Newmont’s global ethics and compliance program promotes a culture of integrity by emphasizing personal accountability and responsibility while providing employees the information and tools needed to identify, evaluate and address situations in which ethical conduct is critical.
Our global standards on Anti-Corruption, Conflict of Interest, and Gifts and Entertainment state the minimum requirements for conducting business in an honest and ethical manner and in the best interests of Newmont.
A dedicated team – comprising full-time employees in our corporate office and in Ghana, Peru and Suriname – oversees our global ethics and compliance program, provides training and outreach, and supports other activities to encourage ethical behavior and prevent potential misconduct before it occurs. We also have regional ethics advocates, including one attorney in each region, supporting the program in addition to their other duties. Newmont’s executive leadership team (ELT) serves as the Ethics and Compliance Steering Committee and meets at least twice a year in that capacity.
As part of our commitment against corruption, leaders across the business must certify on a quarterly basis that their respective region maintained effective controls for all aspects of their operations, including exploration activities, and that they are not personally aware of any interaction or payment by Newmont, or on Newmont’s behalf, that would violate our Code of Conduct, policies, standards or applicable laws.
To ensure we identify, assess and manage the risks, including many forms of corruption, present in our global network of suppliers, we conduct quarterly anti-corruption audits of suppliers identified as high risk.
Engagement with government stakeholders in current and potential operating countries is a vital enabler for Newmont’s business growth. We participate in the legislative process to have a constructive dialogue with those who are creating or influencing policies that have a significant impact on our business.
We also participate in the electoral process where appropriate and allowed by law, and, at this time, we only make political contributions in the U.S. Every donation is made in compliance with our Political Contributions Standard, and all applicable federal, state and municipal laws. Contributions are made either directly by the company or by our company-sponsored political action committee called NEWPAC. Employee contributions to NEWPAC are voluntary and kept separately from those made by the Company.
A key element of our political engagement strategy is our membership in trade associations that conduct lobbying activities on behalf of the mining industry or the broader business community. Some associations in the U.S. also may – either directly or through political action committees – provide contributions to political candidates or causes where permitted by law.
We report our political contributions to our Board of Directors on a semi-annual basis and annually on our website.
Engagement and training
We maintain a broad training program that requires all employees and directors to acknowledge our Code of Conduct. Employees with regular computer access at work and employees in managerial and leadership roles must complete online courses on specific topics, and in-person training is made available to all employees to address Code-related issues relevant to their region.
To reinforce the importance of working with integrity, Newmont Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg sends quarterly communications to company leaders on ethics and compliance matters, sharing actual cases involving Code violations, outcomes and lessons learned as well as situations in which employees clearly demonstrated the Company’s values. His messages are supported by monthly presentations from the ethics and compliance team.
We further embedded a culture of integrity into our personnel management practices by including conversations about our company values during performance evaluations and annual goal-setting meetings.
We actively encourage employees to speak up and report any incidents where a possible Code of Conduct violation has occurred. Anyone – including contractors and community members – at any time can anonymously report a concern via the web or by phone using our third-party-run Ethics Solutions Tool (available in English, Spanish and Dutch). We also input into the Ethics Solutions Tool cases with a Code-related component that originated through other channels such as human resources or security. Any matters that have a human rights impact are categorized as such.
On a quarterly basis, we report on the cases that have come into the Ethics Solutions Tool to our ELT and the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee. Substantiated compliance issues lead to some form of action, which may include a recommended process improvement, coaching, formal discipline or termination. Managers are reminded of substantiated outcomes at mid-year and year end so that they can be factored into performance appraisals, thereby potentially affecting remuneration.
During the year, we continued to assess our ethics and compliance program and identify opportunities for improvement. Areas of focus included strengthening our management of corruption risks, implementing stronger controls, engaging and training employees on relevant ethics matters, and conducting prompt, thorough and fair investigations.
