External auditors have once again confirmed this. For Birgit Bohle, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, this is an important contribution to customer trust and a competitive advantage for Deutsche Telekom.
A brief review: Normally, a team of auditors comes to the company to audit the effectiveness of the Compliance Management System (CMS). Such audits live also and above all from personal contact and interaction. This is exactly what we assumed in February 2020 when we kicked off the CMS audit. But the first lockdown in 2020 partly fell into our first audit period in May 2020 and thus personal contact was considerably limited. "However, we did not take this as an opportunity to postpone the audit. No, we looked for new ways - as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic," says Dr. Claudia Junker, Head of Law & Integrity and Senior Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom. The project team therefore switched the CMS audit to virtual in a very short time. Only in special cases were on-site audit procedures carried out in August and September 2020, when the infection situation permitted.
The auditors examined all relevant processes and measures Deutsche Telekom AG uses to counter corruption. Prevention is important for Deutsche Telekom, as are the necessary processes with which we want to ensure compliant behavior on the part of all employees, from staff members to members of the Board of Management. For example, it is important that every employee is aware of the rules that must be observed. Along with this, it is essential that the entire Management Board is committed to the compliance culture. Auditors have already certified the CMS in 2010, 2013 and 2016/2017. This time, nine companies (see below) in Germany were again audited. Fourteen international companies will follow later this year.
Audited for corruption risks
The focus was on processes in purchasing, sales, compliance and mergers & acquisitions, and in particular on events, donations and sponsoring, as these are subject to an increased risk of corruption. Auditors of KPMG have completed their review of the effectiveness of the CMS: The CMS is suitable "to identify with reasonable assurance both risks for material violations of corruption regulations in a timely manner and to prevent rule violations."
"We can be very proud of the result. But it is also clear that we must not rest on our laurels but must continue to develop our CMS. So that we can confirm such a result in the future," says Manuela Mackert, Chief Compliance Officer at Deutsche Telekom. "The challenges in the ever faster and more digital world lie in keeping pace and becoming ever more digital as compliance, too."
Customer trust is a success factor
Certificates and audit results, such as those for the Compliance Management System, are playing an increasingly important role in tenders and contract awards - and also as an advantage in competition: "The trust of the public, customers, business partners and employees in our company and our work is a success factor for us and a competitive advantage," says Birgit Bohle, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources and Legal Affairs. "Regular auditing is an important building block for this, to show that we have done everything necessary in terms of anticorruption."
Companies audited: Deutsche Telekom AG, Telekom Deutschland GmbH, T-Systems International GmbH, Detecon International GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Privatkunden GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Geschäftskunden GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Service GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Außendienst GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Individual Solutions and Products GmbH.