Brunei pledged to continue championing for a fair and transparent energy trade, with more oil and gas businesses officially added to the Brunei Energy Industry Integrity Pact yesterday.
The pact which was first signed by 10 leading industry players last year saw an addition of 32 more companies vowing to stand firm against corruption and ensure equity for all oil and gas deals.
Besides Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) companies, the pact now includes other oil and gas stakeholders such as Megamas Training Company, Adinin Works and Engineering, as well as Vam BRN.
Chairman of the working group Daniel Elustondo who is also Brunei Shell Petroleum’s (BSP’s) Ethics and Compliance Manager said the pact is an important milestone for the industry as it ensures equal opportunities especially for businesses competing for tenders.
“Furthermore, to be inducted into the pact is not a simple process as companies would have to lay out their own anti-graft policies first – and they must be adjusted accordingly to our standard principles,” he said.
The pact outlined 10 principles that include:
- Prohibition of bribery and facilitation payments in business activities
- Code of Conduct in place and principles disseminated to staff and contractors
- Consistent consequence management for violations of the code and principles
- Visible training programmes and communication in place
- Disclosure and avoidance of conflicts of interest
- Avoidance of gifts and hospitality which can lead to perceived influence or conflicts
- Governance and internal controls/policies in place
- Raising concerns, whistleblowing mechanisms, speaking up free of retaliation
- Investigations conducted impartially, fairly, and in timely fashion; full collaboration with Anti-Corruption Bureau
- Zero tolerance; refrain from doing business with those who demonstrate poor integrity and ethical practices
With these principles, Elustondo said oil and gas newcomers could at least find an edge to getting more shares in the market.
The chairman explained that the pact was established in the wake of the high profile graft cases involving Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) employees few years ago, with its latest court hearingheld last July.
“Since then BSP has been revamping its anti-corruption policies and programme, but one company alone would not be able to make much impact,” he said.
“That was why we came up with the pact last year, because we believe if 30 to 50 companies were to be in this together, we might move to somewhere,”
“Last year we get 10 leading oil and gas companies, and this year we get 32; we’ll continue inviting more oil and gas companies to participate and hopefully this can be something we in place for the long run,” he added.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN