Code of Business Conduct

 

Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council

Code of Conduct and Ethics

 

 

 


 

 

CORPORATE DOCUMENT CONTROL PROCEDURE

APPLICABLE GROUP

DOCUMENT NUMBER

VERSION

ISSUE DATE

IMAC

SPENC-COCE- -001

001

June 26, 2011

IMAC

SPENC-COCE- -001

002

November 18, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW & APPROVAL ROUTE

 

NAME

DESIGNATION

SIGNATURE

DATE

PREPARED BY:

 

Consultant - ReStraL

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

IMAC

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Member

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Vice Chairman

 

 

APPROVED BY:

 

SPENC, Member, Chairman

 

 

 

 


 

 

  1. STATEMENT OF POLICY

 

Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council (hereafter referred to as ‘the Council” or “SPENC”) is committed to good corporate governance and to applying best-in-class standards of business behavior as well as providing transparency in all its business dealings. The Council expects high standards of integrity of itself and its members and has therefore instituted this policy based upon a foundation of strongly held values within the Council. The  policy will ensure all members are aware of the boundaries and limits within which they can function without violating any of the values and principles important to the Council.

 

Specifically, this policy shall be governed by the following principles:

 

1)      SPENC’s code of conduct and ethics shall apply to all its  Council members, Section members and volunteers of each of the Council’s subsidiaries and affiliated companies, and will not only serve as a guide to the various ethical and values dilemmas they are likely to encounter in the course of carrying out their respective functions, but also, ensure they enable the Council achieve its objective of conducting its affairs to the highest degree of integrity, honesty, transparency and professionalism.

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2)      Each member of SPENC and employee of the Secretariat, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies shall be personally responsible and accountable for ensuring he/she conducts his/herself in an ethical manner in the discharge of his/her duties or whilst conducting business on behalf of the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies.

 

3)      SPENC shall apply the highest level of business transparency, integrity and good judgment in all its dealings and transactions.

 

4)      SPENC shall comply with all the laws governing the industry and country (Federal, State, Local etc) and will express, communicate and demonstrate the required legal and ethical behaviour in order to prevent wrongdoing.

 

5)      All behaviours and attitudes depicting good corporate behavior may not be captured in part or in their entirety in this Code of Conduct & Ethics policy and as such the directors, Council members, management, Section members and volunteers of SPENC, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies will despite this code of conduct guidelines, be guided by their conscience and good judgment at all times, to ensure they do the right thing and consistently demonstrate ethical behavior at all times.

 

6)      SPENC expects and requires all of its members as well as the employees of the Secretariat to understand this Code of Conduct & Ethics and to fully comply with its provisions.  Failure to do so will result in the appropriate disciplinary action.

 

7)      It is an individual and collective responsibility to ensure compliance of this Code of Conduct & Ethics and as such, each director, Council member, management, Section member and volunteer of the Council shall be responsible for ensuring he/she

 

a)      Understands this Code of Conduct & Ethics and how it affects or can be applied to his/her respective activities within the Council

b)      Reports any known breach of the code. A verbal warning/ suspension (depending on the severity of the circumstance) may also be imposed when an employee fails to report a violation due to the employee's indifference, deliberate ignorance or reckless conduct.

 

8)      The Council members shall provide/approve a framework for monitoring and reporting known or suspected ethical or legal violation and the risk & internal control function shall be responsible for implementing the approved framework as well as any disciplinary action, where applicable.


 

Below are details of the suggested policy:

 

1.1.               HONEST DEALINGS

 

1.1.1. All council members, section officers and volunteers,, as well as the directors, council members, management, section officers and volunteers of each of SPENC, it’s subsidiaries and affiliated companies shall be expected to behave honestly and equitably at all times and as much as possible openly, while respecting confidentiality, with all its members, competitors, partners, suppliers, regulators and colleagues.

 

1.1.2.       SPENC promotes an environment that values respect, fairness and integrity

1.1.2.1.     SPENC develops and promotes the practice of high standards of personal and professional conduct. All council members,  section members and volunteers shall exemplify a professional level of courtesy, respect and objectivity when carrying out the affairs of SPENC

1.1.2.2.     SPENC shall design and maintain a work environment that honours and protects the health and safety of its members, employees, volunteers, partners etc

 

1.1.3.           No person representing SPENC (member, volunteer, consultant, management and employees) shall be expected to take unfair advantage of anyone through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privilege or position, misrepresentation of material facts or any other unfair practice. If anyone is found guilty of such they will be given a corrective counseling. If such behaviour continues the accused will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure.

