OREANDA-NEWS.  June 26, 2012. Materials Supply held the Second Business Ethics and Fraud Awareness Seminar for Saudi Aramco suppliers (contractors, vendors, manufacturers, and sub-contractors) with the theme “Doing The Right Things Right”, reported the press-centre of Saudi Aramco.

With the goal of encouraging the development of business ethics and fraud prevention training programs in its supplier community, the company worked with a consultant to present seminar participants with a handbook titled “Ethics & Fraud.” That resource outlines how supplier companies can develop ethics programs effectively while addressing local challenges of fraud prevention and compliance.

Also during the seminar, Saudi Aramco highlighted important changes to the existing Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC). These changes strengthen the code and make it more effective, said Munir M. Rafie, vice president of Materials Supply. He added that the code will protect the mutual interest of Saudi Aramco and its suppliers.

Rafie emphasized that Saudi Aramco chose to host the seminar because integrity and accountability are two of the company’s corporate values. He invited participants to share these values to jointly succeed. Rafie noted that the Accelerated Transformation Program will create more jobs and profit opportunities for local businesses, but in turn, this will present additional opportunities and higher risks for unethical behavior among contractors, suppliers and vendors.

Abdulrahman A. Al-Ajlan from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) explained how his organization functions and how it will achieve its goals in cooperation with other governmental agencies. He also shared with participants the Kingdom’s national strategy to maintain integrity.

Nazaha’s main focus this year is to increase public awareness about corruption and its negative effects. He said that the commission, with the assistance of consultants, is in the process of formulating standards to measure corruption in various organizations operating in the Kingdom. These ratings are made public through Nazaha’s annual report.

David Clements, a business ethics specialist from Deloitte, gave an overview of the business ethics handbook distributed to participants. Clements said it is far less painful and costly to deal with the threat of fraud before it happens, which makes training crucial. He pointed out that businesses can use the handbook to create training programs, and if they already have programs, they can use the handbook to improve training.

Produced in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, he said the main goal of the books is to ensure local challenges are addressed while introducing best practices in training programs.

Abdulrahman Busubait of the Projects and Strategic Purchasing Department talked about results of a business ethics and fraud control survey Saudi Aramco conducted of its contractors, suppliers, and vendors. The results were positive, including:

More than 50 percent of respondents have developed ethics and fraud control programs which were done in house.

Many rated Saudi Aramco policies regarding business conduct as excellent.

The majority of contractors, suppliers and vendors have updated their ethics and fraud control programs within the last two years.

Only a small percentage reported cases of unethical behavior.

More than half conducted awareness events about business ethics and fraud prevention.

In his closing remarks, Abdullah M. Al Warthan, manager of Projects & Strategic Purchasing Department, said that proper conduct is for everyone and encouraged participants to spread the word about ethics among their colleagues, family and friends.