A large part of our business relies on relationships and partnerships with others, whether it be a strategic adviser, a supplier or a joint venture partner. In order to do business ethically, how our partners behave is of the upmost importance.
We have policies in place to detail how we work with advisers and our expectations of them. Our supply chain management processes are comprehensive, focused on high achievement of standards as well as a partnership approach with regard to community and social issues.
Risk-based due diligence is undertaken for all third parties with which we work, whether supplier, adviser, potential joint venture partner, acquisition target or other third party. Where required, this can include establishing the identity of the third party in terms of beneficial ownership and gathering of sufficient information to assess relevant bribery and corruption risks. At the contracting stage we ensure that contracts contain appropriate anti-corruption provisions and stipulate the expectation to comply with our standards on ethical business conduct, compliance, safety, environmental management and human rights.
Working with advisers
BAE Systems uses the term ‘Advisers’ to refer to those engaged in promoting or assisting our sales and marketing efforts or the strategic development or political context of the Company, such as marketing representatives, distributors, consultants and those who interface with our customers on our behalf. Advisers are commonly used in many industries to provide external knowledge and expertise. We engage advisers to support our business in a number of ways, including providing essential knowledge on dealings in particular markets and assisting with offset and counter-trade arrangements, for example.
We have policies and procedures in place to govern the appointment and use of advisers and this helps us reduce and address ethical, reputational and legal risks associated to this area. As part of this all of our Advisers undergo an extensive due diligence and review process.
Our Advisers Policy governs the appointment, management and payment of all third parties engaged to guide, influence, promote, assist and support our sales and marketing efforts or advise on the strategic development or the political context of our business or aspects of security.
The policy governs our process for selecting, conducting due diligence on, appointing, managing, paying and terminating advisers. Among other things, it requires that we must only appoint advisers of known integrity and that advisers must comply with our standards of conduct at all times and that there is a clearly demonstrated business case for retaining the adviser.
Employees involved directly in dealings with advisers must undergo training on the policy. Compliance with the policy is monitored through our Operational Assurance Statement process. Adviser appointments are reviewed and assessed upon appointment and then every two years by our Business Development Adviser Compliance Panel, chaired by independent outside legal counsel.
We have numerous controlled joint venture (JV) businesses in a number of countries. Our JV arrangements are set out at the start of the venture to enhance our working relationships over the long-term. They are governed according to the same Operational Framework and policies as the rest of the business. Our Code of Conduct, which applies to all employees, also applies to controlled JVs, wherever we operate in the world.
BAE Systems employees appointed to the board, or comparable governing body for non-controlled JVs, exert the influence they have to encourage the adoption of governance that is substantially equivalent to our own including, policies and processes, Code of Conduct, employee training and Ethics Helpline.