In line with our commitment to integrity, we must always be able to demonstrate that all decisions have been made in the best interests of BHP and free from personal bias. This means that we need to manage any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest.
A conflict of interest arises when an employee’s position within the Company and their financial, or other personal interests affect, could affect, or have the appearance of affecting, their judgement, objectivity or independence.
Common examples of actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest include:
- pursuing, awarding or maintaining BHP business opportunities for personal gain or the benefit of close relatives or friends;
- holding outside jobs or affiliations, including directorships;
- holding investments directly or indirectly in businesses or assets that are contracted to do business for or on behalf of BHP;
- receiving money, property, services or other forms of financial personal benefits from suppliers or other third parties doing, or proposing to do, business with BHP;
- influencing the results of a bid or tender;
- offering jobs or affiliations to close relatives or friends;
- offering or accepting more than a modest amount of gifts, hospitality and entertainment;
- accepting sponsorships from providers or third parties who are involved at your site or in your area of business.
Gifts, hospitality or entertainment should only be accepted if they are occasional and of modest value. Determining what is ‘occasional and modest’ is a matter of judgement.
Our expectations of youNothing you do, professionally or privately, should conflict with your responsibilities to BHP, compromise the quality of your work performance or jeopardise your ability to make impartial business decisions in BHP’s best interest as outlined in Our Requirements for Business Conduct.
You should avoid business dealings and personal relationships that could cause conflicts of interest. Remember, some relationships can create the appearance of a conflict, even if you don’t think there is one. Conflicts may arise during the course of a normal business relationship due to a change in circumstances.
You should excuse yourself from any decision making and ongoing oversight process where you have an interest that influences, or could be perceived to influence, your ability to make objective decisions for our Company. This is important as an unmanaged conflict of interest could encourage unethical behaviour and lead to fraud.
You should never ask for gifts, hospitality or entertainment of any kind from anyone we conduct business with, including suppliers, customers, community partners or governments.
You should reject offers of travel and accommodation from external parties. If there is a valid business purpose to attend an event or function, BHP will pay for travel and/or accommodation costs.
Report all actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest in the Ethics & Compliance Registers.
As a leader of someone who has an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, you need to:
- ensure the details are documented in the Ethics & Compliance Registers;
- agree, document and implement an appropriate a course of action that removes or manages the conflict;
- monitor and regularly validate adherence to the agreed course of action;
- adjust the documented course of action as required.
Our expectations of others who work with usWhen you work with BHP, we expect you to respect our employee’s obligations to operate free from bias. You should never put our employees in a position where they have, or could appear to have, a conflict of interest.
Where to go for help
- Your line leader or 2Up leader
- Ethics & Compliance
- Human Resources
Tools and resources
- Conduct business in a professional, impartial and competitive manner.
- Avoid business dealings and personal relationships that could cause, or create the appearance of, a conflict of interest.
- Use the Ethics & Compliance Registers to advise your line leader or 2Up leader of any outside activities, financial interests or relationships that could be seen as a conflict of interest. Excuse yourself from any associated decision making and ensure there is a documented course of action in place.
- Get appropriate approval, using the Ethics & Compliance Register, before accepting an officer or director position with another organisation.
- Use good judgement when deciding to accept gifts, hospitality and entertainment.
- Excuse yourself from any decision making process where you have an interest that could influence your ability to make an objective decision.
- Think carefully before investing in a competitor, customer or supplier of BHP and consider if the investment could compromise your objectivity.
- Hold positions or investments in organisations that have business dealings with BHP if you are in a position to influence transactions or if the relationship itself creates an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest.
- Hire, promote or directly supervise a close relative, unless this has been specifically authorised via the Ethics & Compliance Register.
- Appoint or award business to any party that you are personally or financially associated with.
- Misuse BHP resources (including information) or your position of influence at BHP to promote or assist an external activity or party.
- Interfere in the fair and transparent operation of bid or tender activities.
- Personally pursue or undertake any opportunities in which BHP could have an interest.
- Accept gifts, hospitality, entertainment or other favours from any organisation you are evaluating in a bid or tender with BHP.
- Accept gifts, hospitality or entertainment of an inappropriate value or nature (for example, sexually oriented) or at inappropriate venues.
- Accept or request personal discounts or other benefits from suppliers, service providers, customers or other third parties due to your association with BHP that the general public or your peers do not receive, unless this has been otherwise approved.
Example questions and answers
TransparencyQuestion: My wife is a partner in a consulting firm that specialises in an area that BHP needs advice. Can I recommend the firm?
Show AnswerYou can make the team aware of your wife’s company. However, you should be completely transparent about your interest so that Supply’s processes can be independently applied. Discuss the recommendation with your line leader and seek their support via the Ethics and Compliance Registers which must describe a suitable plan to manage this potential conflict of interest.
Accepting GiftsQuestion: My regular contact from an important supplier has invited me to a music concert where her company has booked a hospitality room. She tells me that she won’t be there but offers me a second ticket to bring a friend or partner.
Should I go to the concert?
Show AnswerYou should check that the tickets are of a modest and reasonable value. You may need to estimate the value based on equivalent ticket prices. You should also consider whether the invitation will include a reasonable degree of business relationship-building. If your contact is not attending and it is not clear who will be your host, you should probably decline the invitation. Your line leader should also be able to advise on the appropriateness of attending. Register the offer in the Ethics and Compliance Registers in any case and seek approval prior to attending should you decide to accept the offer.