Alexandre Barreto De Souza
Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) (Brasilia)
You have probably heard that it is much better to be safe than sorry. This maxim, applicable to so many situations, can also be used when we discuss corruption, since the act of anticipating situations prevents they spread through public or private companies. Corruption, besides compromising the money of entities, whether public or private, also puts their reputation at stake. On the other hand, compliance programs may establish an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to comply with the organization’s internal and external standards. In this way, they promote the fight against corruption and reduce the number of lawsuits and administrative proceedings, as well as the chances of financial losses. Experience shows that an effective compliance program can bring about great results. By adopting such programs, we ensure the maintenance of competition in the market and prevent the emergence of violations and harm caused by the lack of competition. Moreover, if we keep a company from losing value, it certainly creates benefits to the entire supply chain, that is, the company itself, investors, consumers, trading partners, and even authorities, as prevention is always preferable to repression, incurring lower costs to society. In view of this, it is important to recognize initiatives that aim to foster and encourage companies to have robust compliance programs that are capable of mapping risks and minimizing the practice of illegal acts, whether these are related to competition law or other matters.