BHP Billiton maintains ethical relationships with governments and their agencies, officials and personnel. Our ability to conduct business is directly affected by government decision-making and it is important we have open and constructive relationships with government.
BHP Billiton's Code of Business Conduct is based on Our Charter values. The Code represents our commitment to uphold ethical business practices and meet or exceed applicable legal requirements. We believe that exercising consistent and proper business conduct creates loyalty and trust with our stakeholders.
The Code outlines our approach to corporate participation in political activities. It states that "we will not make political contributions in cash or in-kind anywhere in the world". Consistent with this approach, we do not contribute funds to any political party, politician, elected official or candidate for public office in any country.
In keeping with local and international anti-corruption laws, we prohibit authorising, offering, giving or promising anything of value directly or indirectly (via a third party) to a government official to influence official action, or to anyone to encourage them to perform their work disloyally or otherwise improperly. We also require that third parties acting on our behalf operate to BHP Billiton standards and do not violate anti-corruption laws.
In furtherance of the Code, BHP Billiton has over 20 governing documents known as Our Requirements (previously Group Level Documents (GLDs)) that outline the minimum standards required of all BHP Billiton employees, Assets and Global Functions in relation to all key aspects of company operations. Compliance with Our Requirements is subject to rolling internal audit processes.
In particular, Our Requirements for Communications, Community and External Engagement provides for consistency in BHP Billiton government relations activities. Contact with government is managed centrally to enable company-wide engagement and policy alignment. The Corporate Affairs function is consulted before anyone engages with government or communicates externally on public policy issues that could impact our reputation, providing consistency and adherence to the Code of Conduct across all activities.
The Chief External Affairs Officer is ultimately responsible for the delivery and alignment of our government relations activities as set out in Our Requirements for Communications, Community and External Engagement.
In addition to the role performed by Corporate Affairs, giving or offering anything of value to a government official, or a person who represents others above certain thresholds requires pre-approval which is coordinated by the Compliance team led by the Chief Compliance Officer.
Through public submissions, opinion pieces and comments in the media we continually raise issues that are important to us and promote policy reforms that we believe will best serve the interests of our business, shareholders, employees and host communities.
For example, we have recently made public submissions and comments on a range of topics in Australia including tax, industrial relations, energy policy, the extractives industry, strengthening foreign bribery laws and trade. A number of recent public policy submissions together with links appear below. BHP Billiton’s public policy submissions are generally made public on the company’s website or on the website of the relevant government agency unless the submission contains commercial-in-confidence information.
Public Policy Submissions
Explore our broader contribution in our Economic contribution and payments to governments Report 2016 (PDF 1.6 MB)