Standards New Zealand has just published NZS/AS 3806 – a Compliance programmes Standard.
The Standard helps organisations to develop a compliance programme that demonstrates commitment to compliance with legislative requirements, industry codes, and organisational standards, as well as standards of good corporate governance, ethics, and community expectations.
NZS/AS 3806:2006 is a modified adoption of the Australian Standard AS 3806, with a New Zealand-only amendment. Amendment 1 makes minor modifications to AS 3806 so it is suitable for use in New Zealand. No changes have been made to the technical content of the Standard.
'The Compliance programmes Standard has been adopted in New Zealand as a voluntary guide for organisations to customise and develop their own compliance systems,' says Martin Tolar, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Compliance Institute, which sponsored the adoption in New Zealand.
'The Standard provides both public and private sector organisations in New Zealand with standardised guidance on the principles for developing, implementing, and maintaining effective compliance programmes – and harmonisation with the compliance methods used by Australian organisations.'
The Compliance programmes Standard will be of particular interest to:
- company directors and CEOs who are responsible for ensuring the establishment and maintenance of the governance frameworks within their organisations
- accountants – New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants members are required to comply with specific compliance programmes
- organisations concerned with public record-keeping
- the legal profession – the Standard provides a practical framework for compliance by legal practitioners
- advisors and those responsible for investigating and certifying compliance – the Standard provides guidance for investigators and advisors to inform their work and to guide their clients
- managers in the public and private sector – organisations of all sizes that operate under legislative or regulatory compliance frameworks can benefit from applying the Standard's guidance.
'The Standard provides a best practice framework for organisations of all sizes, across all sectors, to follow,' says Martin. It sets out four elements, which should be common to all effective compliance programmes – commitment, implementation, monitoring and measuring, and continual improvement. These elements are then underpinned by twelve principles that will help organisations identify and remedy deficiencies in their compliance with laws, regulations, and codes; and develop processes for continual improvement in this area.
The Australasian Compliance Institute and its New Zealand members identified a need for the Standard to be used in New Zealand. Committee members involved with compliance, who reviewed the Australian Standard for adoption, included representatives from New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, New Zealand Law Society, NZX, Archives New Zealand, Commerce Commission, Business New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Securities Commission, and the Australasian Compliance Institute.