The operator boosts its commitment to a culture of ethics and good governance

Bilbao, 4 February 2016. Euskaltel is the first company in the Basque Country and the Spanish State's telecom sector to secure certification for its crime prevention management system from AENOR. Euskaltel chairman, Alberto García Erauzkin, was awarded the certificate accrediting implementation of this risk management system by Luz Emparanza, AENOR's director in the Basque Country.

"This Management System represents another milestone in Euskaltel's undertaking to an ethical culture to prevent any activities generating criminal liability for the company, consolidating our focus on good governance and risk management as a first step in corporate sustainability", said Alberto García Erauzkin.

The main focus of the model on which certification is based is to prevent crime and reduce criminal liability within organisations, striving to implement a corporate culture of compliance with the law.

The introduction of this management system at Euskaltel aims to guarantee the effectiveness of control procedures and regulations to minimise the risk of illicit actions by all stakeholders involved, and to demonstrate that the organisation has supervised, monitored and controlled its business activity.

The external audit conducted by AENOR constitutes a major additional asset and a guarantee to third parties of implementation, maintenance and improvement of the Management System.

This certificate boosts Euskaltel's commitment to Advanced Management, adding official third-party certification by AENOR of its policies concerning Quality Management (ISO 9001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), Excellence in Environmental Management (entry in the EMAS III Community Register), Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSAS 18001) and Information Security Management (ISO 27001).

Corporate Governance at Euskaltel

Euskaltel's senior management has spearheaded a Corporate Governance system striving to deploy the greatest possible transparency, efficiency, drive and control in all aspects of the organisation. This entails undertaking a number of values, principles and standards regulating the operation and organisation of its Management Bodies and the relations between them and Company shareholders, the ultimate aim of which is to further the corporate purpose and satisfy the common interests of shareholders.

Euskaltel's Corporate Governance System is based on its commitment to best practices in relation to good governance, business ethics and social responsibility in all its areas of activity. In recent years Corporate Governance has become a key feature of proper management and social responsibility among business organisations, and Euskaltel is one of the leading companies deploying management models and taking action towards good governance within its organisation.

Pioneer management model

AENOR has launched a pioneer management model in Spain the main objective of which is to prevent crime and reduce criminal liability within organisations, thereby striving to implement a corporate culture of compliance within organisations.

AENOR issued its first crime prevention management certificates to Banco Santander, Mutua Madrileña, Unión de Mutuas and Euskaltel.

The technical specification for the Crime Prevention Management System at Organisations lays down the requirements to define, implement and improve a management system for corporate crime prevention with criminal responsibility. The aim is to detect, rectify and reduce the effects of the crimes perpetrated. The model was introduced by way of a response to Organic Law 1/2015 reforming the Penal Code, stipulating that organisations which have implemented crime-prevention models and met certain requirements may be released from criminal responsibility.

The recent Circular 1/2016 by the State Prosecution Service on reform of the Penal Code stipulates that certification may be considered an additional feature of the effectiveness of models, for the purposes of releasing organisations which have implemented crime-prevention models from criminal responsibility.

The Prosecution's Circular serves to clarify Law 1/2015, and sets out the minimum mandatory contents of crime-prevention models, all of which are featured in the AENOR model.

The AENOR model is based on a cycle of continuous improvement and does not only have supervisory and control components, but also features requisites concerning management and planning, and regular analysis and improvement of the model.

Among other requirements, the model stipulates that organisations must foster the culture of compliance with the law and proper conduct within the organisation, and make management of criminal liability part of all activities and processes. Executive bodies and senior management must ensure that a crime-prevention policy and a code of conduct are established, and demonstrate their explicit commitment to these measures. Criminal risk must be assessed, and training and awareness programmes implemented. The necessary documentation must also be established to set up an effective prevention system, including registers, along with the means to guarantee they can be controlled in accordance with the model's objectives.

Processes must also be implemented and maintained for regular reviews and improvements of the model.