Governance, Ethics, and Sustainability

Code Of Conduct For The Commonwealth Bank Of Australia

Commonwealth bank of australia’s Board of directors, employees and the management team are strictly required to maintain and follow the code of conduct. This code of conduct is reviewed within regular intervals and that it applies on the dealings with the internal as well as external operations. The code of conduct has been developed to outline some common pathways through which the company can enhance its reputation and goodwill not only for itself but to entrust the customers of utmost and high ethical values that the company entails (ACM, n.d.). For the purpose of striving to achieve this noble aim, we should not be compromising with the excellence of work, community responsible tasks and accountability and transparency.

Thus, it is hereby requested that everyone should read, agree and follow the code of conduct policy.

CBA’s Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Prevention Policy

CBA is strongly committed to conduct the business with utmost integrity, ethics and transparency according to its stakeholders expectations. The bank policies do not support corrupt or non-transparent works and decisions. Ill-deeds such as fraud, corruption can seriously harm the bank’s social and economic security and stability (Woolsworth, 2019). The bank has right to proceed legal charges against the employees and other involved against any misdeeds. Thus relevant guidelines and obligations necessary are explained which are expected to be followed-

Fraud is an act of dishonesty which cause actual or potential loss to a person or a firm which includes deception, concealment of facts, falsification of statements and documents or any such improper usage for the purpose of immoral and illegal financial gain.

Corruption is an act of dishonesty against the interests of the company for which the person works and that he/she abuses his post for any direct or indirect advantage.

Bribery is an act to incite a person of authority or at the position of trust for the personal favours in exchange of the direct and indirect favours to be provided by the bribery giver to the authority. CBA is strictly adhering to the policies of transparency and ethical use of authority for every officer and is intolerable of any such acts of bribery, corruption and fraud.

The core values of the company are as follows-

  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Respect and integrity
  • Community
  • Excellence

The organization provides training on the procedures and situations to follow the code of conducts to its employees as and when required and any such potential act must be informed to the higher authority by the person. The recent incidences of fraud and corruption which are under scrutiny by the state agencies have put a scar on the image of the company (Khadem, 2019), CBA is fully supporting them and these incidents laid the company to make a new and fresh code of conduct policies. The duty on the part of employees to be followed is-

  • Be aware of the procedures, protocols, responsibilities and adhere to them.
  • Familiarity should be maintained with the code of conduct against any acts of frauds, corruption and immediately act on it if authorised or inform the concerned authority.
  • Never offer or accept bribes from anyone of any kind including gifts.
  • Never encourage or provide support or facilitate an act of corruption or bribery.
  • Always be watchful and vigilant for the potential of such acts and proceedings.
  • Any suspicious acts of fraud, corruption or bribery should immediately be informed to the concerned authority like the line manager.
  • Always act in the best interests of the company and keep in mind he company first and its ethics in a case of confusion or seek advice from the concerned authority (Woolsworth, 2019).

CBA’s Code Of Conduct Discrimination

CBA has an open approach towards new and different working environments as doing business involves different stakeholders being internal or external which demands acceptance of different cultures (Roche, n.d.). Diversity if carefully exploited to the full potential can be very beneficial to very stakeholder and must be handled very carefully to avoid misunderstanding and any kind of conflict. CBA respects and value diversity through an inclusive environment as we see it as an enormous opportunity to benefit the company’s stakeholders. The variation in thoughts, culture, cast, creed, colour, languages help to maintain the employee engagement and innovation. The diverse cultural groups are diverse solutions to a problem and thus diversity can be flag-bearer of progress and it can help in maintaining a competitive edge financially and in values (Roche, n.d.). At CBA, any form of discrimination or harassment is strictly prohibited and that a violation of it shall be punishable in accordance with the company’s policies. Any instances of offensive or abusive behaviour at the workplace violating the dignity of the victim or creating a hostile or humiliating environment shall be punished.

Advisory for the employees-

  • Employees are expected to respect diversity and inclusion as an opportunity to innovation and decision making.
  • Ensure no discrimination takes place at the workplace and inform any potential situation.
  • Employees are expected not to engage in any form of intimidating behaviour or harassment of any kind.
  • Employees are expected to immediately check any such situation which need immediate action and update to the authority.

Work safe recommends that organizati9ns include languages promoting anti-discrimination in their polices. The discrimination which must be addressed are such based on cast, creed, colour, sex, origin, any disability or genetic information and such other forms of discrimination which must be added as and when required. CBA provides reasonable accommodations for any medical or religious reasons. Thus this group is protected against form of discrimination and an immediate remediation and disciplinary action will be taken.

CBA’s Code Of Conduct Against Exploitation

CBA has a policy for the safety and welfare of every person adhered to the company and any form of exploitation by any person is an action inciting offense (Worksafe, n.d.). CBA believes that

Injuries and health at work are preventable.

Heath, safety, welfare and exploitation free environment is a business priority.

The core values of the CBA involve an environment which includes exploitation free environment of any form by anybody in any avenue (Dowd, 2020). Continuous monitoring of the behaviour of employees towards their peers and subordinates is one of the key components of the company to regularly keep a check on exploitative behaviour and to promote a harmonious environment of work and friendly office culture where utmost and optimum utilization of human capacity be used but not exploited in any form.

