What does compliance mean?

On the one hand, the term compliance refers to the observance of rules that apply to a company/public institution or its executive bodies and employees. Such rules can be legal regulations, but also internal organisational regulations (guidelines and directives), which can be stricter than the legal requirements.

Compliance-Management-System (CMS)

On the other hand, compliance is also understood to mean a Compliance-Management-System (CMS) as a holistic organisational model that comprises all instruments, mechanisms and processes that are intended to ensure compliant behaviour in the company/public institution, both strategically and operationally.

Such a CMS "helps the organisation to identify and respond to the risks of irregular behaviour and to avoid misconduct by members of the organisation in the long term" (Source: Austrian Law Journal, ISSN: 2409-6911, (CC-BY) 3.0 license, DOI: 10.25364/1.3:2016.1.4, www.austrian-law-journal.at).