Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
The Company’s directors, officers and employees are required to comply with the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. The purpose of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is to deter wrongdoing and to promote, among other things, honest and ethical conduct and to ensure to the greatest possible extent that the Company’s business is conducted in a consistently legal and ethical manner.
Our Responsibilities—Personal Integrity, Corporate Values and Ethical Principles
S7Clear Corporation (the “S7Clear”) continued growth, profitability and prosperity is linked to our employees’ ability to make decisions that are consistent with S7Clear’s core values and ethical principles. We are a S7Clear committed to:
• Passion for Excellence—Strive to achieve the best in everything we do.
• Integrity—Hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. To interact in an open, honest positive manner and be guided by what is right.
• Teamwork—Work together with trust, openness, honesty and respect.
• Inspired People—Build a culture where people are motivated, engaged, valued and growing. Our people make the difference and are the essence of S7Clear Corporation.
Our core values support and guide our leadership in establishing the strategic direction of the S7Clear. Sound judgment shall be exercised in the service of our reputation as a business leader, employer of choice, and good corporate citizen. Our employees and representatives are expected to conduct their business in accordance with these values and with our Standards of Business Ethics and Conduct (“The Standards”). S7Clear Corporation’s reputation is based on the personal integrity of each of its employees and those with whom we do business. We strive to be compliant with laws, regulations, and policies; we endeavor to conduct ourselves in a manner beyond reproach. Actions speak louder than words.
This information is not a set of rules. It is a resource to be used in making decisions that will affect us all. It provides guidance in assessing situations. As always, if you are faced with a situation in which the proper path is unclear—think and ask before you act. Only with all of us working together can we continue to achieve our vision.
Our Responsibilities to Our Stakeholders
Integrity is at the heart of who we are as individuals. Integrity is at the heart of S7Clear Systems as well.
—To Each Other
We owe each other honesty, respect, and fair treatment. We value the unique contributions of each employee.
—To Our Business Partners, Clients, and End-User Customers
Our business partners, clients, and end-user customers trust the quality and value of our service offerings. We depend on strong relationships with our business partners and clients to provide us with continued opportunities to grow our business.
—To Our Shareholders
Our shareholders trust us to responsibly use all our assets to make our business grow.
—To Our Community
When we give back to the community, we instill pride in our employees and gain the respect of the citizens in our community.
The Ethics Committee and Compliance
The S7Clear Ethics Committee is dedicated to giving employees the support and advice they need to act according to The Standards and S7Clears’ ethical principles. Appointed by S7Clear’s Executive Team, we act as a resource, providing the information, tools, and strategies to assist employees in making ethical business decisions.
The Ethics Committee has a charter to:
• Help employees use the S7Clear’s ethical principles in their decision-making processes
• Provide guidance for employees who have questions about business ethics and compliance issues
• Support employees who may be facing ethical challenges in the workplace
• Interpret policies
• Provide easily accessible information on The Standards, policies, and procedures
• Foster an atmosphere of trust and open communication where employees feel comfortable coming forward and talking about issues
As such, we expect employees to act proactively, raising concerns about ethical issues, and reporting any conduct believed to be a violation of The Standards, a S7Clear policy or procedure, or a government law or regulation. Members of S7Clear’s management team are expected to maintain an “open-door” policy regarding employee questions, and to support any employee who comes forward to discuss an issue or report a potential violation.
Reporting Concerns/Getting Advice
The best starting point for resolving concerns, reporting potential violations, or getting advice on ethics-related issues is usually your manager—assisted by organizations including Human Resources and Finance. You may also contact the through S7Clear Email. You may email the Committee to request guidance or make a good-faith report about misconduct or a violation of The Standards, an S7Clear policy or procedure, or a government law or regulation. All complaints should include sufficient information to determine the specific issue, the period of time during which the violation or misconduct occurred, and how to contact you for additional information (if you so choose). All reports are taken seriously. Each allegation is investigated and, if substantiated, resolved through appropriate corrective action and/or discipline. If you choose to identify yourself, you will be provided with feedback when the Ethics Committee has completed its review.
Every reported complaint will be investigated appropriately, promptly, and with as much confidentiality as possible.
Retaliation is Prohibited
S7Clear prohibits retaliation or retribution against any employee for cooperating in an investigation or for making a complaint. Retaliation or retribution for cooperating in or filing a complaint is illegal and is grounds for immediate termination. If you feel you have been retaliated against, you should contact Human Resources or the Ethics Committee.
When you are confronted with an ethical dilemma, it is your responsibility to Take Action. The decision-making model outlined below can help you assess whether or not a particular action is “the right thing to do.” Keep in mind that not taking action is itself an action that can have serious consequences for S7Clear and its employees.
Remember that work stress and too-rapid decision-making can often impact ethics. If you feel that you are under pressure to make a decision that you aren’t yet comfortable with, take a few minutes and run through the Action model.
Action Decision-Making Model
• Have you taken responsibility for your share of the problem? It’s ok to acknowledge mistakes.
• Do you have all the information you need?
• Has the information been clarified?
Consider Our Core Values
• Does it demonstrate respect for our People?
