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Our international profile

We want everyone to trust that we will do business and trade properly, honestly and lawfully at all times.

We do business in many countries, and have a big impact on our world. We want it to be beneficial. So as well as following the many laws and regulations covering international operations, we rely on each other to do what's right.

To work with governments they must be able to trust us. One essential basis for that trust is our promise that we will inform them of any breach of agreements we have with them. No matter how small, and whether it's deliberate or accidental, let us know if something has happened that shouldn't have.

Special Agreements

In several countries we have particular arrangements with governments. Each will set their own conditions, with which we always comply. For instance, in the US we have adopted a set of rules based on our Special Security Agreement (SSA) that address proper handling of classified and other sensitive US government information.  These require that our US colleagues get permission before meeting with Serco colleagues from outside of North America and follow particular rules once that permission has been granted. For example, they must keep a record of all phone and in-person contacts with these colleagues.

If you are not sure if you are covered by Special Security Agreements where you work, ask your manager.

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For more information download:

Business Conduct and Ethics Group Standard

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What you can expect from us:

We will comply with the laws and regulations of the countries, states, provinces and municipalities in which we operate. However, we will not work in places where these require us to break Our Code or international law.

Imports, Exports and Other Trade Restrictions

We will comply with national and international restrictions on trade and exports/imports and all legitimate sanctions and boycotts. We do not comply with illegal sanctions, and will not engage in prohibited or restrictive trade practices. Sometimes this can result in a legal conflict, in which case you should always seek legal advice by referring the matter through your division's General Counsel or Commercial Lead for a resolution. We will comply with legitimate special trade restrictions. For example, in some countries there are laws covering the transfer of equipment, software, services or technology to a foreign country or foreign person. These can include potential transfers to other parts of Serco, and can even apply to any foreign nationals working on our team.

Our Work for Governments

Our work for governments sometimes also requires us to make special arrangements that ensure national security and interests are safeguarded. We always comply with any legitimate requirement or agreement of this kind.

From time to time we will be asked to cooperate with internal or government inspections or investigations. We always cooperate, and always comply with the law.

We expect you to:

  • Comply with the laws and regulations of the country you are working in.
  • Check and comply with trade and export/import rules wherever you are working.
  • Never undertake any export or import without legal review.
  • Seek legal or commercial guidance before sharing information or data about customers or proposal submissions with colleagues from other parts of Serco. This includes information from sources such as a Request For Proposal (RFP) or a prequalification bid for a customer.
  • Follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a Special Security Agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do government business.
  • Seek legal or commercial guidance whenever you have a question about special restrictions or agreements, or you're not sure how to implement the rules.
  • Always report any violation of the rules.

We do business in many countries, and have a big impact on our world. We want it to be beneficial. So as well as following the many laws and regulations covering international operations, we rely on each other to do what's right.

We want everyone to trust that we will do business and trade properly, honestly and lawfully at all times.

A foreign colleague accidentally discloses something he shouldn't about a Government Contract. There's no one else present and you both agree to pretend it never happened.

Is that OK?

1. Yes, no harm done and no one will know

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No, we need to report this just in case

Right answer because:

We want everyone to trust that we will do business and trade properly, honestly and lawfully at all times.

Of course mistakes do happen. But when they do, we need to report them and record them properly every time. That ensures that people continue to believe in our integrity.

We must always do this, and our ability to continue working for Governments around the world absolutely depends on it. That's why our Code is very specific about our duty to report mistakes:

"To work with Governments they must be able to trust us. One of the keys to that trust is that we will inform them of any breach of agreements we have with them. No matter how small, and whether it's deliberate or accidental, let us know if something has happened that shouldn't have."

Always report any violation of the rules.

3. In this case, reporting it will just create unnecessary problems. Leave it be

Wrong. Please try again.

There's a real emergency and you have to get specialised tools imported for a project at one. You don't think there's any problem with the trade rules, but there's no time to check.

You either go ahead now, or it will be too late.

What do you do?

1. Go ahead. This is an emergency and sometimes you just have to ignore the rules.

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Try to ask a senior manager. If not, I'd make the call and do it.