 

1.1.4.           SPENC shall not support the giving or taking of bribes or any other monetary or non-monetary inducement in order to obtain an unfair advantage or personal gain.  The penalty of such behaviour is dismissal from the Society.

 

1.1.5.           SPENC discourages the acceptance and giving of gifts, gratuities and entertainment include material goods, services, or activities offered to SPENC members, employees, directors or volunteers either free or at reduced costs, with the purpose (either direct, indirect, or implied) of influencing the Council’s decisions, such as the selection of employees, the hiring of vendors, favorable treatment or the purchase of goods and services. In such instances, members,  employees and volunteers must use extreme caution and conservative common sense in accepting gifts, gratuities and entertainment, following these general guidelines:

 

 

1.1.5.1.            They may not solicit any form of personal gift or gratuity;

1.1.5.2.            They shall not accept personal gifts of money, credits, or purchasing discounts in any amount from vendors or from donors;

1.1.5.3.            They may accept non-monetary personal gifts (including meals, product samples, event tickets, etc.) if such gifts have small nominal value (less than $100) strictly as a gesture of goodwill, in the spirit of seasonal giving, or for public relations purposes, and only if such gifts are given and received with no expectation of reciprocal obligation;

1.1.5.4.            If a member, employee or volunteer receives a personal gift of any size from a vendor or donor, the person shall disclose to the Council what the gift was, its estimated value, from whom the gift was received, the date on which it was received, and the understood reason for which the gift was given;

1.1.5.5.            If a member, employee or volunteer during the course of discharging his/her duties on behalf of SPENC, receives an unsolicited gift exceeding nominal value, the person should either return the gift to the sender, pay the sender full market value for the gift, donate the gift to the Council, or donate the gift to another charitable organization.

1.1.6.       SPENC on its part shall only offer gifts to its customers, suppliers and stakeholders which meet the following conditions:

1.1.6.1. Standard promotional or branded item gift with a commercial value no more than $100 (One Hundred US Dollars)

1.1.6.2. Business Entertainment which shall be limited to:

1.1.6.2.1. Invitations to standard cultural, sporting, charity or social events hosted by the supplier, vendor or customer

1.1.6.2.2. Occasional lunches, dinners or cocktail parties

 

1.1.7.       All corporate gifts must be declared to the  Secretariat or any other designated function within the Council.

 

Anyone found violating any of the guideline state above will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from being given a letter of warning to Dismissal depending on the severity of the offence.

 

1.2.            CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

 

SPE members should not participate in any decision for which they may be unable to maintain professional objectivity because of a personal situation, employment, or other conflicts of interest.

A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust (such as a member of the Council or a Committee) has a direct or indirect interest in an entity and that entity enters into a transaction with SPENC. Direct or indirect interest includes any legal, equitable, or fiduciary interest or position in an entity held by a member of the Council or of any Committee, or a member of that person’s family. Such competing interests can make it difficult for the Council or Committee member to fulfill his or her duties impartially. Even if there is no evidence of improper actions, a conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the ability of that person to act properly in his/her position.

 

More generally, conflict of interest can be defined as any situation in which an individual or corporation is in a position to exploit a professional or official capacity in some way for their personal or corporate benefit. The term conflict of interest is interpreted broadly to describe any circumstance that could cast doubt on an SPE Council or Committee member’s ability to act with total objectivity with regard to SPE’s interest.

 

Having a conflict of interest is not, in and of itself, evidence of wrongdoing. In fact, for many professionals, it is virtually impossible to avoid having conflicts of interest from time to time. A conflict of interest can, however, become problematic if an individual tries (and/or succeeds in) influencing the outcome of a decision, for personal benefit. Someone accused of a conflict of interest may deny that a conflict exists because he/she did not act improperly. In fact, a conflict of interest does exist even if there are no improper acts as a result of it. (One way to understand this is to use the term “conflict of roles.” A person with two roles, for example, may experience situations where those two roles conflict. The conflict can be mitigated, but it still exists. In and of itself, having two roles is not illegal, but the differing roles will certainly provide an incentive for improper acts in some circumstances.)