• Does it demonstrate Excellence?
• Does the action reflect Integrity?
• Does it promote Teamwork?
Trust Your Judgment
• Is the action fair?
• Does it feel comfortable?
• Is it the “right” thing to do?
• Could it be shared publicly?
• Can you look yourself in the mirror and say that you acted with integrity?
Identify Impact on Stakeholders
• Does the action have a negative or positive impact on our stakeholders?
Obey the Rules
• Does the action comply with:
• The law?
• S7Clear policy?
• Regulatory agency requirements?
• Customer requirements?
• Outsource partner or client requirements?
Notify Appropriate Persons
• Have communications been open and honest?
• Have potential problems been disclosed?
Set an Example—Comply with the Rule of Law and Our Core Values
S7Clear Systems operates within the bounds of the laws, rules, and regulations that are relevant to our business. The rule of law is fundamental to civil society, to the democratic process, and to the conduct of business in a dynamic global marketplace. However, today’s market demands that companies meet higher standards—simply obeying the law is not enough. To achieve higher standards of behavior, we need to make business decisions that are aligned with our core values of respect for our people, passion for excellence, integrity and teamwork.
The first and foremost obligation of responsible corporate citizenship is to obey the laws of the countries and communities in which S7Clear Systems does business. Any case of noncompliance with applicable law may subject the violating employee to disciplinary action. The fact that in some countries certain standards of conduct are legally prohibited, but these prohibitions are not enforced in practice, or their violation is not subject to public criticism or censure, will not excuse an illegal action by a S7Clear Systems employee.
S7Clear Systems is a good corporate citizen not just because we comply with the law, but because our employees are also expected to act according to our core values. We are committed to going beyond mere compliance—beyond simply “doing things right.” We aspire to “do the right thing” by being faithful to and executing the principles and guidelines cited in The Standards and to act in ways that exceed the minimum standards set by law. Each of us is personally responsible for meeting this obligation.
Each S7Clear Systems employee is responsible for displaying integrity. Business integrity is hard to define, but everybody knows it when they see it. Among other things, it means honesty, and obeying the law. It means treating those with whom we work with fairness and respect. And it means being accountable and taking responsibility for actions and consequences.
It is also the responsibility of each S7Clear Systems employee to comply with The Standards, and to take action or report to management when aware of criminal acts or acts in violation of the Standards. Employees who fail to comply with The Standards, including not reporting known unethical activities, will be subject to disciplinary action.
Individuals who report an ethical or legal concern in good faith will never be subject to retaliation for reporting. Any employee responsible for retaliation against an individual who in good faith reports a known or suspected violation will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination. Additionally, employees who knowingly submit false reports of ethical or legal concerns or violations will also be subject to disciplinary action.
Managers are expected to exemplify the highest standards of ethical business conduct and encourage discussion of the ethical and legal implications of business decisions. Managers have a responsibility to create and sustain a work environment in which employees, consultants and contract workers know that ethical and legal behavior is expected of them.
This responsibility includes ensuring that the Standards are communicated to all those working for the manager. Managers are also responsible for ensuring that employees who need to know additional information in order to do their jobs, for example regarding environmental health and safety, antitrust or international business practices, receive appropriate policies and training.
Managers must be diligent in looking for indications that are unethical, or where illegal conduct has occurred, and take appropriate and consistent action to address any situations that seem to be in conflict with the law or The Standards. Managers also need to be careful not to hire or delegate authority to any individual whom they have reason to believe may engage in unlawful conduct or unethical activities.
Failure to comply with this core policy shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Respect Others—Value Personal Dignity and Differences
We respect the personal dignity of each individual, honor diversity, and are intolerant of violence, discrimination, harassment, or retribution in our workplace. We strive to be an employer of choice committed to creating, managing, leveraging, and valuing diversity. We work hard to create a positive work environment where each individual is appreciated, proud, satisfied, and adds value to the S7Clear. We practice equal opportunity without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran or marital status. Our employment and personnel decisions are based on individual merit and S7Clear requirements. Retaliation is not tolerated.
Our goal is to deal fairly and equitably with our coworkers, suppliers, outsource partners, and customers. All S7Clear employees are expected to treat others with dignity and respect. S7Clear managers at all levels have a special obligation to encourage and cultivate a safe and secure workplace in which employees and other stakeholders can raise issues or concerns without fear of retaliation.
Human Rights and the Law
S7Clear complies with employment laws in every country in which it operates, and supports fundamental human rights for all people.
We will not employ children or forced labor. We will not allow physical punishment or abuse. We will respect the right of employees to exercise their lawful right of free association. S7Clear enthusiastically supports laws prohibiting unjustified discrimination based on a person’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual preference, marital status or other protected characteristics.
Fair Treatment and Opportunity
S7Clear Systems is firmly committed to the fair treatment and compensation of employees. All applicants and employees are judged by their qualifications, demonstrated skills and achievements. We believe in recognizing and rewarding excellent performance and offering opportunities for advancement through training and promotions.
We believe that differences should be valued. Every employee deserves the opportunity to work and grow in an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, and that supports work/life flexibility. At S7Clear Systems, diversity will be accepted throughout the organization. In exchange, we will benefit from the creativity, varied perspective, innovation, and energy that result from a diverse workforce.
