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29 Aug 2013

New international compliance standard on the way

by Randal Dennings

The new international compliance standard being developed could become the benchmark for making out due diligence defences.

A new international compliance standard is currently being developed that will provide a globally recognized benchmark for all organisations – public, private and not-for-profit.

The required process involves a detailed and rigorous testing by the relevant member nations that can take over three years, with the next international meeting planned in Paris for September this year.

Australia, via the Australasian Compliance Institute (ACI), is sponsoring an International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) Committee charged with the development of an international compliance standard with Standards Australia being the secretariat for Project Committee ISO/PC 271- Compliance programs.

An Australian Committee is taking the lead on the development of the standard with the Chair of the international committee being Mr Martin Tolar, ACI Managing Director of the ACI.

Mr Tolar said that "The standard once finalised will provide an international benchmark for all organisational compliance programs and builds upon the experiences derived from the Australian compliance standard AS 3806 since 1998."

Mr Tolar also added, "Standards Australia and the ACI will play a leading role in developing the standard through the rigorous international approval process that can take over three years from inception to complete. This period is necessary to ensure that all relevant member nations' requirements are considered and so that a practical yet robust standard is established. This will be a significant positive factor in promoting international business sustainability."

Clayton Utz Governance and Compliance partner Randal Dennings has been appointed by the Law Council of Australia to represent it on the Australian committee.

Organisations should watch this space as the new standard has the potential to be adopted by regulators internationally as the accepted benchmark for making out due diligence defences and ultimately for the assessment of adequacy of organisational efforts in the context of breaches or control failures.

Further information is on the e-news section of the Standards Australia website or the ACI website.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.