 

Those with a conflict of interest are (ethically) expected to excuse themselves from decisions where such a conflict exists. For example, if SPE is considering hiring a consulting firm for some task, and one firm being considered has, as a partner, a close relative of one of the SPE Council members, then that Council member should not vote on which firm is to be selected. In fact, to minimize any conflict, the Council member should not participate in any way in the decision, including discussions. Family member is interpreted to include a person's spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, mother, father, mothers- and fathers-in-law, the spouses of brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and anyone (other than domestic employees) who shares the person's home.

 

In situations where a conflict of interest exists, the member of the Council or of any Committee having the conflict of interest in any matter should not be counted in determining the quorum of the meeting. No such member of the Council or a Committee should be present when the matter is being discussed or voted on. No such member should use personal influence to determine a decision on the matter. The minutes of the meeting should reflect that the disclosure was made, that the Council or Committee member abstained and was not present during the discussion and vote, and that a quorum existed not counting such member. Such Council or Committee member, if requested by other members, may state a position on the matter, or answer pertinent questions of the other Council or Committee members.

 

Conflicts of interest also may arise when an SPE Council or Committee member, or a member of his or her family, receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position with SPE, whether received from SPE or a third party. Acceptance of gifts, entertainment, or other personal favors from any party that does or seeks to do business with SPE, including but not limited to vendors, may present an undesirable appearance of impropriety or may be inappropriate under specific circumstances. Exceptions are made for ordinary and customary tokens of nominal value, participation in a business lunch or other meal paid for by another party on an appropriate occasion and under appropriate circumstances, modest gifts in recognition or appreciation for speeches or presentations that are consistent with SPE’s objectives, or inclusion in entertainment for a group of persons where the presence of SPE Council or Committee member is clearly appropriate and consistent with SPE’s objectives. If in doubt about any such matter, an SPE Council or Committee member should seek the advice of the chairperson of the SPE activity in question.

SPE Council and Committee members also are obligated to keep secret and retain in strictest confidence, and not use for their personal benefit, all confidential SPE matters, including, without limitation, member lists, details of contracts, investment plans, and other SPE business affairs. The chairperson of any SPE activity should make all members aware of the SPE Conflict of Interest policy. Any chairperson having questions about or desiring to discuss or seek further interpretation of this policy should contact the SPE Nigeria Council Chairman or the SPE Executive Director. An SPE chairperson, upon sensing or being advised of a possible conflict of interest, should not proceed with deliberation on an issue until there has been an opportunity to resolve possible conflicts of interest on the part of participating members in any activity.

 

Any conflict of interest on the part of any member of the SPE Council should be disclosed and made a matter of record at the time of election to the Council and maintained through an annual procedure and at the time the interest becomes a matter of Council action. If a Council member is unsure whether an interest in an entity is a conflict of interest, disclosure is recommended. The conflict of interest statement that follows should be completed by Council members on an annual basis.

 

1.2.1.       A conflict of interest shall exist when a person’s private interest interferes in any way with the interests of the Council or when a person takes actions or has interests that may make it difficult for him or her to perform his or her work for the Council objectively and effectively.

 

1.2.2.       A conflict of interest shall exist when a person’s private/external activities outside the Council makes him/her unable to or  conflicted in, using his/her skills, knowledge or experience for which he/she has been contracted for, to help develop the Council such that it meets the needs of its members, partners and other stakeholders.

 

 

1.2.3.       A conflict of interest may also apply when a person or members of a person’s family receives improper personal benefits as a result of the person’s position in the Council. No employee is permitted to compete directly or indirectly with the Council.

 

1.2.4.       A conflict of interest shall exist when a person uses commercial information or any other knowledge obtained while working for the Council or any of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies, to gain private business advantage for the person or his/her relatives.

 

1.2.5.        A conflict of interest shall exist when a person uses the Council’s equipment, infrastructure and facilities for private business purposes and/or advantage.

 

1.2.6.       A conflict of interest shall exist where a person has personal interests in the form of financial investments and/or contractual relationships, within companies, businesses and organizations with which the Council has relationships as customers, vendors or suppliers.

 

1.2.7.       While the Council encourages its employees to participate in activities within their communities such as voluntary work for charities, religious, sporting, education and vocational activities, a conflict of interest shall exist when these activities:

 

1.2.7.1. Are carried out during work hours or times designated for work

1.2.7.2. Influence the person’s judgment at work or his/her ability to act in the Council’s best interest

1.2.7.3. Compromise the person’s ability to act fairly and equitably in the discharge of his duties and especially while interacting with other employees, customers, suppliers and vendors

Anyone found violating any of the guideline stated above will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal depending on the severity of the offence.

