Anti-bribery and corruption

We are committed to fighting corruption in all of its forms and to do business with the highest sense of transparency and integrity. We do not accept bribery or corruption in any form.

Strategic objective 2018 goals
  • Best in class anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) program.

  • Zero tolerance for unethical business conduct.

  • All employees are aware of our ABC requirements.

  • All employees are familiar with the channels on how to report concerns and potential violations.

  • Certified ethics and compliance professionals in all region Eurasia markets (by end of 2016)

The challenge

Some of our markets are among the most challenging in the world to do business in due to bribery and corruption. In addition, the telecommunications industry is exposed to a high risk of corruption. Remediating these issues requires extensive work with analyzing risks, investigating potential fraud and corruption schemes, training employees and building a culture where no one is afraid of speaking up when they see potential or actual corrupt practices.

Our approach

The work is governed by the Group Policy - Anti-Bribery and Corruption

To ensure compliance with laws and ethical standards and to manage the risk of corruption and unethical business practices, we launched an anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) program in 2013. It is based on Telia Company’s compliance framework and includes the key elements of an effective compliance program and adequate procedures as set forth in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the UK Bribery Act Adequate Procedures. We have since its launch taken firm action to better understand and improve control of risks and contextual challenges by increasing awareness of issues, implementing control mechanisms, improving processes and carrying out extensive training efforts. The ABC program is managed by the group ethics and compliance office, which is responsible for the program design and annual plan as well as follow-up and reporting. Program implementation is the responsibility of local line organizations as well as group functions, with strong support from the ethics and compliance network.

More information, including 2016 outcome on the goals, can be found in our Annual and Sustainability Report.

Case: Third party due-diligence gives no-go

Because the telecommunications industry is heavily regulated, operators need to interact frequently with regulatory authorities. One such interaction is the need to update regulatory records – a standard procedure as networks are constantly updated.

In early 2015, when one of our operators applied to update regulatory records, an alternative process was proposed. This time, the operator was not only asked to submit the documents, but the person at the regulatory agency proposed the company to use a specific consultant to prepare the necessary documents and file the application. In addition we were told that the consultant had to perform a feasibility study to assess the details of what should be updated. The regulatory authority explained that this would make the process more efficient for the company.

The local company acted in line with the procurement process and escalated a due diligence request to group level. During this process, several critical issues were noted: there were no legal requirements or official processes for the feasibility study proposed, and there was a possible conflict of interest between the person at the regulatory authority and the proposed consultant. The risk for breaching the group ABC policy was evident, and the due diligence process resulted in a “no-go” decision.