Ascend; Code of Conduct requires employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As employees and Representatives of the company, they must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
The purpose of the Whistleblower Policy is to enable a person who observes an unethical practice (whether or not a violation of law), to approach a Whistleblower Committee without necessarily informing their supervisors and without revealing their identity, if they choose to do so.
This policy governs reporting and investigation of allegations of suspected improper activities. Employees and others are encouraged to use guidance provided by this policy for reporting all allegations of suspected improper activities. In all instances, Ascend retains the prerogative to determine when circumstances warrant an investigation and, in conformity with this policy and applicable laws and regulations, the appropriate investigative process to be employed.
- Whistleblower : A person or entity disclosing any unethical activity that they have observed. Whistle blowers could be employees, contractors, contractor's employees, clients, vendors, exchange students, internal or external auditors, law enforcement/regulatory agencies or other third parties.
- Whistleblower Committee : The Whistleblower Committee consists of a team of senior Ascend personnel who are tasked to assess independently the concerns raised by the whistle blower. The office of the Whistleblower Committee will be managed by the Whistleblower Custodian.
- Investigation Committee : This team will consist of members nominated by the Whistle blower Custodian to conduct the actual investigation of the concerns raised by the Whistleblower. The size of the Investigation Committee will be decided by the Whistleblower Committee. A minimum of 2 members would be required to investigate the matter.
- Ethical Behavior : Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession including but not restricted to financial impropriety and accounting malpractices.
- Professional behavior : Exhibiting a courteous, conscientious and generally businesslike manner at the workplace that strives to maintain a positive regard to others while avoiding excessive display of deep feeling.
- This policy covers all Ascend group companies and its affiliates, all Ascend suppliers and contractors engaged in rendering the services. The policy applies to the following:
- Ascend employees: Ascend policies apply to all employees of the company.
- The Whistleblower Committee shall resolve any conflicts arising from this Policy.
4. WHAT IS A COMPLIANCE VIOLATION?
Any violation of the Guiding Principles of the Code of Conduct is a compliance violation
All employees are required to familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct and abide by these principles. The Guiding Principles of the Code of Conduct are listed below
- Provide a safe, healthy, tolerant and disciplined work environment that respects individuals and is free from discrimination.
- Create an environment that attracts, develops, and rewards highly effective people and be recognized as one of the best companies to work for
- Follow proper accounting and financial reporting procedures, as well as all generally accepted accounting principles & standards, auditing & internal control issues, laws and regulations for accounting and financial reporting of transactions, estimates and forecasts
- Comply with all the applicable rules and regulations of the country that we operate and with all applicable policies and procedures of Ascend as well as those required by our clients
- Build client's confidence and trust by providing high quality services with honesty and integrityy
- Always maintain a professional relationship with the clients, vendors, service providers and other stakeholders
- Base business decisions and vendor selections on business merit and value, not on personal, family influence or any other considerations
- Protect confidential and proprietary information
- Properly and efficiently use company funds and property
5. REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OF UNETHICAL ACTIVITIES
Any person may report allegations of suspected unethical activities. Knowledge or suspicion of unethical activities may originate from employees, contractors, clients, vendors, internal or external auditors, law enforcement/regulatory agencies or other third parties. Allegations of unethical activities may also be reported anonymously.
Reports of allegations of suspected unethical activities are encouraged to be made in writing to assure a clear understanding of the issues. Such reports should be factual rather than speculative and must contain as much specific information as possible to allow for proper assessment of the nature, extent and urgency of preliminary investigative procedures.
An unethical activity can be reported through any one of the following :
- The report can be submitted to the Whistleblower Committee through any of the channels mentioned below
- Email Complaint: An email complaint can be send to the Whistleblower Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org@ascendtele.com
- Written Complaint: A written complaint can be dropped into the Whistleblower drop box at your location. However, if you do not have a box at your location, you are requested to send an email as mentioned above.
- A report can also be made to the immediate supervisor (in case there is no potential conflict of interest) or made to any other official in Ascend whom the reporting employee can expect to have the responsibility to review the alleged unethical activity.