Question: Would you sign an Integrity Pledge?
Question: Would you sign an Integrity Pledge?
INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher (The Freeman) - February 15, 2019 - 12:00am

When we at the Integrity Initiative launched the Integrity Pledge in 2011, we saw the Pledge as a clear commitment to ethical business practices and good corporate governance. About 3,500 companies signed the Pledge, acknowledging the companies’ responsibility to lead by example in the fight against corruption and to operate their businesses ethically and with integrity.

 

Signing the Pledge came with the following commitment:

•We will prohibit bribery in any form in all activities under our control and  ensure that our charitable and political contributions, business gifts, and sponsorships are transparent and will not be for the purpose of attempting to influence the recipient, whether government or private, into an improper exercise of functions, duties or judgment.

•We will maintain a code of conduct to guide our employees towards ethical and accountable behaviour at all times, and will apply appropriate sanctions for violations of the code.

•We will conduct training programs for our employees to promote integrity, honesty, and accountability in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities and to convey with resolve our company’s commitment to ethical business practices.

•We will implement appropriate internal systems and controls to prevent unethical conduct by our employees, ensure good governance, and institutionalize the values of integrity and accountability in our business.

•We will maintain appropriate financial reporting mechanisms that are accurate and transparent.

•We will maintain channels by which employees and other stakeholders can raise ethical concerns and report suspicious circumstances in confidence without risk of reprisal, and a designated officer will be tasked with investigating all reports received.

•We will enter into integrity pacts with other businesses and with government agencies when dealing with procedures related to the bidding and procurement of supplies, materials, equipment and construction.

•We will refrain from engaging in business with entities who have demonstrated unethical business practices.

To ensure collective action among business enterprises to foster ethical, clean, and transparent business transactions in the Philippines, the Pledge signatories commit to:

1.support a nationwide initiative intended to create fair market conditions, transparency in business transactions and ensure good corporate governance;

2.participate in roundtable discussions, meetings and forum to identify the key concerns and current problems affecting the private sectors related to integrity and transparency in business transactions;

3.share “best practice”, tools and concepts which are intended to be used by all participating entities to achieve the goals of the nationwide initiative;

4.assist and contribute ideas to develop a unified "Business Code of Conduct" acceptable to all participating entities;

5.participate in the creation of key measures and control activities intended to ensure transparency, integrity and ethical business practice;

6.support the development of an audit and certification program (including a training program for advisers and auditors) that will offer a toolbox for enterprises to introduce and implement ethical practices in their business processes; and institutionalize the whole process to promote sustainability of the Integrity Initiative.

Eleven years later, we are asking ourselves why did not more companies sign the Pledge and fulfilled the obligations they committed to implement?

My question to you today: are YOU ready to sign the Pledge? If yes, send me an email and I will send you the Pledge form; if not, send me an email and explain why not.

I really look forward to your feedback – contact me at Schumacher@eitsc.com

PLEDGE
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