André Bouwer has been our Compliance Manager since 1 April 2018. He helps us to achieve one of the objectives in our company Vision: to be an organization characterised by competence, integrity and responsibility.
Loosely translated, the term compliance means ‘working by the book’. It starts with the Code, or rather a whole pile of codes, because we want to comply with the law in each of the countries in which we work.
‘The first step towards a compliant organization is knowing the rules of the game’, explains André Bouwer. ‘The second step is to draw up our own set of rules of conduct within the limits of external regulations. And even more important: to create a climate in which it is only natural for everyone to comply with these rules.’
New Code of Conduct
A.Hak has had a Code of Conduct in place for several years. One of André's first tasks was to update this document. The new Code has been in force since December 2018. It describes what A.Hak expects from its employees and collaborating partners.
‘The most important thing is: take responsibility’, says André. ‘Do you see something that is not right? Report it, talk to someone. Not sure? Ask. We want to get the best out of ourselves in a healthy company culture. That's only possible if we go for it together, including our partners and customers.’
Clear and open
‘Some people still think: “Compliance is such a hassle!” But I really don't agree. In the international business in which we operate, we can no longer do without clear procedures and compliance. If we want to close a joint venture or if we want to acquire a large order, we are asked about our compliance procedures. You can't ignore that and we don't want to.’
Anyone who draws up or tightens up rules will be asked questions. André is also aware of this. ‘I think that the Code of Conduct has become a very clear document, but I will, of course, continue to explain the matter in more detail. I'm not here to make things difficult for people. But in order to be able to assess the risks, there must be clarity, openness and transparency. I work on this on a daily basis.’