BT tests out online business ethics advice scheme

BT is piloting an online training system to help staff handle ethical
dilemmas and improve business transparency.

Starting from May the training package will be available on the BT employee
intranet, and will provide guidance on business ethics surrounding bribery and
corruption, fair competition, and conflict of interest.

The pilot is expected to last six months. It could then be rolled out to
BT’s 100,000 employees.

Any slip in business employee conduct can result in massive damage to a
business’s reputation, according to John Drummond, chief executive of Integrity
Works, which is supplying the training system.

Lack of awareness, rather than malice or corruption, often caused lapses in
conduct, he said.

"The key is to make sure that possible problems are minimised. It is
impossible to legislate for every contingency, and there is a huge down side
for somebody being involved in misconduct."

Tom Dowdall, head of corporate policies at BT, said: "We already have a
system in place to promote healthy ethical decision-making and this is another
way of approaching it. We do not want to be complacent. We are trying to stop
people embarrassing themselves and embarrassing the company.

"For example, if a supplier were to offer a BT employee a free trip to
look at a product, that would not be allowed."

Online training could be a cost-effective way of keeping business ethics up
to scratch, he added.

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