Companies intending to contract with the Government must have an Integrity Policy in order to register in the Business Integrity Registry.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, on August 22, the Ministry of Public Service (SFP) announced the creation of the Business Integrity Registry, a registry of ethical government suppliers aimed at preventing corruption in government contracts, to whom a specific trademark will be granted in order to identify them as ethical. The Registry's purpose will be that government suppliers will be chosen from those registered therein, since they will be deemed as ethical suppliers.
One of the requirements to be met by those who wish to register in the Registry, is to evidence that the company has an Integrity Policy, in accordance with the Mexican General Law of Administrative Responsibilities. Although the Integrity Policy is not mandatory in terms of said law, it does constitute a mechanism of prevention and, where appropriate, to mitigate responsibilities if the company is involved in activities sanctioned by such law, including acts of corruption; nevertheless, it becomes a de facto obligation to have the Integrity Policy, since the companies that do not have it will not be able to register in the Registry of Business Integrity and, therefore, they will not be able to contract with the Government.
In this regard, the Integrity Policy of the company must have the following elements:
- An organization and procedures manual in which the functions and responsibilities of each of its areas are defined;
- A code of conduct duly published and socialized;
- Adequate and effective control, surveillance and audit systems;
- Appropriate reporting systems, both within the organization and with the competent authorities, as well as disciplinary processes and concrete consequences for committing offenses;
- Adequate training systems and procedures regarding integrity measures;
- Human resources policies aimed at preventing the hiring of people who may represent a risk to the integrity of the corporation, and
- Mechanisms that ensure transparency and publicity of the company's interests.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.