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Soft law > Procedure

Corporate Compliance Programs

Canada’s Competition Bureau, Bulletin, 2015

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A good corporate compliance program helps to identify the boundaries of permissible conduct, as well as identify situations where it would be advisable to seek legal advice. Implementing a corporate compliance program can, in certain circumstances, be ordered by a courtFootnote 6, agreed to in a consent agreement or required as part of an alternative case resolution (“ACR”) as a condition of the Bureau not pursuing enforcement action. However, as both the courts and the Bureau may (where appropriate) take the pre‑existence of credible and effective compliance programs and/or a demonstration of some due diligence into account as a mitigating factor when assessing remedies in the event of a breach of the Acts, businesses should therefore take a proactive approach and recognize the value of a credible and effective program.

This bulletin sets out the Bureau’s view of the essential components of a credible and effective corporate compliance program. To be credible, at a minimum such a program must demonstrate the company’s commitment to conducting business in conformity with the Acts. To be effective, it needs to motivate and inform all those acting for the company, including executives, managers and employeesFootnote 7, about their legal duties, the need for compliance with internal policies and procedures, the potential costs to the business of contravening the Acts, and the harm to the Canadian economy caused by contraventions. It also needs to include tools for management to use to prevent and detect contraventions of the Acts.

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