Fraudulent and corrupt activities are a threat to the sustainability and reputation of any business. MTN has a zero tolerance approach to fraud, bribery and corruption, and we are constantly striving to improve our fight against it. It is our policy to conduct all our business activities with honesty, integrity and to the highest ethical standards.
During 2013, the MTN Group Board approved the MTN Group Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy. The policy is aligned to South African and global anti-corruption legislation (for example the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act). We have reiterated our position of zero tolerance for bribery, corruption and fraud. Mechanisms to support operational management in this regard include the availability of a Tip-Offs Anonymous whistle-blower line for employees and public use. The management of bribery and corruption risks is incorporated into the overall fraud risk management strategy and is actively monitored by MTN operations. Please refer to the Sustainability Statement for audited statistics on these mechanisms.
In 2013, we received 687 calls to Tip-offs Anonymous. We also ensured that 86% operations implemented the fraud management framework.
In 2013, the Group Board also approved a revised MTN Group Gifts Policy, essentially based on a zero gift acceptance policy, while accommodating the giving of gifts in limited circumstances within the appropriate governance framework. This is ensured by incorporating appropriate safeguards required for interactions with public officials. We do not accept gifts from vendors, suppliers, customers, potential employees, potential vendors or suppliers, or any other individual or organisation, under any circumstances. This ‘no-gift’ policy will help address potential conflicts of interest, and ensure employees examine the ethics of accepting gifts.
Both policies have been extensively communicated by the Group president and CEO to all employees. MTN’s suppliers have also been informed about our ‘no-gift’ position.
Within the Group’s ethics task team, all issues, developments, and solutions are discussed with the Group executive committee and social and ethics committee on a regular basis, and anti-bribery and corruption is an on-going matter of both committees’ deliberations.
We have recently also commenced an extensive review of the Group’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and we plan to present any updates required to this policy to the various Group governance bodies in due course.
We are currently developing anti-bribery and corruption training for employees in areas of high bribery and corruption risks, and this will be rolled out during 2014.