an organisation one finds a vast number of unwritten rules. The unwritten
rules in one area often contradict the unwritten rules in another area.
There are also often gaps in the rules and in many cases they contradict
the wishes of senior management or even the law.
formal policies and procedures helps ensure that all people in your
organisation do the right thing, do it consistently and have a resource to
look at if they donít know what the right thing is. Policies and
procedures help you with quality control and if anything does go wrong
help ensure that the organisationís position is defensible to the
public, the media and the courts.
Criminal Code Amendment (Bribery of
Foreign Public Officials) Act 1999 makes it a crime to bribe foreign
public officials. The penalties include imprisonment for up to ten years
and corporations may be liable for the acts of their employees, agents or
an appropriate compliance program will help organisations prevent breaches
of the law and help protect themselves if any breaches do occur. A policy
is an essential part of the compliance program.
can help you draft a policy and establish procedures that fit your
organisation and are practical for the real world.
does your organisation deal with competition and competitors? Are you sure
that all of your people are acting legally and ethically? There are a
number of legal requirements in this area. Breaches can result in negative
publicity as well as serious action by the courts.
can help you draft a policy and establish procedures that give you the
assurance that you need.
may come from a number of sources, both internal and external. People
making complaints want to know that they have been listened to, that the
organisation is looking into their complaint and that action will be
can help you draft the policies and establish procedures that give you the
assurance that you need that these issues are being addressed.
is important that people working for your organisation can be relied on to
put your organisationís interests ahead of their own. They need to be
impartial in their work and if they have a conflict of interest the
impartiality will often be questioned. In some cases even their integrity
may be questioned. In order to protect both the individuals and the
organisation you should have a policy that explains conflicts of interests
and spells out the respective duties and actions.
can help you draft the policies and procedures that will help protect both
the individuals and the organisation in this often grey area.
organisations have lost out on significant funds through inappropriate
practices, fraud and corruption in the disposal of surplus materials and
waste. Having the appropriate policies and procedures can help reduce the
risks of improper practices and increase your profits. We can help you
draft those policies and procedures.
Organisations are made up of a diversity of people and a policy may be appropriate to reflect the respect and appropriate treatment of this diversity. Non harassment issues are also usually dealt with in this policy.
equality of employment is, in many situations, a legal requirement and is
generally insisted on by tribunals, the media, and the public.
Infringements may be costly in terms of the specific legal actions and the
ensuing bad publicity and negative staff sentiment.
can assist you to draft the policies and procedures that are appropriate
to help prevent the negative consequences and help ensure a fair and
harmonious work environment.
There are many legal and security dangers to organisations through the use of corporate emails. A policy dealing with key practices will help reduce the potential liabilities. The policy should deal with issues such as the application of any laws, the employersí rights to access emails, protocols for sending emails, rules about attachments, opening attachments received, handling spamming, passing on emails, etc.
Code of Conduct sets out the ethical precepts of your organisation. There
may be ethical issues that need more consideration and explanation than is
appropriate for your Code. Procedures may also be needed to translate the
ethical precepts into everyday practice. We can help you write those
policies and procedures.
What should someone do if they find a fraud? What should they do if they suspect it but are not sure if it is fraud? What about cases of bribery or payoffs? Should the police be called? A policy should answer these and other questions to give guidance to staff about your attitude to fraud and dishonesty and what people should do if they are confronted with it.
is the standard for accepting gifts and benefits? On the one extreme some
organisations say that no gifts or benefits may be accepted, technically
not even a free cup of coffee. On the other extreme some organisations
allow the acceptance of gifts and benefits of any size so long as they do
not break the law, including free overseas trips for the personís family
or free cars. Most organisations set the standard somewhere between those
addition to setting the standard some organisations have a framework that
accounts for substantial gifts as property of the organisation and a gifts
grievances and allegations of harassment, discrimination and other
improper conduct should be dealt with to enhance staff morale. There
should be a policy explaining to staff what they should do if the feel
aggrieved and what your organisation will do in response. There should be
procedures that ensure staff are able to make their grievances known, that
their grievances are examined by the appropriate people and that any
remedial action is taken.
