(new window)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Your Compliance Support Plan

We understand you need a cost-effective way to keep up to date with regulatory changes. Talk to us about our fixed price plans.