Integrity Chamber Completes Investigation into N.V. GEBE
The Integrity Chamber has completed its investigation into N.V. G.E.B.E. (hereafter GEBE). The investigation was started to determine the state of compliance to integrity-related rules and procedures within the company.
The investigation spanned the years 2017-2022 and focused on the roles and responsibilities of the Managing Board, Supervisory Board, and the Shareholder, as stated in the applicable legislative framework. Based on the span of the investigation period, the findings presented in the report covers the tenure of several Managing Boards, Supervisory Boards, and Shareholder Representatives/Ministers.
The investigation concluded that there is a general lack of compliance to integrity-related rules and procedures. The main factors that played a role in this conclusion are:
- Missing and/or not implemented policies and procedures that ensure integrity within the company such as, a Code of Conduct, complaint procedures, confidentiality policy;
- Non-compliance to the already existing policies and procedures, in part due to a lack of awareness;
- An unhealthy company culture due to a lack of trust and communication between Management and employees;
- The selection of Managing and Supervisory Board members with insufficient regard to specific expertise and qualities needed to manage the diverse responsibilities within GEBE; and
- Political influence, particularly in the selection of Managing and Supervisory Board members.
The above has led to administrative misconducts such as, undesirable behaviour, the abuse of authority, and the leaking of confidential information. The negative perception of the company is another unintended consequence.
Based on the findings of the investigation, the Integrity Chamber provided advice to improve compliance within GEBE. The advice included the following:
- Complete the legislative framework: Develop and implement the missing policies and procedures such as, Managing and Supervisory Board Regulations, a Code of Conduct, and Company Complaint Procedures.
- Enforce compliance to the framework: Appoint a Compliance officer to ensure compliance within the company on all levels and apply sanctions for non-compliance.
- Promote a healthy company culture: Establish company norms and values, facilitate employee trainings, promote open communication, and appoint a Confidential Advisor.
- Prevent political influence: Create and publicize profiles for the Managing and Supervisory Boards members based on the required background and experience and ensure a transparent and accountable process and selection of candidates.
The Integrity Chamber trusts that the above advice will lead to the necessary improvements within GEBE, increased compliance to integrity-related rules and procedures, decreased occurrences of administrative misconducts, and an improved perception of the company.
For more information about the Integrity Chamber, visit the website at www.integritychamber.sx.