 

 

1.3.               CONFIDENTIALITY

 

The Council expects that its members, volunteers, management and employees will from time to time have access to confidential information. This is information about the Council , Industry and specific companies within the industry which, if disclosed to the public could adversely affect the Council’s overall operations, market position and goals. Each person shall therefore ensure the safekeeping of documents entrusted to or put in his/her care.

Members must carefully respect the privacy of information related to our partners, sponsors and donors. Accordingly, members and employees must use due care and consideration in protecting information from disclosure to outside sources. Information should be released to people outside SPENC only on a need-to-know basis and as long as it does not violate any prior confidentiality agreements made with sponsors and donor organizations. Employees also must be careful about passing confidential and sensitive information to other members within SPENC and must ensure they do so in accordance with established SEPNC policies and procedures regarding information classification, secure information storage and sharing.

 

1.3.1.       The Council’s members, volunteers, management and employees, as well as the members, volunteers, management and employees of each of the Council’s subsidiaries (subsidiaries need to be specified. If the document will cover the operation of SPEVEL, then it needs to be defined upfront) must maintain the confidentiality of all confidential information released to them, except otherwise authorized by the designated legal officer of the Council or  required by law.

 

1.3.2.       Confidential information shall include all non-public corporate information, including but not limited to financial, strategic (business plans, lease agreements, infrastructure share agreements, , technical and proprietary information, due diligence reports, product development, marketing initiatives etc), product, employee, member, supplier and customer information ( names, addresses, telephone numbers, type and size of reserves, commercial information, etc), or any other information which would otherwise give members or 3rd parties a competitive edge over and the Council's members, management and employees shall be expected to safeguard all information belonging to the Council.

 

1.3.3.       Information about our members may only be supplied to third parties (e.g. vendors, suppliers, consultants) only as a result of the implementation of work related to the member and must be done with the prior written permission of the member.  However, this rule does not apply when the information is required under the laws of Nigeria and after the proper internal process has been followed and authorised by the relevant manager. 

 

1.3.4.       Confidential or classified information can only be shared with other employees and colleagues where there is a clear business need to do so.  This type of information may only be divulged to external people with the written authority of the Chairman or the Legal Counsel.

 

Anyone found violating any of the guidelines in line with confidentiality will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal depending on the severity of the offence.

 

1.4.               STATUTORY, LEGAL & GENERAL COMPLIANCE

 

1.4.1.       The Council’s directors, management and employees, as well as the directors, management and employees of each of the Council’s’ subsidiaries shall obey and comply with all applicable government laws, rules and regulations at all tiers of government within the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as those laws, rules and regulations that govern the countries and industries within which the Council chooses to operate within. 

 

1.4.2.       Any person conducting any business on behalf of or representing the Council outside the countries within which the Council, its subsidiaries or affiliated Companies is licensed or registered to operate within, must comply with international laws and the laws of the local jurisdictions wherever they are based.   The Council will not condone any violation of the law and any employee found committing illegal acts in the course of their work will be subject to dismissal as well as criminal prosecution.  

 

1.4.3.       Where a person is in doubt of which laws are applicable to a particular situation in which he or she finds his or herself, he or she will be expected to consult and seek advice from the legal counsel of the Council.

 

1.4.4.       It is important that the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies are always represented as responsible corporate citizens in all their external interactions.  Accordingly, all community relations and corporate citizenship activities shall be coordinated by the stakeholder management function in conjunction with the marketing department.  Each person will therefore be responsible for ensuring that, the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies:

 

1.4.4.1. Comply with all legal and regulatory requirements

1.4.4.2. Respect all rights of citizens, customers, suppliers and employees

1.4.4.3. Pay all relevant taxes and duties

 

1.4.5.       The Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies regard any contravention of this Code of Business Ethics & Conduct as a serious matter and will pursue transgressors through the Companies’ disciplinary procedures.

 

Anyone found violating any of the guidelines related to compliance with laws will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal depending on the severity of the offence.

 

 

 

1.5.               CORPORATE OPPORTUNITIES & INVESTMENTS

 

1.5.1.       The Council’s members , and employees, as well as the directors, management and employees of each of the Council’s subsidiaries are prohibited from taking advantage of opportunities for themselves, which was discovered through the use of corporate property, information or position without the consent of the Council

 

1.5.2.       No person is permitted to use his or her position or the Council’s corporate, intellectual, financial or any other type of asset for his or her personal gain.