We significantly improved the management of commercial and government corruption risk throughout the lifecycle of our supplier relationships with the launch of our Supplier Risk Management program. During the year, we initiated a program to audit suppliers identified as high risk from a corruption perspective. As part of the program, each quarter our ethics and compliance team collaborated with our supply chain organization to identify vendors whose work might pose a corruption risk, and then the ethics and compliance team audited the relationship to determine whether it met our basic contracting requirements for bidding, contracting and vendor lifecycle management, and to evaluate the ethics and compliance practices of the vendor. No significant supplier corruption risks were found; however, the audits did identify opportunities to improve internal processes and also served as an effective, positive engagement tool with suppliers.
Beginning in 2018, leaders across the business certified on a quarterly basis that their respective region maintained effective controls for all aspects of their operations and that no interactions or payments by Newmont, or on Newmont’s behalf, violated our Code of Conduct, policies, standards or applicable laws. The new certification process led to a heightened focus on certain expenditures, and was supported by an expense management optimization effort to improve our cost-related reporting, specifically to enhance tracking of payments and expenses related to government officials and community leaders.
Following a third-party assessment in 2017 that evaluated the effectiveness of our global ethics program, in 2018, we extended the assessment to our regions and operations.
In 2019, we plan to deploy a new online conflict of interest disclosure platform that reduces the need for paper disclosures and consolidates all disclosures, significantly improving our ability to analyze, track and manage any potential conflict of interest.
Newmont’s U.S. political contributions totaled $186,514 in 2018, a significant increase from 2017, reflecting the fact that federal mid-term elections were held and the two states where Newmont operates – Nevada and Colorado – had gubernatorial elections.
In all our jurisdictions, we engaged with government stakeholders on key matters including the following:
- In both Ghana and Australia, we discussed our significant contribution to the national and local economies.
- In the U.S., we met with federal and state officials to discuss numerous legislative and regulatory matters. Most notably, meetings addressed support for Good Samaritan legislation to allow for the cleanup of abandoned mines, and options and reasonable fee structures for the storage and disposal of elemental mercury from mining operations.
- Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg met with Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra, as well as regional government representatives in Cajamarca, to continue a dialog on mining activities and opportunities that benefit communities.
These efforts and discussions will continue in 2019 along with developing relationships with a number of newly elected federal and state officials in the U.S. We will also implement an updated Political Engagement and Contributions Standard to ensure continued adherence to Newmont’s values and all applicable laws.
Engagement and training
At least 30 minutes of in-person Code of Conduct-related training was made available to all employees, and more than 90 percent of our employees participated in sessions during the year. In addition, those with a work-issued computer and email account were required to complete a comprehensive Code of Conduct online training program, and managers at and above a certain job grade were required to complete online training focused on preventing corruption. Participation in both online training programs was 98 percent.
In April, Newmont recognized two employees for outstanding leadership in integrity with the Company’s first-ever “I Work with Integrity” award. An operational leader was recognized for personally delivering Code of Conduct-related training to her entire team, and another employee was recognized for promptly and decisively resolving a potential conflict of interest situation at one of our operations with a regulator, who appeared to be attempting to gain benefit for a family business through the regulator’s oversight authority.
ETHICS MATTERS ADDRESSES/SUBSTANTIATED
|Total substantiated cases||114||102||165||134||215|
|Total matters addressed||237||246||402||352||477|
NATURE OF ETHICS MATTERS OPENED IN 2018
A total of 454 new issues were captured in our Ethics Solutions Tool during the year, and 78 cases were open at the beginning of the year. By year end, 477 of those matters were closed and 55 remained open. Of the cases closed, 65 percent (311) were not substantiated.
Of the cases investigated, the vast majority (63 percent) arose from allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior that often involved issues between employees and their managers. Around 19 percent of the cases arose from internal and external concerns about corruption (including conflicts of interest, commercial and government issues), 11 percent were inquiries, and 4 percent were about environmental, health or safety allegations. The remaining 4 percent were nominations that recognized employees for exemplifying our value of integrity.
Of the 41 percent (215) that were substantiated, 30 percent (65) resulted in a recommended change of business process, and 66 percent (142) resulted in human resources or management actions. These actions included 80 employees being counseled on their actions or behavior, 38 receiving disciplinary action and 24 resigning or being terminated. As of early 2019, 55 cases were still being reviewed by management to decide the final outcome. Cases were closed on average in 53 days.