Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on
Competition Law, April 2008
On April 9, 2008, the Competition Bureau published an
updated draft Bulletin on Corporate Compliance Programs. The
Bureau is inviting interested parties to provide comments on
the Bulletin by May 26, 2008.
The Bulletin provides guidance on measures that companies
should consider in order to prevent or minimize their risk of
contravening the Competition Act and to detect
contraventions, should they occur. The Bulletin sets out the
following five elements that are, in the Bureau's view,
"fundamental" to a proper compliance program:
senior management involvement and support;
corporate compliance policies and procedures;
training and education;
monitoring, auditing and reporting mechanisms; and
consistent disciplinary procedures.
The Bulletin provides a framework for the essential
components of a credible and effective written compliance
As noted in the Bulletin, the legal, economic and
reputational risks of non-compliance with the Competition
Act to companies and their directors and officers can be
significant. Contravention of the Competition Act, for example,
can expose a business to fines and recovery of damages by
private parties and, for individuals, the possibility of
imprisonment. Non-compliance with the Competition Act
can also result in negative publicity, loss of management time,
and significant legal costs. These costs demonstrate the
importance of an effective compliance program.
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances.
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