 

1.5.3.       All persons (management and employees of SPENC) who work within the Finance function, who may be called upon to make investments on behalf of the Council and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies are required to comply with all laws, codes of practice and regulations governing investment activity.  These are mainly (but not restricted to) provisions specified by the:

1.5.3.1. Companies Act

1.5.3.2. Insider Trading Act

1.5.3.3. Stock Exchanges, Securities Regulation Panel

1.5.3.4. SPENC’s Council approved investment guidelines

 

1.5.4.       Each employee of the Council making personal investments, must ensure he or she observes the following rules: (is this section on personal investment really relevant?)

 

1.5.4.1. Personal investments do not create any conflict of interest with his/her role as an employee and does not affect his/her ability to function in a diligent, professional and objective manner, within the capacity he/she was employed for.

1.5.4.2. Personal investments do not create a conflict of interest with the employee’s ability to fully represent the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies.

1.5.4.3. The employee does not use any confidential or privileged information obtained in the course of his/her job functions within the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, for the purposes of personal gain.

 

Anyone found violating any of the guidelines related to compliance with laws will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal and depending on the severity of the offence. if found guilty the accused will also be asked to return all that was taken from the Society.

 

 

1.6.               CORPORATE REPRESENTATION & COMMUNICATION

 

1.6.1.       All employees and members may from time to time be required to interact with external parties including media organizations and other third parties. All communications with national and international media organizations done on behalf of the Council or any of its affiliated companies must be made through the relevant department within the Council responsible for such activities.

 

1.6.2.       Any person representing the Council or any of its affiliated companies in any public media forum must obtain prior authority from the relevant Marketing and Legal function and work within the guidelines provided by the department(s). 

 

1.6.3.       Any person representing the Council or any of its affiliated companies must ensure he/she does so in a professional manner which supports and reinforces the Council’s desired public image. The general rules for external communications shall be as follows:

 

1.6.3.1. Do not say anything that will compromise the activities of the Council or any of its affiliated companies

1.6.3.2. Provide honest, accurate and reliable information without compromising confidentiality

1.6.3.3. All literature, documents, scripts etc must be approved by the marketing function before they are released

1.6.3.4. The Marketing function must be informed of any event where the Council/its affiliated Companies will be represented or an officer of the Council/its affiliated Companies will represent same

1.6.3.5. Ensure ALL personal views are clearly stated as such and are distinctly differentiated from those of the Council’s during any media interaction

1.6.3.6. Take ownership of problems and issues and always defer to seeking resolution/clarification from the designated function within the Council

1.6.3.7. Respond to all enquiries within 48 hours (internal and external) and honour all promises and commitments made

1.6.3.8. Be polite and courteous at all time

1.6.3.9. Never publicly blame or communicate in a manner which could be misinterpreted as laying blame on colleagues or criticise or disparage programs, services or staff

1.6.3.10.                     All formal external communications must use the branded templates (slides, letter headed note paper, logos)

 

1.6.4.       In addition to the Council’s position on confidentiality as defined in Section 1.3 of this document, the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, shall carefully manage all other information that is relevant to its business activities and shall observe the following rules when dealing with the corporate records of each of its companies:

 

1.6.4.1. Retain only relevant commercial records and documents

1.6.4.2. Collate and store all corporate records in a logical manner for easy retrieval and reference

1.6.4.3. Ensure all corporate records are available at all times to anyone requiring and having authorized access to them,  as part of the individual’s work responsibilities

1.6.4.4. Retain all financial records for at least 7 years or as determined by the Council

1.6.4.5. Retain all tax records for at least 7 years or as determined by the Council

1.6.4.6. Retain all correspondence (customer, supplier, regulatory, legal etc) for as long as is required under any applicable laws and regulations governing the retention of information by a Council in the applicable jurisdiction.

1.6.4.7. Confidentially destroy all non-essential documents after the period for which it applies

Anyone found violating any of the guidelines related to compliance with laws will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal and depending on the severity of the offence.

