The Swiss Compliance House: a Model for FCPA Compliance?


In an article in the January/February issue of the ACC Docket entitled “Five Fundamentals for Taking Management Compliance Seriously”, author Daniel Lucien Buhr discusses a model for a compliance system which he describes as the “Compliance House”. The Compliance House is a model which has been developed by Swiss businesses to use as the foundation of effective compliance management by ensuring that by “binding values and appropriate compliance management they can safeguard their integrity, and avoid or contain breaches of the law.” Buhr believes that it is the basic legal responsibility of any company board of directors to make certain breaches of law are either avoided or, if they occur, are detected early enough so that the company may remedy the situation.

Buhr begins with a very basic understanding of the term compliance, which he defines it as “ensuring law abidance.” However, the author goes on to expand this definition by noting that both private and public stakeholders of a company will expect that the company shall comply with applicable standards, therefore compliance may also be defined as “the state of integrity expected by stakeholders on the basis of civic responsibility of the companies.” This is a far different version than most US companies would state. Most US companies would try and obey the law but not include a complete culture of integrity.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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