PTT governs the organization fairly and transparently in order to build stakeholders’ trust and create a strong foundation for future business growth. This is a key success factor in leading PTT to become the organization of investment choice for shareholders, investors and business partners, as well as an employer of choice. The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for managing the Code of Conduct for business operations and is obligated to propose and to review the implementation of fair operating practice approaches and principles.
Code of Conduct
The Corporate Governance, Ethical Standards and Code of Business Ethics Handbook, or CG Handbook, is a set of guidelines defining the standards of good business ethics to which PTT’s employees are required to adhere. The CG Handbook covers good corporate governance practices and provides clear explanations of shareholders’ rights, responsibility to stakeholders, and transparent disclosure of information and responsibilities of the Board of Directors, including guidelines for the Business Code of Conduct and Ethics. It extends to cover legal compliance; international human rights principles; political contributions; interests and conflicts of interest; confidentiality and use of insider information; treatment of customers and consumers; treatment of business competitors; procurement and treatment of suppliers; community, social and environmental responsibility; treatment of employees; treatment of creditors; internal controls and auditing; receiving and offering customary gifts, assets, or other benefits; safety, health and the environment; intellectual property and use of information technology; and grievances related to corporate governance. Currently, PTT revised the CG Handbook to include an additional requirement on insider trading, money-laundering, and gift giving in compliance with the No Gift Policy. All employees must sign an acknowledgment of the CG Handbook in order to demonstrate a commitment to embracing and applying best practices. In this way, the CG Handbook acts as a disciplinary guideline for all employees to strictly adhere to.
The Corporate Governance Committee assumes the responsibility of promoting and screening business conduct related to corporate governance, in order for PTT to communicate the importance of operating according to good governance principles across the organization. The Committee established the Corporate Governance Working Group, headed by the executive vice president, to develop the annual action plan on governance and anti-corruption for approval by the Corporate Governance Committee and PTT Board of Directors, following which relevant functions will implement the action plans. The working group further undertakes the responsibility of adhering to the policy considerations, and organizing activities targeted at instilling a sense of responsibility on corporate governance to the Board of Directors, management, employees, and other relevant individuals. Examples of activities include the CG Handbook (Cartoon Version), the CG E-Learning System, CG Roadshow, CG Tips via E-mail, “CG Millionaire Challenge” Game, and CG Intranet within the PTT Intranet. These learning channels allow for greater reach in communication to employees in all operational areas, enabling them to learn about corporate governance principles and business ethics in a comprehensive manner through various scenarios. This not only builds greater awareness of business ethics in operations, but also provides employees with opportunities to apply the knowledge they learned in real-life, as appropriate to their work. Employees are assessed annually on their level of CG understanding, and the Code of Business Ethics is also included as a required employee competency for career advancement in annual performance assessments.
PTT has in place a grievance policy to receive, address and resolve grievances in a timely manner, ensuring fairness and transparency as well as the confidentiality of the information provider/grievance provider. Employees who report a grievance can track its status via the employee relations grievance system. The communication channels through which external parties can submit complaints regarding violations of the Code of Business Ethics include the Customer Relations Center, PTT Call Center, Corporate Communications Department, the Office of the President and Corporate Secretary, and the Investor Relations Department.
In addition, PTT added the “PTT Voice” channel as a means for stakeholder communication, in the case of violations or instances of corruption in the organization. Information receive will be directly sent to the Corporate Audit Office for further investigation. PTT issued the company regulation on grievances and whistleblowing, to identify standardized rules and guidelines on grievance reporting and whistleblowing across the organization. The regulation further includes a protection measure for the grievance filer, or those involved in reporting clues on suspected cases.
It is not PTT’s policy to provide financial support to any political party. PTT is transparent in providing charitable donations and sponsorships, as stipulated in its anti-corruption measures covering the formulation and review of anti-corruption policies, internal audit reporting, relevant performance reviews, corruption risk assessments and appropriate reviews of anti-corruption measures. PTT actively communicates with stakeholder groups in order to prevent potential incidents of corruption in the organization and to build trust amongst external parties who can be confident in the organization’s reputation for transparency.
PTT’s anti-corruption policy designates all employees with the responsibility in implementing anti-corruption measures, for example:
- Audit Committee, responsible for internal control, financial report preparation and other processes related to anti-corruption measures, as well as implementation of the anti-corruption measure, and internal control and audit, to ensure that the measures are adequate and effective. The Audit Committee reports results of audit reports on antic-corruption measures regularly to the PTT Board of Directors, and helps to advise the Board of Directors and management.
- Corporate Governance Committee, responsible for establishing and reviewing anti-corruption policy, recommending guidelines for monitoring and evaluation performance on anti-corruption practices
- Enterprise Risk Management Committee is responsible for the governance and support of anti-corruption risk management by assessing corruption risks and reviewing anti-corruption measures as appropriate.
In addition, PTT has signed up to be part of the Private Sector Collective Action Coalition against Corruption (CAC), which is supported by the government and the National Counter Corruption Office (NCC).
PTT values the importance of respecting human rights as a fundamental practice. Since the impacts of risks related to human rights and discrimination, the right to form a collective assembly, and forced and child labor could affect the confidence of external stakeholders. In view of these considerations, PTT adheres to human rights principles as prescribed by law, and to international standards such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNUDHR), the UN Framework and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Ruggie Framework), and principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). PTT also encourages its subsidiaries to adhere to these principles.
Human rights issues have the potential to significantly affect the organization’s sustainability. PTT therefore identified human rights as one of the key elements of the PTT Group Sustainability Management Framework. To cultivate human rights awareness and understanding, PTT provides guidelines for employees and holds training sessions, as well as established a human rights grievance channel through the Joint Consultant Committee (JCC) and the employee grievance system.
PTT maintains transparency in every aspect of its operations. Regarding financial aspects, PTT reports its financial performance in the Annual Report and Annual Information Registration Statement (Form 56-1), which is required to be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a yearly basis. In addition, to evaluate employee compensation, PTT defines the compensation criteria for employees, top management and the Board of Directors, which are published in the Annual Report. For internal control, PTT conducts Control Self-Assessment (CSA). In addition, performance is reported through the Sustainability Report and Annual Report, which are verified by an external organization. These practices reflect PTT’s good corporate governance and transparency.
Finally, PTT requests that all employees disclose any conflict of interests through an annual conflict of interest report, and notify suspected cases to their supervisors and to the Office of the President and Company Secretariat according to principles of transparency and business ethics on conflicts of interest.