Wrong. Please try again.

3. There's too much at stake if this does break the rules. I'd have to say no.

Right answer because:

It can be very tempting sometimes to just risk breaking a few rules, especially when there are urgent business reasons for doing so.

But there's a real problem with this. Because while your motives may be of the best, you could possibly get yourself and Serco into serious trouble that would make the emergency you're facing right now seem insignificant.

It is a very serious offence to break trade rules, and the need to be secure against international terrorism makes this an especially sensitive area of national and international law. It could even result in us being unable to trade in a particular country or region. That's why our Code is very clear on this:

To be able to continue to do business around the world, we must all follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement.

"Follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do government business."

"We will comply with national and international restrictions on Trade and Exports/Imports and all legitimate sanctions and boycotts."

"We will comply with legitimate special trade restrictions. For example, in some countries there are laws covering the transfer of equipment, software, services or technology to a foreign country or foreign person."

To be able to continue to do business around the world, we must all follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do Government business.

In this case, you could try to see if someone more senior is able to get the necessary import permissions transacted in time. But you should not go ahead unless everything is in place.

"At Serco we champion Human Rights."

You've been working on a Government project for months. It's going really well.

Then you realise that because of their nationality two of your team may be breaching the terms of the special security agreement Serco has signed.

What's the best to do?

1. If they're not vital, quietly move them off the project

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Telling the client at this stage will just cause trouble. Keep it quiet

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Explain what's happened to the customer at once

Right answer because:

Our work for Governments absolutely depends on the way we always honour the requirements made of us. Governments must be able to trust that we will do this at all times.

This kind of work is often defined around "Special Agreements". As our Code explains, these are often especially sensitive about who has access to information.

For instance, in the U.S. our Serco colleagues must get permission before meeting with Serco colleagues from outside of North America, and follow particular rules once that permission has been granted – like keeping a record of all phone and in-person contacts with these colleagues.

Of course mistakes can happen. But if they do, we must report them as soon as we become aware of them. That's why our Code says:

"To work with Governments they must be able to trust us. One of the keys to that trust is that we will inform them of any breach of agreements we have with them. No matter how small, and whether it's deliberate or accidental, let us know if something has happened that shouldn't have."

So in this case, you absolutely must explain what has happened.

Never try to cover up a mistake. Always report any violation of the rules.

You have been asked by a colleague in an overseas division to provide information on some existing Government contracts for a pre-qualification document he has to submit later today.

What should you do?

1. Tell him that you need to seek guidance before you can do anything, and check with your legal or commercial team to see if you can

Right answer because:

There are very strict rules that tell us what we can and cannot do when we work with Government contracts. In almost all cases there are restrictions on who has access to information on specific Government contracts. As our Code explains, "these can include potential transfers to other parts of Serco, and can even apply to any foreign nationals working on our team."

However, there may be circumstances in which it is permissible to share certain information. You must always check to see if this is the case. That is why our Code says,

"Seek legal or commercial guidance before sharing information or data about customers or proposal submissions with colleagues from other parts of Serco. This includes information from sources such as a Request For Proposal (RFP) or a prequalification bid for a customer."

We need to follow the rules at all times where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do Government business.

 

2. Provide it. He's part of the Serco family and this will help us to win new business

Wrong. please try again.

3. Refuse. It's not allowed

Wrong. Please try again.

Dilemma 1

A foreign colleague accidentally discloses something he shouldn't about a Government Contract. There's no one else present and you both agree to pretend it never happened.

Is that OK?

1. Yes, no harm done and no one will know

Wrong. Please try again.

2. No, we need to report this just in case

Right answer because:

We want everyone to trust that we will do business and trade properly, honestly and lawfully at all times.

Of course mistakes do happen. But when they do, we need to report them and record them properly every time. That ensures that people continue to believe in our integrity.

We must always do this, and our ability to continue working for Governments around the world absolutely depends on it. That's why our Code is very specific about our duty to report mistakes:

"To work with Governments they must be able to trust us. One of the keys to that trust is that we will inform them of any breach of agreements we have with them. No matter how small, and whether it's deliberate or accidental, let us know if something has happened that shouldn't have."

