The keys to compliance for SMEs

The Spanish production network is mainly composed of SMEs. Notably, 99% of the companies in our country fall into this category, but for a considerable number of them compliance is practically an unknown term, although it is a particularly necessary element.

In fact, since compliance started to be regulated, with the introduction of criminal liability for legal persons under the reformed Criminal Code of 2010, (reinforced by the following reform in 2015), it has become even more of an essential element for companies. Why? Legal persons are now criminally liable for criminal offences committed by legal representatives, directors or other parties who are not subject to any control mechanisms. And the perfect monitoring mechanism is a Compliance System.

Setting up a compliance system is less complicated than it seems. In fact, it consists of prevention systems whose complexity is in proportion to the size of the company, its circumstances and the type of business it operates. For this reason, for example, the larger the company, the more formal the system needs to be. While for smaller organisations it can be much simpler, with the system being in proportion to the size and structure of the organisation. 

However, in order to be legally valid, a good compliance system, whatever the size of the company, should meet certain conditions, such as the implementation of monitoring measures or the existence of a control committee which enables monitoring of the functioning of the system and adherence to it.

A good example of backing for compliance is the Elecnor Group, which constantly encourages good practices in the field of fighting corruption. In fact, as proof of this, in 2018, Elecnor became the first Spanish company in its sector to be certified to the UNE-ISO 37001 standard for “Antibribery Management Systems”, the most demanding standard in the creation of management systems in compliance and the fight against corruption. Just a year later, this award was joined by the certification of Elecnor’s Compliance System under the UNE 19601 standard “Management System for Criminal Compliance”. In recognition of Elecnor’s spirit of continuous improvement, in 2021 both of these certifications were renewed, demonstrating the company’s commitment to fighting corruption.