Addressing concerns about our work
Any concern associated with how we conduct our business or with the behaviour of the people who work for us is something we take very seriously. We have a number of channels for staff and our stakeholders to let us know about any potential ethical, financial or workplace issues.
Contact information for our anonymous and confidential Integrity Helpline and our Investigations Committee is provided on our company website. In addition to these formal channels, Cenovus staff can communicate concerns to their leaders or human resources, and residents in the communities near our operations can raise concerns with their local community relations representative.
We follow up on all inquiries, either through the Investigations Committee or other appropriate channels across the company. The Investigations Committee looks into violations relating to compliance with laws and regulations, conflicts of interest, fraud, confidentiality and disclosure, and other potential breaches of our policies and practices. The outcome of an investigation may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or service agreements. The activities of the Investigations Committee are reported to the Leadership Team and to the Safety, Environment and Responsibility and Audit Committees of the Board of Directors.
In 2016, the Investigations Committee initiated 18 new investigations, which included issues of potential harassment, conflict of interest, fraud, misuse of assets and ethics. Sixteen of the complaints are closed and two remain ongoing.
We encourage people to contact the Integrity Helpline so we can address any concerns. Cenovus also has whistleblower protection to ensure that retaliation against individuals (including employees, contractors or third parties) who report violations of Cenovus’s Code of Business Conduct & Ethics will not be tolerated. In 2016, we received 81 contacts to the Integrity Helpline, which was down from 2015. The reduced number of investigations and calls is likely due to reduced staff levels and reduced capital work compared with previous years.
Enhancing the Integrity Helpline
In early 2017, we began using a third-party provider to operate our Integrity Helpline in order to improve confidentiality and anonymity by providing an independent, externally-hosted portal where concerns can be reported. Confidential information is documented and stored on the third party’s externally-hosted software. Callers’ identities are not disclosed to Cenovus unless requested by the complainant.
We believe that because of the confidential and anonymous nature of the Integrity Helpline, and the fact that we are providing additional training initiatives, staff will feel confident reporting their concerns. Enhanced reporting tools also provide Cenovus with the ability to analyze helpline data and benchmark against other companies.