Role of Employees
Our directors, employees (including executives and senior management), and contractors all play an integral role in ensuring that we carry out business ethically, legally and responsibly. Their roles are reflected in our Statement on Business Conduct, our Ethics and Conduct Hotline and our Whistle Blower Policy, which provide mechanisms for employees to report non-compliance with any applicable legal requirements or Enbridge policy.
Our Compliance Program mainly focuses on ensuring that our employees and contractors understand and uphold our core values of Integrity, Safety and Respect, our Statement on Business Conduct and all other Enbridge policies. It is designed to minimize opportunities for unethical behavior and support and demonstrate our commitment to corporate responsibility and good governance.
As part of our Compliance Program, we routinely monitor compliance and take steps to improve our compliance and ethics culture through the following policies, practices and procedures:
We have established a number of policies designed to ensure that our employees and contractors conduct their work ethically, legally and responsibly.
Compliance Policy - Our Compliance Policy defines clear responsibilities for Enbridge’s Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer, who oversees our Compliance Program along with Compliance Officers in our various business segments.
Enbridge Statement on Business Conduct - The Enbridge Statement on Business Conduct applies to everyone who works at Enbridge, including our directors, officers and employees, as well as to consultants and contractors retained by Enbridge. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Whistle Blower Policy - We introduced our Whistle Blower Policy a number of years ago to protect the integrity of our accounting, auditing and financial control processes. Employees and outside parties can confidentially report concerns about financial or accounting irregularities or unethical conduct to the chair of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee of Enbridge’s Board of Directors. All submissions may be made anonymously and any complaints submitted in a sealed envelope marked “private and strictly confidential” are delivered to the committee chair unopened. Complaints can also be made anonymously through Enbridge’s Ethics and Conduct Hotline.
Enbridge Ethics & Conduct Hotline
We maintain an Ethics and Conduct Hotline (Hotline) that individuals can use at any time to raise issues (anonymously if they desire) through a third-party service provider that also provides similar services to other major North American companies. The service provider delivers each Hotline report directly to our Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer, as well as to the responsible business segment Compliance Officer. All reports are investigated to the extent possible so the issues raised can be addressed and resolved. Persons who report a matter through the Hotline have the option to identify themselves or to remain anonymous.
Enbridge Gas Distribution Office of the Ombudsman
Enbridge Gas Distribution (EGD), which is one of the affiliates under our Gas Distribution business segment (GD), maintains an Office of the Ombudsman as part of a formal complaint-escalation process to resolve customer complaints that its call center or Claims Department are unable to resolve.
Tone at the Top
We have had a Chief Compliance Officer and Compliance Officers in our three primary operating business segments since 2009. In 2012, we appointed our first dedicated Chief Compliance Officer, who is responsible for enterprise-wide oversight of our overall state of compliance and for enhancing our culture of ethics and integrity. In 2015, the role was expanded to include responsibility for Enbridge’s privacy program and it is now titled Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer.
Messages from the Chief Executive Officer and the Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer regarding the importance of ethical behavior are communicated to all of our employees and provisioned contract staff at least once per year through the delivery of an on-line Statement on Business Conduct training program.
Our Internal Audit department helps us accomplish our objectives by bringing a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of our governance and risk management processes and internal controls. Internal Audit is responsible for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations; how we safeguard our assets; our risk management procedures; and our internal controls framework. Internal Audit is also responsible for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of our compliance with laws, regulations, policies, procedures and contracts.
As a condition of employment, all new employees and provisioned contractors are required to complete a course on our Statement on Business Conduct. All employees and provisioned contractors are required to complete Statement on Business Conduct training each year. The on-line training program also requires all employees and provisioned contractors to certify their compliance with our Statement on Business Conduct during the previous calendar year.
In 2015, Compliance Department personnel also provided dozens of in-person training sessions and presentations on compliance-related issues to hundreds of employees and provisioned contractors.
Compliance Investigations and Reports
Our Compliance Officers coordinate investigations into material compliance matters, whether they arise directly from employees or as a result of incidents, Hotline reports or complaints received under the Whistle Blower Policy. Depending on the nature of the matter in question, our Vice President, Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer reports all material events related to non-compliance, auditing matters or general ethics issues either to the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee or the Safety & Reliability Committee of Enbridge Board of Directors.
We engage employees who possess expertise in the area of audits and investigations to assist our Compliance Officers with investigations into material non-compliance issues. If necessary, we retain third-party experts to assist with these investigations.
We are committed to the principle that no retaliatory action may be taken against anyone who raises non-compliance issues in good faith. Our adherence to the non-retaliation principle is a key component of a strong culture of compliance and ensures that employees, contractors and the public can be confident that issues will be fairly and impartially reviewed and addressed.
Our Compliance Officers and Enbridge employees in other departments participate in activities sponsored by a number of organizations that promote the advancement of ethical business conduct throughout Canada and the U.S. Some of the organizations to which Enbridge employees belong include the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, the Compliance & Ethics Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the Corporate Ethics Management Council of the Conference Board of Canada.
Our Statement on Business Conduct contains provisions that support the protection of human rights and freedoms within our sphere of influence. In addition, all of our business segments have adopted policies that established the rights of all employees and contractors to enjoy a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. For more information, please see the Employee Relations section of this report.
Addressing the Risk of Fraud
As part of our continuing effort to eliminate opportunities for fraud (including online fraud), during 2015 we provided fraud awareness training to all employees and provisioned contractors in Canada and the U.S. We deliver fraud awareness training once every three years.
In addition, to mitigate corruption-related risk, we routinely conduct due diligence on prospective contractors, consultants, agents and counterparties in connection with our business. For more information please see the Sustainable Supply Chain & Procurement section of this report.
We are committed to preventing all forms of corruption, including bribery and kickbacks. It is never permissible for anyone who works for Enbridge to offer or accept payments, inappropriate gifts or anything of value that could be seen as influencing a business decision. We take steps to ensure that all interactions with public officials (including interactions involving third parties or agents acting on Enbridge’s behalf) comply with applicable laws prohibiting bribery and corruption wherever we conduct business.
We provide online anti-corruption training to all employees and provisioned contractors whose roles, responsibilities or geographic focus may directly or indirectly involve corruption or bribery-related risks. The training covers applicable anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws and information about how these laws can affect our business globally. It also provides guidance regarding our policies, expectations and reporting procedures to help identify and avoid corruption-related risks.
Regarding competition and anti-trust legislation, Enbridge’s Statement on Business Conduct requires Enbridge and our employees to comply with all applicable competition and anti-trust legislation.
Behavior that is prohibited under such legislation includes activities such as agreements with competitors to allocate markets or customers, fix prices or production, or rig bids.