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Going for Ethics and Compliance Gold: 3 Things to Know About Sapin II

As Paris gears up to host the 2024 Olympics, France’s commitment extends beyond mere sportsmanship. It will encompass the ongoing fight against corruption. Namely, comprehensive anti-corruption measures that are potentially redefining the Olympic legacy for good. 

Enhanced Rigor is Underway 

Key to France’s innovative approach is its implementation? The Sapin II law, enacted in 2016, designed to strengthen the country’s anti-corruption framework.  

Olympics Ethics and Compliance

The Sapin II law focuses on enhancing transparency in public decision-making and economic activities. It aims to combat corruption through both preventive and punitive measures. 

It covers a wide range of topics including whistleblower protection, disclosure of corporate executive pay, and increased transparency in agriculture.  

What’s the Impact on Organizations? 

Importantly, this legislation laid the groundwork for a more rigorous oversight of major projects, including the Olympics. The French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) is a product of this law, ensuring the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee operates under the highest standards of transparency and accountability. 

For businesses and their leaders, this work is driving new procedural and outcome-based obligations to mitigate corruption risks. This can be achieved through active measures like implementing internal codes of conduct, training programs, whistleblowing systems, risk assessments, compliance roles, and financial auditing processes. 

Three Things to Know 

Here’s what to know about just a few Sapin II obligations that may impact organizations: 

Comprehensive Anti-Corruption Framework: Sapin II significantly enhances France’s anti-corruption measures by introducing a host of compliance duties for in-scope firms aimed at preventing and detecting corruption and influence peddling. The law also includes specific obligations for senior management to actively promote anti-corruption measures and ensure their effective implementation. 

Risk Mapping and Management: A core component of the Sapin II compliance program is the requirement for risk mapping, which helps firms identify and prioritize corruption risks. This process involves a thorough assessment of inherent risks, vulnerability, and the effectiveness of existing risk management measures. Based on this risk map, companies are expected to design and implement targeted anti-corruption policies and procedures. 

Ongoing Monitoring and Amendments: Since its enactment, Sapin II has been subject to amendments and ongoing regulatory guidance to enhance its scope and effectiveness. Notably, amendments were made to incorporate the EU Whistleblower Directive, expanding the protection for whistleblowers and defining more clearly who can sound their whistle as a whistleblower. The law’s dynamic nature underscores the need for firms to continuously update their compliance programs in response to new legal and regulatory developments. 

Final Thoughts 

France is championing a blueprint for future Olympic Games with corporate Ethics and Compliance management at the forefront of ongoing transformation. This approach will hopefully serve as a model for future hosts, showing that the Olympics can leave a positive, long-lasting impact far beyond the closing ceremony. 

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