BSJV begins enforcement of supplier code

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds

BELAIT

BRUNEI Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) companies began annually enforcing their code of conduct last December for suppliers with active contracts.

BSJV Ethics and Compliance Manager Daniel Elustondo told The Brunei Times recently that the BSJV supplier code of conduct - a simplified two-page document aimed at promoting business integrity and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) standards - had been acknowledged by 80 per cent of its suppliers, with the remaining 20 per cent having until the end of January to do so.

Elustondo said the principles and standards in the supplier code of conduct are already listed in the business ethic clauses of BSJV contractual terms and conditions, but several incidents indicating a lack of awareness and adherence resulted in the development of a code specifically for suppliers.

“Prior to this, expectations (found in the supplier code) were in the contractual terms and conditions with specific links to BSJV’s own code of conduct. So that is on paper,” said Elustondo.

“But how much was actually shared and were people engaging on these specific areas (of business integrity) in a high-profile way, we didn’t know, because there have been incidents reported.”

He clarified that these incidents included situations involving conflicts of interest, allegations of corruption and a lack of transparency. Failure to adhere to the supplier code will result in BSJV terminating its relationship with the supplier.

Companies that are having trouble navigating the perceived ‘grey areas’ of business ethics are encouraged to come forward and enquire to BSJV’s Ethics and Compliance section.

“Since its introduction, the supplier code has raised interest amongst local companies. Some situations of business integrity are very clear-cut, like our no gifts policy. But there are times where staff or companies may have dilemmas on how to deal with certain situations,” he said.

Under the code of conduct, employees of suppliers should also be provided with a “dedicated whistle-blowing mechanism” where grievances or violations of the code can be reported confidentially without fear of retaliation.

The code of conduct also focuses on HSSE, which has been identified by BSJV through studies as the primary reason why local companies have been previously unable to secure BSJV tenders.

Elustondo added that the supplier code content is included in the 12 modules of BSJV’s Energy Business Academy, which was set up in 2014 for local small and medium enterprises that are trying to win BSJV contracts for the first time.

Suppliers must confirm their adherence to the code via BSJV’s Vendor Online Registration System, which includes confirming existing ownership details and the disclosure of actual or potential conflicts of interest.

The Brunei Times