Our strong ethical culture and world-class business practices.
NGC Aims At High Ethical Standards In All Business Transactions
NGC prides itself on possessing a strong ethical culture whilst continuously striving towards world-class business practices. This has been achieved from actively embedding requirements for professional and ethical behaviours in its policies, value system, guiding principles and business practices. Some of these doctrines date as far back as the early 1980s and are an integral part of the Company’s future plans.
NGC has clear written guidelines and generally accepted company standards on a number of ethical issues, for example, Transparency and Fair Trading in Procurement, Political Contributions, Gifts, Conflicts of Interest and Substance Abuse.
NGC continues to review its business processes to improve integrity, transparency and accountability in its operations, notwithstanding the existence of a strong ethical climate within the Company. Additionally, NGC’s ethical framework is continuously kept alive through its recommitments to its core values within revised and updated policies, guidelines and strategic plans.
Strong, ethical leadership from the top; strong, knowledgeable and independent internal audit staff; tendering rules and procedures that meet international standards; monitoring, detection and prevention systems; written policies and guidelines on acceptable business practices; enforcement of rules and policies and sanctions for non-compliance; accurate and timely financial records; and transparency in its award of contracts and availability of its annual financial statements – these are all ways in which NGC strives to ensure it meets high ethical standards in business practice.
Transparency and Fair Trading in Procurement
NGC has developed a detailed set of Tenders Rules to govern its procurement of goods, works and services. These rules, which compare favourably with international standards, rigorously protects the confidentiality of contractor information, and aims at ensuring fair treatment of all persons and entities seeking to supply NGC with goods and services. A Tenders Committee, comprising three non-executive Directors of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, reviews and oversees the implementation of these rules.
NGC’s Tenders Rules empowers the Tenders Committee to enquire into any improper or untoward approach made to any tenderer or any solicitation of any inducement or payment of money or other thing in kind or in action from any tenderer by any person in respect of any offer. The Rules also demands the cessation of business with potential contractors where such persons offer inducement to NGC’s Directors or officers for the purpose of gaining any advantage or concession for himself or any other person.
Some of the other rules that NGC enforces to ensure fair treatment and transparency include competitive bidding; sealed bids opened in the presence of all bidders; and uniformity, consistency and transparency in all communications with tenderers on any substantive aspects of their bids subsequent to their submission.
Conflict of Interest
This is deemed to exist whenever an employee is in a position, due to the nature or responsibilities of his job, to further any personal financial interest of the employee or a relative of the employee. This includes an employee’s investment or financial interest in, or holding a position with, any supplier, customer or competitor of the company. NGC’s policy requires employees who believe that their interest conflicts with that of the Company to immediately declare such interest and remove himself or herself from direct or indirect involvement in the matter.
Financial Reporting and Accountability
NGC has published its annual accounts each year since 1992 and done so in a timely fashion. It distributes these to its shareholder and other stakeholders. It has gone even further than many publicly listed companies in 2001 by having its latest Annual Reports available on its website. The company also intends to publish its annual financial statements in at least one of the daily newspapers.
NGC debars employees from accepting gifts, personal favours or preferential treatment, that could, in any way, influence or appear to influence, business decisions in favour of any person or organization with whom or with which the Company is likely to have business dealings. Employees may accept a gift or personal benefit if it is as an incident of protocol, social obligation or customary for commercial business entertainment, and is reasonable in nature, frequency and cost. Acceptable gifts are an occasional lunch or dinner, tickets to athletic or cultural events, and gifts of nominal value not exceeding a total annual value of US $100 from one source.
Given its position as a State Enterprise, NGC is particularly rigorous with regard to political contributions. Its practiced guideline allows employees to contribute personal time and money to the political party of their choice, but it is the Company’s principle not to make any political contributions, directly or indirectly, in support of any party or candidate in any government election. For this purpose, the purchase of tickets for dinners, advertising in political programme booklets, use of the Company’s duplication facilities, compensated employee activity, employee contributions reimbursed through expense accounts and similar donations in kind are considered political contributions.
NGC recognizes that the inappropriate use and abuse of psychoactive drugs seriously impair an employee’s performance, create unacceptable liability and risks, and undermine the confidence of stakeholders. It therefore adopts a zero-tolerance policy for illegal use of prohibited substances, and actively seeks to maintain a workplace free from substance abuse. It does so by prevention, education, counseling, detection and testing, rehabilitation, and corrective/disciplinary actions.