 

 

1.7.            PROPER USE OF COUNCIL ASSETS

 

1.7.1.    The Councils’ directors, management and employees, as well as the directors, management and employees of each of the Councils’ subsidiaries and affiliated companies are expected to protect the physical, proprietary, intellectual assets as well as trademarks, copyrights, business, marketing and service plans, ideas, designs, databases, records, models, personnel information and financial data.

 

1.7.2.    Any unauthorized use or distribution of this information will violate Council policy.

 

1.7.3.    Each employee and member shall be personally responsible for all Council property and asset entrusted to his/her care and he/she shall be held fully accountable for its safe keeping.  Ignorance of the guidelines and rules for safekeeping of the Council’s assets shall not be an excuse for non-compliance and shall not absolve the employee from his/her responsibility to be personally accountable for the property and assets entrusted to him/her by the Council. The main guidelines for ensuring the safekeeping of Council property and assets are as follows:

 

1.7.3.1. All employees and members who have access to, or control over the Council’s monies and financial assets must follow the procedures for managing these assets, as defined in the Council approved finance operations policy and manual. 

1.7.3.2. All treasury management activities should be carried out in accordance with the investment guidelines established and approved by the Council.

1.7.3.3. All of the Councils’ assets assigned to each employee/member shall be viewed as part of his/her job responsibility and must be recorded in the Council’s Asset Register, against the member’s/employee’s name, with the employee/member being stated as the responsible and accountable person for that asset.

1.7.3.4. All other operating processes and procedures relating to Council property and its safekeeping must be adhered to by the employee and it is the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor to ensure his/her direct report adheres to these policies and procedures.

1.7.3.5. The Council forbids the use of any Council property or asset for private or personal purposes. All Council assets must therefore be used only for their intended purposes.

 

1.7.4.       All information and data generated for and on-behalf of the Council, during the course of its business activities shall form part of its assets and its documentation and recording shall be influenced by the Council’s knowledge and document management policy. Accordingly all systems, processes and designs shall be documented, all transactions will be recorded, all assets be recorded, and all employees will be held to account for procedural compliance and for the resources which are entrusted to them. 

 

1.7.5.       The Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies shall establish an efficient knowledge management system so that:

 

1.7.5.1. All processes, procedures and job functions as part of the application for international quality accreditation are documented.

1.7.5.2. All its employees have instant on-line access to the information that they need to effectively function within their respective job functions. 

 

Anyone found violating any of the guidelines related to compliance with laws will be subjected to the disciplinary procedure. The penalty if found guilty of such will range from Suspension to Dismissal and depending on the severity of the offence; if found guilty the accused will also be asked to return all that was taken from the Society.

 

1.8.               EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

1.8.1.        SPENC is an equal opportunities organisation, which promotes inclusiveness, diversity and respect of people.  All members, volunteers and employees reflect cultural diversity and promote respect, tolerance, justice and peace for all people

 

1.8.2.        All recruitment, training, development, promotion, development and career advancement decisions are based on published criteria, transparent processes and on the employee’s track record and abilities to sustain desired levels of performance.  The Council applies the principle of meritocracy in its treatment of all its employees, suppliers, vendors and stakeholders and ensures each party is treated fairly and objectively according to standard rules and procedures.

 

 

1.8.3.         The SPENC provides equal employment opportunities and shall consciously work towards ensuring a good balance of ethnicity within the Council (SPE is apolitical. Merit, not federal character, should be the considerations for employment), its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, without compromising on merit and excellence. The Council therefore provides equal employment opportunities in respect of:

1.8.3.1.       Gender

1.8.3.2.       Religion

1.8.3.3.       Ethnicity

1.8.3.4.       Colour

1.8.3.5.       Age

1.8.3.6.       Disability

1.8.3.7.       Sexual preferences

1.8.3.8.       Or any other form of unjustifiable discrimination which has no bearing on an individual’s competence to do a specific job

 

1.8.4.   The Council is committed to the successful implementation of this policy and will undertake routine monitoring to ensure that it is being applied effectively.  The monitoring procedures will track the profile of specific minority groups as a per cent of the Council’s/its subsidiary’s/affiliated Council’s workforce and compare this level representation with the representation of the minority groups in the general population.  (This section has potential to create more problems)

 

1.9.               CORPORATE SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

1.9.1.    The Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies are responsible employers and corporate citizens and are committed to providing safe working environments for all its employees as well as for any party directly interacting with the Council or any of its affiliated companies. The Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies shall therefore fully comply with all health and safety laws and regulations, within the various countries and jurisdictions within which it has its operations. 

