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Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha by Richard J. Connors

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C.6. F. Compliance Procedures

We must all work together to ensure prompt and consistent action against violations of this Code. In some situations, however, it is difficult to know if a violation has occurred. Because we cannot anticipate every situation that will arise, it is important that we have a way to approach a new question or problem. These are the steps to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have all the facts. In order to reach the right solutions, we must be as informed as possible.

  • Ask yourself: What specifically am I being asked to do? Does it seem unethical or improper? Use your judgment and common sense. If something seems unethical or improper, it probably is.

  • Clarify your responsibility and role. In most situations, there is shared responsibility. Are your colleagues informed? It may help to get others involved and discuss the problem.

  • Discuss the problem with your supervisor. This is the basic guidance for all situations. In many cases, your supervisor will be more knowledgeable about the questions, and he or she will appreciate being consulted as part of the decision-making process.

  • Seek help from Company resources. In rare cases where it would be inappropriate or uncomfortable to discuss an issue with your supervisor, or where you believe your supervisor has given you an inappropriate answer, discuss it locally with your office manager or your human resources manager.

  • You may report ethical violations in confidence without fear of retaliation. If your situation requires ...

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