Introduction by the Director
Dealings between ABI and the public and private sectors must be undertaken with the highest ethical standards, transparency and integrity so as to enhance public confidence in doing business with the Association. These ethical standards are an integral part of sound commercial practices.
This Statement of Business Ethics sets out the appropriate standards for conducting business with, or becoming a member of, ABI. It provides guidelines on what to expect from ABI and its Member Contractors and Associated Companies and explains the mutual obligations, roles and constraints of all parties involved in the business partnerships.
All individuals and organizations that deal with ABI are to adopt these standards of ethical behavior. All contractors must also ensure that sub-contractors adhere to the principles set out in this Statement.
ABI is committed to promoting fairness, ethical conduct and accountability in all areas of our operations.
Douglas Colby Director - September 2002
Our Business Principles
- ABI expects its permanent, part-time and contract staff and Member Contractor Companies and their staff and subcontractors to behave ethically and comply with its Code of Conduct and this Statement of Business Ethics.
- The four key business principles that form the basis of ABI business agreements include:
- Best value for public or private money Exceptional competency through all stages and processes Fairness, and Effective communication.
- These key business principles enable suppliers to promote their interests effectively but avoid unproductive and potentially questionable activities. All potential providers of goods and services are subject to the same ethical operating environment and must comply with this Statement. These four key business principles are discussed below.
Principle 1: Best value for money
Best value for money is determined by considering the impact of factors such as quality, reliability, timeliness, service, initial and ongoing costs. It does not necessarily mean 'lowest price'.
Procurement processes should be structured to minimize costs for all parties consistent with the standards of behavior required by this Statement of Business Ethics.
Principle 2: Impartiality
Impartiality means being objective and even-handed. For example, an impartial person will objectively establish the criteria for determining best value for money and then assess each bid against these criteria - passing the savings on to the customer.
Principle 3: Fairness
Fairness overlaps with impartiality in the sense of being even-handed, unbiased and reasonable. Conditions of agreement must be the same for each party on any particular project. All requirements must be clearly specified in the contractual documents and criteria for evaluation must be clearly indicated.
Principle 4: Ethical communication
All communication should be clear, direct and accountable and respectful to all parties including adherence to relevant intellectual property and confidentiality requirements.
Relationship to the Code of conduct
The ABI Code of Conduct also sets out the following key principles, with which all staff and Members are expected to comply:
- Responsibility to the Customer
- Respect for people
- Integrity and public interest
- Responsive service
- Economy and efficiency
- Ethical decision making
- Avoidance of conflicts of interest
- Fairness and equity
- Protection of confidential information.
ABI requires its staff and Members to:
- Comply with ABI and other policies, regulations, laws and procedures that lead to the highest standard of sustainability and bio-safety
- Act at all times with due care and diligence
- Conform to all legal obligations
- Show fairness in their treatment of all individuals or organizations that supply goods or services, this includes conducting all accounting processes with honesty and fairness at all levels
- Encourage fair and open competition while seeking value for money
- Minimize costs to suppliers participating in the procurement process through best practices
- Protect commercial-in-confidence information Deal honestly with suppliers and pay accounts on time
- Be accountable and act in the public interest
- Avoid situations where private interests conflict with public duty and declare any conflict of interest as soon as it becomes known
- Not solicit or accept financial or other benefits from a supplier for performing official duties
- Respond to reasonable requests for advice and information without delay
- Behave as a model litigant in the event that a genuine dispute and litigation arises
- Where Members or Suppliers to ABI customers or contractors assigns their obligations to other suppliers or sub-contractors, it is expected that the relevant contractors and/or subcontractors will be made aware of and will comply with the Statement of Business Ethics.
What ABI expects of its Members, business partners and associates:
- Act ethically, fairly and honestly in all dealings
- Respect the conditions and requirements stated in documents supplied by ABI
- Present full and concise information
- Comply with any codes of conduct, procurement and practice that apply Respect the obligation of staff to comply with policies, including the requirement to act in accordance with this statement
- Act with integrity, accountability and transparency and in accordance with relevant policy and legislation
- Ensure privileged or confidential information, such as commercial-in-confidence information is not released without prior authorization
- Maintain confidentiality, including consulting with ABI prior to discussing business dealings with the media
- Respond to reasonable requests for advice and information
- Ensure that ABI staff and contractors are not offered any financial or other inducements which may lead to, or be seen as leading to, gaining an unfair advantage in dealings with ABI
- Comply with ABI's post separation guidelines when stated or are applicable
- Maintain business relationships based on open and effective communication, respect and trust and adopt where appropriate a non-adversarial approach to dispute resolution.
Why is compliance important?
If all parties comply with this Statement good ethical practice can be achieved in daily business dealings leading to additional confidence in ABI.
This Statement also highlights that when engaged by ABI contractors and consultants all parties are subject to ABI's jurisdiction and are within the terms of any use of ABI Dispute Resolution Committee in the settling of any disputes that ABI may be asked to arbitrate or negotiate for fair resolution.
Confidentiality and intellectual property rights
Confidential information is information disclosed by ABI during the term of the engagement or during contractual negotiations or of which the recipient becomes aware during the engagement. It does not include information that can be proved to be in the public domain.
Official information must only be used for the work-related purpose intended and not for personal benefit. Unless authorized to do so by ABI, staff must make sure that they do not disclose or use any confidential information without official approval.
Unauthorized disclosures may cause harm to individuals or give an individual or an organization an improper advantage.
Staff must only provide facts, not personal opinion about products, policy and practices or associated suppliers and Members. If information is requested under and supplied by ABI, staff may have to prepare the information, but it must not be released directly by that staff member and must be approved prior to release by the Director or BOD as indicated.
As a general rule, staff are to only provide information to the public or other organizations if it is a specific requirement of the job without prior authorization as above.
Protected disclosures ABI utilizes mutual non-disclosure agreements whenerver indicated. We often discuss and help develop and bring to market new products, inventions and innovations within the industries we serve and are very mindful of the value and importance of non disclosure.
If you require any further information about this Statement or are concerned about a possible breach of this Statement please contact:
Manager, Business Strategy and Reporting
Green World Press
3906 Auburn Hills Drive
Greensboro, NC 27407
Telephone: (01) 366 315 5288
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