Always report any violation of the rules.

3. In this case, reporting it will just create unnecessary problems. Leave it be

Wrong. Please try again.

Dilemma 2

There's a real emergency and you have to get specialised tools imported for a project at one. You don't think there's any problem with the trade rules, but there's no time to check.

You either go ahead now, or it will be too late.

What do you do?

1. Go ahead. This is an emergency and sometimes you just have to ignore the rules.

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Try to ask a senior manager. If not, I'd make the call and do it.

Wrong. Please try again.

3. There's too much at stake if this does break the rules. I'd have to say no.

Right answer because:

It can be very tempting sometimes to just risk breaking a few rules, especially when there are urgent business reasons for doing so.

But there's a real problem with this. Because while your motives may be of the best, you could possibly get yourself and Serco into serious trouble that would make the emergency you're facing right now seem insignificant.

It is a very serious offence to break trade rules, and the need to be secure against international terrorism makes this an especially sensitive area of national and international law. It could even result in us being unable to trade in a particular country or region. That's why our Code is very clear on this:

To be able to continue to do business around the world, we must all follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement.

"Follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do government business."

"We will comply with national and international restrictions on Trade and Exports/Imports and all legitimate sanctions and boycotts."

"We will comply with legitimate special trade restrictions. For example, in some countries there are laws covering the transfer of equipment, software, services or technology to a foreign country or foreign person."

To be able to continue to do business around the world, we must all follow the rules where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do Government business.

In this case, you could try to see if someone more senior is able to get the necessary import permissions transacted in time. But you should not go ahead unless everything is in place.

"At Serco we champion Human Rights."

Dilemma 3

You've been working on a Government project for months. It's going really well.

Then you realise that because of their nationality two of your team may be breaching the terms of the special security agreement Serco has signed.

What's the best to do?

1. If they're not vital, quietly move them off the project

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Telling the client at this stage will just cause trouble. Keep it quiet

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Explain what's happened to the customer at once

Right answer because:

Our work for Governments absolutely depends on the way we always honour the requirements made of us. Governments must be able to trust that we will do this at all times.

This kind of work is often defined around "Special Agreements". As our Code explains, these are often especially sensitive about who has access to information.

For instance, in the U.S. our Serco colleagues must get permission before meeting with Serco colleagues from outside of North America, and follow particular rules once that permission has been granted – like keeping a record of all phone and in-person contacts with these colleagues.

Of course mistakes can happen. But if they do, we must report them as soon as we become aware of them. That's why our Code says:

"To work with Governments they must be able to trust us. One of the keys to that trust is that we will inform them of any breach of agreements we have with them. No matter how small, and whether it's deliberate or accidental, let us know if something has happened that shouldn't have."

So in this case, you absolutely must explain what has happened.

Never try to cover up a mistake. Always report any violation of the rules.

Dilemma 4

You have been asked by a colleague in an overseas division to provide information on some existing Government contracts for a pre-qualification document he has to submit later today.

What should you do?

1. Tell him that you need to seek guidance before you can do anything, and check with your legal or commercial team to see if you can

Right answer because:

There are very strict rules that tell us what we can and cannot do when we work with Government contracts. In almost all cases there are restrictions on who has access to information on specific Government contracts. As our Code explains, "these can include potential transfers to other parts of Serco, and can even apply to any foreign nationals working on our team."

However, there may be circumstances in which it is permissible to share certain information. You must always check to see if this is the case. That is why our Code says,

"Seek legal or commercial guidance before sharing information or data about customers or proposal submissions with colleagues from other parts of Serco. This includes information from sources such as a Request For Proposal (RFP) or a prequalification bid for a customer."

We need to follow the rules at all times where there are special trade restrictions or a special security agreement. This is essential for our continued ability to do Government business.

 

2. Provide it. He's part of the Serco family and this will help us to win new business

Wrong. please try again.

3. Refuse. It's not allowed

Wrong. Please try again.