 

1.9.2.     It is the responsibility of each employee, vendor, supplier and any other party directly interacting with the Council to:

 

1.9.2.1.       Understand all health and safety regulations that affect him/her and the employees that he/she manages or supervises

1.9.2.2.       Attend relevant training and briefing sessions provided by the Council on matters related to health and safety at work

1.9.2.3.       Ensure a safe environment in the work areas for which you have responsibility

1.9.2.4.       Monitor compliance with health and safety regulations in the areas for which you have responsibility

1.9.2.5.       Under current legislation, the responsibility for ensuring health and safety at work in areas that you control is your responsibility. 

 

1.9.3.        The Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies are environmentally responsible companies with a commitment to conserving scare natural resources and minimising degradation of the environment. 

 

1.9.4.       To support the Council’s commitment environmental, health and safety standards, the Council shall develop an environmental, health and safety policy which, amongst other things, shall detail how the Council will

 

1.9.4.1.       Promote a positive health and safety culture within each of its subsidiaries, and affiliated companies

1.9.4.2.     Ensure all safety legislations are adhered to and policies and practices are adopted and adhered to by all employees, vendors, suppliers and other people directly interacting with the Council.

1.9.4.3.       Prevent and/or minimize accidents, operational losses, occupational health problems, injuries etc

 

 

1.10.     POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

 

1.10.1.    While the Council’s activities requires it has and maintains a relationship with stakeholders within the government and public sector, the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, are politically neutral and its dealings with government and public sector agencies shall chiefly be as a result of complying with laws and regulations affecting its business operations and to influence policy development within the Industry. 

 

1.10.2.    During the course of dealing with government, publics sector and foreign officials, employees, management or directors of the Council are prohibited from the payment of and the promise to pay for, anything of value, including but not limited to  money, favors, perks, etc,  which could corruptly influence the discretion and objectivity of a government, public sector and foreign official and cause him or her to violate his or her official duty to obtain, retain or direct business as well as to gain any improper advantage

 

1.10.3.    Any member, employee, management or director with any political affiliation, shall do so as a personal matter and the Council, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies will not allow any political activities, campaigning, or use of Council property or assets in support of any political causes by any of its employees, management or directors.

 

1.10.4.    Employees are encouraged to participate actively in the political processes of their local, state, and national governments, in accordance with and for the benefit of their personal interests. However, such activities must be done on the employees’ own time and kept independent of SPENC’s activities..

Any member/ employee/section officers/management/ directors who engages fully in political activities and doesn’t have time to attend to the activities of SPENC will be temporarily disengaged from his service to SPENC until he has the time to meaningfully participate in the activities of SPENC.

 

1.11.           WHISTLEBLOWER

 

1.11.1.    The Council is committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all of its activities and requires its members and employees to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with all applicable laws and regulations. If at any time a concern exists regarding the propriety or legality of any action contemplated to be taken or that has been taken by any Council member or employee, or grantee, contractor, vendor, as the action relates to Council activities, or if an action needs to be taken in order for the Council to be in compliance with law or appropriate ethical standards, you can address the issue directly by going to Chairman or to the next level of management as needed until matters are satisfactorily resolved.

 

1.11.2.    Under this policy (sometimes referred to as a "whistleblower policy"), those who report illegal or improper activity will be protected. Efforts will be made to treat a report of unethical or illegal conduct as confidential, consistent with the need to investigate and prevent or correct the action. The individual making the report will not be discharged, threatened, harassed, or discriminated against for reporting in good faith what they perceive to be wrongdoing, violations of law, or unethical conduct.

 

Penalties may be imposed when an employee fails to report a violation due to the employee's indifference, deliberate ignorance or reckless conduct. The penalty will range from a formal warning to dismissal depending on the severity of the issue.

 

1.12            DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

 

1.12.1    PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The disciplinary procedure applies to the members, employees, section officers, management staff, directors and volunteers of SPENC.

 

The purpose of the disciplinary procedure is to standardize the way non-compliance of policies is handled in the SPENC, thus creating certainty and consistency in the application of discipline. It therefore aims to correct unacceptable behaviour and adopt a progressive approach in the workplace...

 

1.12.2    PARTIES AND OBLIGATIONS

It is the responsibility of SPENC to ascertain that all its members, employees, section officers, management staff, and volunteers are aware of the rules and reasonable standards of behaviour that are expected of them in the workplace.

