The President of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Dr Khaled bin Abdulmohsen Al-Muhaisen, inaugurated a symposium, on Sunday 14/10/2018 in Riyadh, entitled "Compliance in the Private Sector" which was organized by Nazaha, with the participation of a number of local and international experts.
The President of Nazaha Dr Al-Muhaisen expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince, for their supporting efforts to protect integrity and fight corruption, enabling Nazaha and other related entities to carry out their tasks efficiently and effectively.
He said that the symposium is being held as part of the Commission efforts to enhance integrity and combat corruption and to build effective partnerships with the private sector institutions and establishment in this field. "This sector is one of the most important partners" he stated, adding that the private sector must be proactive in building and maintaining sublime values to fight corruption at the level of their interrelations along with their relations with the public sector to create a competitive environment and to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision.
At the end of his speech, Al-Muhaisen expressed his deep appreciation for the attendance and their participation in the symposium hoping to see the opinions, suggestions and recommendations to be made through the exchange of ideas, expertise and experiences between participants and specialists.
The first session, entitled: "Function, Tools and Motivation for Compliance" was moderated by Mr Ahmed Al-Muhaimed, Lawyer and Legal Advisor.
Ms Carla Koffel, Executive Director at Pearl Initiative, said that code of conduct is the framework of compliance in which it should explain the desired behaviour of employees, customers, etc, and not only to speak about bribery, but also to clarify other issues such as conflict of interests. Also, clarifying non-compliance sanctions.
She further explained that Implementation of integrity policies and procedures is the responsibility of the executive management, but staff participation in this process is extremely critical.
Dr Yasser J. Abo Ismail, General Counsel and Compliance Officer at Schindler Group (MENA), showed the organizational structure of the compliance programme in the private sector and the responsibility of all individuals associated with the organization, whether as employees or stakeholders (vendors, suppliers, etc.
Abo Ismail stated that compliance is the basis of a strong risk management programme in the current business environment, where there are threats to damage the reputation of the institution from all sides.
Mr Stephen S. Zimmermann, Senior Advisor, Global Governance at the World Bank Group, said that an effective compliance programme is characterised with features include development of a code of conduct, policies characterized by specificity and clarity, an effective training, the issuance of independent reports, focus on real risks, and supervised by a leading team.
Zimmermann also explained the need to create three defensive lines when implementing the effective compliance programme.
Mr Khaled M. Alkhrashy, Compliance Officer at the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), mentioned that Ma'aden used a company to reports on its behalf to give the whistle-blower more freedom of reporting. Reporting is available to all, including employees, suppliers, customers, contractors, and even communities surrounding the areas where Ma’aden operates.
Mr. Khalid J. Alsalem Director of Risk Management and Secretary of Risk Management Committee at Arabia Insurance Cooperative Company, assumed that the compliance department works to assess the extent to which a company complies with regulations and instructions through a set of methods, such as field visits, sampling, information monitoring, self-assessment and reporting and investigation channels.
The second session, entitled: Challenges and Experiences in Applying Compliance, was moderated by Mr Mohammed S. Alanqary, Writer and Economic Analyst.
The session began with the speech of Mr Gazy S. Alzolfy, Senior Vice President and Director of Financial Crimes Department at Riyad Bank, who identified a number of challenges in the implementation of their compliance programme, including continuous change of bank staff, weak communication mechanism between the private sector and Nazaha, and challenges posed by modern technology and banking industry.
Mr Nils Vormelker, Head of Legal and Compliance for the Middle East and South East Africa at Siemens Company said that as a global company with several branches all over the world, one of the most significant challenges we face is the enormous number of regulations we must comply with.
Mr Fahad M. Al-Ali, Head of Legal Compliance, Regulations and Ethics at BAE Systems believed that the most prominent challenges facing the compliance implementation are moderation and nepotism, cronyism, favouritism, conflict of interest, abuse of power, abuse of money, misappropriation and number of employees.
He was followed by Mr Bassem bin Mohammed Al-Fasam, Director of Business Ethics and Compliance at Bechtel Company, said in his speech that Bechtel provides a line to report any management irregularities without disclosure of identity which has helped to gain staff's trust and cooperation in reporting any abuses.
Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Ayed, Director of Compliance Control Department, STC, assumed that commitment is the responsibility of all; it is the responsibility of the employee, the management concerned as well as the internal audit.
The session concluded with Mr Waleed Bin Mohammed Al Ghosoon, Senior Legal Affairs Manager at (SABIC), who said that executives should be an example in implementing the requirements of the compliance program.