Veon Georgia Representative on the Effectiveness & Benefits of a Compliance Program

In general, compliance is the action or fact of complying with a wish or command. As for its meaning in business, corporate compliance is the process of making sure a company and its employees follow the laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to the organization. Effective corporate compliance covers both internal policies and rules, and federal and state laws, and emphasizes the high sense of responsibility from the company managers’ side. Introducing a compliance mechanism in a company means that the governing body really cares about offering its customers quality products, and strives to develop the highest ethical and business standards.

There are a few companies using the compliance mechanism for better development of their business and activities in Georgia, and the Veon Georgia/Beeline team is one of them.

Veon Georgia developed a separate compliance function and has had a designated Compliance Officer since 2015.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Ia Mameishvili, Local Ethics & Compliance Officer at LLC VEON Georgia, for a better understanding of the compliance mechanism and the benefits it brings to both company employees and customers.

What is the exact meaning of Compliance?

In general, compliance means conforming to rules, laws, policies and standards. It is more about rules, policies and procedures which need to be followed to meet regulatory expectations. The key function of compliance is to manage and mitigate compliance risks the company is facing by Identifying, Preventing, Monitoring and Testing, Investigating, Managing, and Mitigating and Advising.

In fact, the compliance function manages the integrated and efficient coordination of a company’s compliance with all of its ethical and legal standards. Development of compliance programs addresses new or material legal risks that a company determines to achieve a focused and pro-active management.

What benefits does it bring to the company and its employees?

The benefits compliance brings to the company is more than just regulatory compliance and avoidance of penalties and sanctions. Compliance should not be discussed in isolation: in order to keep a compliance program successful, a company needs to develop and enhance its compliance culture based on values, ethics and integrity: a system of values and moral principles that guides our behaviors and moral decisions (Ethics) and adherence to personal moral and ethical principles (Integrity).

The benefits values-lead compliance brings a company and its employees are personal reputation, company reputation that itself equals to increased shareholder value, better recruitment and retention process, increased revenue streams and more. It also increases internal and external stakeholder trust, improves company performance, and reduces administrative and legal costs. It is argued that reputation is half the job done! Reputation is one of a company’s most important assets, and one of the most difficult to rebuild should it be lost.

How and when did Veon Georgia/Beeline introduce the Compliance mechanism and what was the main aim behind it?

Veon Georgia developed a separate compliance function and designated Compliance Officer in 2015. As a Veon Group member company, Veon Georgia shares the same high ethical and business standards, as it is represented in well developed countries with mature regulatory models.

Which activities are being carried out at Veon Georgia for implementation of Compliance?

We started development of compliance program from scratch on a 10 hallmark principal that included different streams of activities: implementation of policies and procedures, trainings and communications with various stakeholders, and the adoption of new processes by setting systems and controls in place, e.g. risk assessment and self-assessment.

How are you going to further develop compliance at Veon Georgia?

Moving forward, Veon Georgia will be enhancing its compliance program by strengthening the culture of ethics and integrity, and continuing development of compliance teams that run the best-in-class standards to keep the program efficient and live, which is an integral part of the Veon Georgia business operations. We plan to enhance our program not only internally but by sharing our experience and gained knowledge with our business community that overall will increase understanding of ethics and integrity and how a compliance program can help companies in their overall performance.

Photo Courtesy: Louisa Chalatashvili 

27 January 2020 18:48