 

It is the responsibility of the  members, employees, section officers, management staff, and volunteers to ensure they are familiar with the requirements of the disciplinary standards at SPENC and comply with the disciplinary code and procedures at SPENC.

 

1.12.3    COUNSELING VERSUS DISCIPLINARY ACTION

 

SPENC shall employ Corrective Counseling and Disciplinary Actions as the two (2) main components of its disciplinary process and procedure.

 

Corrective counseling will be used where the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer is unaware of the rule regulating conduct and/or where the breach of the rule is relatively minor and can be condoned.

 

Disciplinary action will be used where a breach of the rule cannot be condoned, or where counseling has failed to achieve the desired effect.

 

Before deciding on the form of discipline, leadership council must meet the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer in order to explain the nature of the rule she/he is alleged to have breached. The employee should also be given the opportunity to respond and explain his/her conduct. If possible an agreed remedy on how to address the conduct should be arrived at.

 

 

 

1.12.4    FORMS OF DISCIPLINE

Depending on the seriousness of the offence and whether the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer has breached the particular rule before. The following forms of discipline can be used (in order of severity):

  • Counseling
  • Verbal warning
  • Written warning
  • Final written warning
  • Suspension (for no longer than 3 months)
  • Restitution
  • Dismissal

 

Formal disciplinary steps include written warnings and the other forms of discipline listed above. A final written warning could be given in cases where the contravention of the rule is serious or where the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer has received warnings for similar offences. A/An member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer in can appeal against a final written warning and the Disciplinary committee can hold an enquiry if they believe that it is only through hearing evidence that the outcome can be determined.

 

Written warnings and final written warnings will remain valid for 6 months. A warning for one type of contravention is not applicable to another type of offence.  In other words, a first written warning for late coming could not lead to a second written warning for insubordination.

 

Members /Employees/Section officers/ management staff/Director/ Volunteers will be requested to sign warning letters and will be given an opportunity to state their objections, should there be any.  Should a /an member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer refuse to sign a warning letter, this does not make the warning invalid. A witness will be requested to sign in confirmation that the warning was conveyed to the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer.

 

Dismissal is reserved for the most serious offences and will be preceded by a fair disciplinary enquiry; unless an exceptional circumstance results in a disciplinary enquiry becoming either impossibility (the member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer absconded and never returned) or undesirable (e.g. holding an enquiry will endanger life or state property)

 

1.12.5    WHEN CAN SPENC HOLD A FORMAL ENQUIRY

If any breach to the code of conduct is observed it is expected to be reported to the HR unit who will carry out an investigation and appoint members of the disciplinary committee.

A/An member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer may be suspended on full pay / participation of activities in instances where the accused is alleged to have committed a serious offence; and the person’s presence may jeopardize any investigation or endanger the wellbeing or safety of any person or state property. SPENC should give the employee at least 5 working days notice and the letter should include:

  • The date, time and venue of the hearing
  • Details of the charges against the accused
  • The accused’s right to representation at the hearing by either a fellow employee or a representative and to bring witnesses to the hearing.

The disciplinary hearing must be held within 10 working days after the notice has been served on the employee.

 

Note: If a/an member/employee/section officer/ management staff/director/ volunteer commits misconduct that is a criminal offence, the criminal procedure and the disciplinary procedure will continue as separate and different proceedings.

 

 

1.12.6    THE CONSTITUTION OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITEE

  • A chairperson (must be a member/employee/section officer /director of higher grade than the management representative)
  • A management representative
  • The accused
  • The accused’s representative
  • Any witnesses for either party

 

Note: In a disciplinary hearing neither the Society nor the accused may be represented by a legal practitioner.

 

1.12.7    HOW THE HEARING WILL BE CONDUCTED

SPENC should lead evidence. The employee is then given an opportunity to respond. The chairperson may ask any witness to question for clarification. At the end the chairperson decides whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. If guilty, the chairperson must ask both parties to make submissions on the appropriate disciplinary sanctions to impose and inform the accused accordingly.

 

The accused should be informed that she/he has right to appeal and to utilize dispute settlement mechanisms.  SPENC will not implement the sanction during an appeal by the accused.

An arbitrator can be appointed to conduct a final and binding disciplinary enquiry. The Society will be responsible to pay the costs of the arbitrator.

 

If the accused is not found guilty he will be given a letter of apology by the accuser/ Society.