ICC Commission on Commercial Law and Practice

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Outsourcing – a practical guide on how to create successful outsourcing solutions

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A practical guide to facilitate and support regulated businesses when outsourcing their activities and to help interpret quality based rules such as “sound governance” and “proper risk management”.

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In a globalised world, companies seek partners for cooperation and for outsourcing in markets and regions suitable for their business. This may lead to reduced costs and cheaper services for customers. It also creates opportunities for increased global trade between companies and for international relationships between countries. ICC develops tools – such as this guide – to help businesses conduct trade smoothly and efficiently.

The regulatory environment is becoming increasingly detailed and risk-focused for business operations in a number of historically regulated sectors, such as finance, health care, power supply, telecoms, and a variety of public services. There may also be fundamental risks related to national regulatory requirements, e.g. labor law, that a company or organization must adhere to when planning to outsource some of its services. Of course, all inherent risks in any such business must be identified and managed in a diligent and proportionate manner. Companies carrying out regulated business activities face particular challenges to control risks and associated costs when outsourcing parts of their activities. Significant requirements and expectations connected to public supervision – including an increased focus on transparency – must be met to avoid sanctions, fines or negative reputational effects.

This practical guide aims to facilitate and support regulated businesses when they outsource their activities and offer a tool for interpreting quality based rules such as “sound governance” and “proper risk management”. By preparing this practical guide, the ICC hopes to strengthen self-regulation in this area, complementing other self-regulatory initiatives. ICC has developed a number of guidelines and handbooks over the years which are also relevant for an outsourcing company, such as the 2017 Anti-Corruption Third Party Due Diligence and the 2007 ICC Legal Handbook on Global Sourcing Contracts, the latter focusing mainly on small- and medium-sized companies.

By providing a baseline and roadmap for outsourcing companies, this guide will contribute to more efficient global trade, better consumer protection, increased stability in the financial and other regulated markets and, ultimately, more trust and confidence in business actors in such regulated sectors.


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