Our vision requires some necessary steps as-

  • Encouraging the employees to keep an eye on the hazards and exploitation of works and seek for an opportunity of health, safety and welfare of employees.
  • Working in a fair and consultative approach to minimize exploitative potential or behaviour and any workplace hazards.
  • Check and report against achievable targets to track and measure progress or improvements.
  • Providing necessary training, instructions, information and supervision to support the staff.
  • To comply with the health and safety legislations.

CBA strongly supports and promotes the rights of employees and it aims to maintain a good and healthy working environment. This requires commitment and positive attitude of the workforce to operate in an expected ethical manner. The corporate values and the code of conduct of CBA set the conduct and protocols which is expected by all the employees and directors. We also lay adequate stress on the commitment that all the stakeholders which are employing a number of people follow the safety and sustainable healthy exploitation free environment and those firms and companies are treated with special rewards and have distinct facilities (Worksafe, n.d.). Exploitation free environment and safe working and humane culture is an essential requirement for any company irrespective of the size and country of operation, it is not just a law abiding practice but is used by the company to add value to the customers and stakeholders but also to maintain and increase the net-worth, goodwill and image of the organization in the world.

CBA Code Of Conduct For Whistle-Blower Protection

CBA gives great importance to preserve an environment which encourages employees and other partners of the bank to inform or speak up about any of the issues which they think is out of the ethical protocol or is not in the interest of the company as a family. This misdeed could be anything from serious illegal fraud or misconduct to observing something which does not seem okay for the observer. The CBA board and the management always encourage the employees and all the internal and external stakeholders and even a general advice and information from any person about the misdeeds which he/she thinks should be corrected.

The dedicated SpeakUp Hotline is one of the formal channels of the CBA for support of the whistle-blowers. The service is available for any stakeholder be employee, director, contractor, a customer, government partners, volunteers, dependants of the customers and any other such agency or party can contact and raise and register voice and concern through formal channels. The conducts which can be reported are as-

  • Dishonesty
  • Fraudulent behaviours
  • Corruption on the part of the company or stakeholder
  • Unethical practices
  • Breach of internal policies or code of conduct
  • Improper and unhealthy state of affairs fro company’s perspective
  • A potential misdeed or danger to the public or public finances

The company has a post of the whistle-blower officer, who has the role to oversee the protection and welfare of the whistle-blower or the potential person. The company also has a misconduct governance committee including senior people reporting directly to the CEO, who oversees the effective whistle-blower program (Stockland, n.d.).

By following ways a concerned person can report his observation which he thinks should be reported-

  • Customers can have a conversation with the manager.
  • Conversation with a senior person or a Non-executive director if a person wishes to report his concern under the whistle-blower policy.
  • Contacting the hotline of the group if the person feels uncomfortable with speaking directly or not able to move through internal channels or like to report without revealing identity.

CBA’s Code of Conduct for Enforcement of the Ethics

The code of conduct for CBA is its cultural foundation. The CEO of the CBA very well understands the backwards and forwards, cites it and promotes adherence to it in various company’s general meetings. The co0de of conduct is the constitution of the company. This code of conduct allocates the authority and responsibilities (Stockland, n.d.). The enforcement of this constitution is one of the most important tasks of CBA on par with conducting the business. CBA promotes its vigilance by promoting the code of conduct. An observer doesn’t need to publicly announce the name of the potential offender as privacy and general sensitivity bar such disclosures and that the ethics for the potential violator be kept in mind.

The organization with CEO and board managers are committed to this policy as they provide resources and relevant authority to the investigative function, to ensure the fair and prompt investigation and to monitor the performance of the investigative function. The CEO and senior managers are continually reported about the number of complaints and the action taken for the resolution to ensure that policies are not just on papers and are conducted actually and that the management has ensured safeguard against retaliation to employees that they feel safe and encouraged to report any such matter.

The Procedure for Code of Ethics Enforcement

  1. Resolution procedure
  2. Review on the initial level
  3. Remediation offer
  4. Enquiry on the preliminary level
  5. Panel consideration
  6. Council by the council
  7. Feedback and remedial action determination
  8. Appeal
  9. Conflict of interests
  10. Document retention and relevant confidentiality
  11. Applicability of the policy
  12. Ensuring no retaliation

References for Governance, Ethics, and Sustainability

ACM.org (n.d.) ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Retrieved from https://www.acm.org/code-of-ethics/enforcement-procedures

Khadem, M. (2019) CBA faces criminal charges over CommInsure scandal. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-04/cba-faces-criminal-charges-comminsure-scandal/11573790

Stockland.com.au (n.d.) Corporate governance. Retrieved from https://www.stockland.com.au/about-stockland/corporate-governance

Woolsworthgroup.com.au (2019) Our code of conduct. Retrieved from https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/icms_docs/183764_Code_of_Conduct.pdf

Worksafe.qld.gov.au (n.d.) Code of conduct. Workplace Health and Safety Electrical Safety Office Workers' Compensation Regulator. Retrieved from https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/

Dowd, M. (2020) Code of Conduct in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://work.chron.com/code-conduct-workplace-6720.html

Roche.com (n.d.) Discrimination & Harassment. Retrieved from https://code-of-conduct.roche.com/en/discrimination-harassment.html

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