are able to help you establish the appropriate policy and procedures.
have a duty to their people to take reasonable steps to reduce the risks
of harassment and to deal with allegations of harassment promptly and
seriously. Where organisations have failed to meet these standards they
have been sued, suffered poor staff morale and negative media attention.
is important for organisations to have the appropriate policies and
procedures for preventing and dealing with harassment.
to an organisationís information systems can often be very costly and
even cripple the organisation. There have been numerous cases of the
damage being caused as a result of people writing down their passwords,
letting others see them type in their password, not switch off the
computer when leaving their desk, lose laptops with remote access
capabilities, allow viruses in which cripple networks, and so on. Many of
these were the result of people not realising the implications of their
information systems usage policy covers issues such as passwords, access,
handling laptops, backups, handling computer storage devices, etc.
and international legislation covers personal information collected by the
public sector as well as some aspects of the private sector. Besides the
legal requirements people expect their personal information to be kept
private. Confidential information also often has a significant commercial
value and needs to be protected.
that may be covered in an information policy are the collection,
protection and release of information. We can assist you to write the
policy and procedures to help ensure that your confidential information as
well as personal information collected by your organisation is protected
and treated appropriately.
of the Internet is becoming increasingly widespread. Internet usage
creates a number of issues for organisations. For example is it acceptable
for staff to spend time surfing the net where this is not related to their
work? What about paedophilia, racial vilification, and pornography sites?
What is acceptable or unacceptable to email to fellow staff or customers?
Is it okay for staff to use the Internet to run a business on the side?
Does the organisation have the right to access personal emails going
through its computers?
having standards is likely to lead to disputes, conflict and poor morale
as well as unforeseen legal liabilities. The standards should therefore be
set as to what is acceptable or unacceptable.
is generally impractical to have the police do your investigations for
you. They are overstretched and under resourced, have different priorities
and investigate only criminal matters. The result is your matters may not
be investigated by them at all or only after a long delay. However if you
conduct your own investigations you need to ensure that available evidence
is not destroyed, that evidence is not rendered inadmissible to a court,
that people are not slandered or libeled, that peopleís rights are not
transgressed and so on.
are able to provide investigation procedures to help maximise the benefits
from conducting investigations while reducing the risk.
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Australian and overseas jurisdictions have created legislation dealing
with privacy. There are often serious criminal and commercial consequences
for breaching the legislation. People expect their personal information to
be treated appropriately and the media, public and others tend to react
negatively when privacy rights are abused.
can assist you with the policies and procedures that will help protect you
from privacy breaches.
many organisations most of the purchasing used to be undertaken by a
centralised purchasing unit. Many of the purchasing activities have now
been decentralised and distributed. The result is people untrained and
inexperienced in purchasing undertaking this important activity. They
would often benefit from the guidance provided by policies and procedures.
are generally unhappy working in an area in which they consider unethical
or illegal activities to be occurring. Giving them an avenue for reporting
those activities shows that you are serious about maintaining an ethical
work environment. The policy or procedures should generally cover what may
be reported, who it should be reported to, what will happen with reported
items, what protections are given to those making reports, etc.
can help you draft the reporting policies or procedures as well as the
procedures to be followed in dealing with reports that are received.
is often used where the organisation is spending or receiving large
amounts of money or where probity is a high priority. Tendering is
therefore a high risk activity. Not only must it be done well and be above
board, but it must also be seen to be above board. If people do not
believe that their tender proposal or bid will receive fair consideration
they will not bother submitting a genuine bid or any bid. Perceptions of
probity are therefore important.
policies and procedures give guidance to staff involved in these
activities, and assurance to those submitting tender proposals that their
bids will be fairly treated.
it acceptable for staff to use organisational resources for their own
purposes? Is it okay for them to use computers and equipment to run their
own private business? Is it okay to borrow tools on a weekend? Is it a
problem if they use the telephones for private local calls? What about
interstate of international calls? What private motor vehicle use is
acceptable? These are just a few of the questions that a policy dealing
with the use of resources can answer.