As a diversified management and holding company, we are committed to carrying out business worldwide ethically and in accordance with all applicable laws.
Many countries have anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws or are a party to international conventions dealing with combating bribery and corruption. These laws and conventions prohibit making payments or providing goods or services of value, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of getting or retaining business or otherwise procuring a competitive advantage.
We have formalized our commitment to anti-corruption compliance by establishing an Anti-Bribery Policy Statement and corresponding Global Anti-Bribery Policy, which were approved by the Board of Directors. These documents set out our expectations with respect to anti-bribery and prohibit our people from receiving, promising, giving, providing, or authorizing the provision of anything of value to obtain or retain business, an advantage, or favoured treatment from anyone. The term “anything of value” is broadly defined in this context and includes not only obvious bribes and kickbacks, but also indirect benefits and any financial or other advantage.
This prohibition applies to dealings with individuals and corporate entities, public officials, candidates for public office, employees of state-owned enterprises, and any other person with whom we anticipate doing business.
Furthermore, we have set up specific rules with respect to giving and receiving gifts and hospitality. Specifically, hospitality and gifts are not only required to be legal, but also consistent with the recipient’s policies and procedures and with the social and business customs in the recipient’s country. They must not influence an upcoming decision, approval or contract award, nor create a sense of obligation on the part of the recipient. Finally, gifts and hospitality provided or received are required to be objectively reasonable and must not be provided so frequently that, when aggregated, they become lavish or unreasonable.
We are also committed to fostering compliance with anti-bribery laws by our wholly owned subsidiaries.
We have implemented an anti-corruption compliance program that includes training, due diligence of third parties and mandatory reporting. We have conducted a training program with all our personnel. We maintain books and records that accurately reflect our transactions, the use of our assets, and other similar information, and a reasonable system of internal controls. We have also implemented a pre-approval mechanism for gifts and hospitality, in order to ensure compliance with the policy.
To maintain awareness, we send our personnel periodic reminders of their duties and responsibilities under the policy. We also require all our Directors, officers and employees to certify their compliance with the policy at least annually by attesting their compliance with our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
We apply similarly high ethical standards to third parties dealing with us by conducting risk-based due diligence on consultants or potential acquisitions. Third parties who work for/on our behalf are required to attest their compliance to our business standards, including with respect to anti-bribery, via our Third Party Code of Conduct.
The success of our commitment to anti-corruption and anti-bribery relies on the diligence of all our personnel. The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of the Vice-President and General Counsel, who provides annual reports to the Audit Committee of the Board.
Any violations of our Code and of our Third Party Code, including violations or concerns related to our Global Anti-Bribery Policy, must be reported to an appropriate supervisor or to the General Counsel’s office. All reports are taken seriously and treated with the utmost confidentiality and anonymity. We have processes in place to ensure reports are promptly investigated and addressed. The Corporation will not take any reprisal or retaliation measures, including any adverse employment measures, against any Director, officer, employee and/or third party who in good faith brings forward actual or potential violations or concerns. For more information, please refer to the Reporting Concerns Mechanisms page of our website.
Monitoring and Review
We have implemented a pre-clearance requirement for relevant types of gifts and hospitality received or provided by our employees. We require our personnel to report any suspected violation of the policy to the Vice-President and General Counsel, who is in charge of investigating and taking remedial action where appropriate. The Vice-President and General Counsel must report suspected violations, if any, to the Audit Committee.
- No violations related to corruption and bribery were identified.
- Furthered our commitment to anti-corruption by covering this aspect in our Third Party Code of Conduct.