S7Clear Corporation employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from intimidation, harassment and abuse. At S7Clear, we are committed to providing a work environment free of unlawful harassment of any kind. Verbal or physical conduct by any employee that harasses another or disrupts another’s work performance or creates an intimidating, offensive, abusive, or hostile work environment will not be tolerated. Our anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of the S7Clear and prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee.
In addition, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature are specifically prohibited. Employees are encouraged to help each other by speaking out when a co-worker’s conduct makes them or others uncomfortable, and are responsible for promptly reporting harassment when it occurs.
S7Clear Systems has internal complaint procedures to immediately address and undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation. If an employee believes that he/she has been unlawfully harassed, they should submit a written complaint to their manager, the CEO, COO, or Human Resources as soon as possible after the incident. If it is determined that unlawful harassment has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken. Any employee determined by S7Clear Systems to be responsible for unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Promote a Healthy and Safe Workplace—Make a Better World
When we protect the health and safety of our coworkers, our community, and the environment, we demonstrate respect and contribute to a positive work environment. Without respect for health, safety, and the environment, we put our coworkers, our employees, our clients, our customers and the public at risk.
S7Clear Systems is committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, the public, our customers, suppliers, and visitors. Our policy is to maintain a drug-free, secure workplace where all employees are attentive to hazard prevention and the avoidance of accidents and injuries. Posted safety regulations, statistics, and warnings are guides to help us stay out of harm’s way—observed accidents, injuries, or hazards should be immediately reported to S7Clear management.
To support this commitment, each employee is responsible for observing the safety and health rules and practices that apply to his or her job. Employees are also responsible for taking precautions necessary to protect themselves and their co-workers, including immediately reporting accidents, injuries, and unsafe practices or conditions. Appropriate and timely action will be taken to correct known unsafe conditions.
Build Trust—Keep Accurate, Complete S7Clear Books and Records
Our reputation depends on the confidence others have in us, which is partially based on the accuracy of our written records and verbal statements. By demonstrating honesty in our accounting and labor-charging practices, we generate trust with our stakeholders and enhance our reputation. When we fail to record financial information and time accurately, we severely damage our reputation; risk losing business, and decrease customer and shareholder confidence.
S7Clear Systems will only use S7Clear funds or assets for purposes that can be disclosed and recorded promptly and accurately in our books and records. We will not make false entries for any reason, nor will we alter documents or sign documents when we lack the proper authority to do so. We will not make or approve payments on behalf of the S7Clear if they will not be used, or might be used, for something other than the stated purpose. S7Clear Corporation financial books, records, and statements shall properly document all assets and liabilities, shall accurately reflect all transactions of the S7Clear, and shall be retained in accordance with S7Clear Corporation record retention policies and all relevant laws and regulations. No employee, agent, representative, client or outsource partner, or customer shall falsify a record. The S7Clear follows Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and complies with Financial Accounting Standards Board regulations to provide a uniform basis for measuring, managing, and reporting S7Clear operations.
Accuracy of Business Records
Honest and accurate recording and reporting of information is extremely important. Investors count on S7Clear Systems to provide accurate information about its businesses and to make responsible business decisions based on reliable records. Employees throughout S7Clear Systems are responsible for properly recording many kinds of information.
It is wrong, for example, to make false claims on an expense report or time sheet, to falsify performance metrics, to record false sales or record them early, to understate or overstate known liabilities and assets, or to defer recording items that should be expensed. No entry may be made that intentionally hides or disguises the true nature of any transaction.
All financial books, records and accounts must accurately reflect transactions and events, and conform both to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and to S7Clear Corporation system of internal controls. Undisclosed or unrecorded funds, assets or liabilities are not allowed. Employees uncertain about the validity of an entry or process are expected to consult with the Corporate Controller or Vice President, Finance.
Creating and Retaining Business Records
Almost all business records—including email and computer records—may become subject to public disclosure in the course of litigation or governmental investigations. Records are also often obtained by outside parties or the media. Employees should therefore attempt to be as clear, concise, truthful and accurate as possible when recording any information. Avoid exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork, legal conclusions, and derogatory characterizations of people and their motives.
Documents should only be destroyed in accordance with the applicable document retention policy, and never in response to or in anticipation of an investigation or audit. Contact the Ethics Committee if there is any doubt about the appropriateness of document destruction.
Keep Your Commitments—Negotiate, Perform, and Market in Good Faith
Our success in the marketplace is based on the quality of our services, the perception that our services provide value to our clients, and the competence and honesty of our sales presentations. S7Clear Systems prospers only to the degree that we serve our clients well—and treat them, our coworkers, our customers, our vendors and our competitors fairly and honestly. When we fail to negotiate, perform, or market in good faith, we seriously damage our reputation and lose the loyalty of our clients.
Fair competition is the hallmark of our relationships—our business dealings will be frank and respectful, and we strive to generate mutually advantageous relationships and satisfactory outcomes.
S7Clear Systems believes in doing business with those suppliers, contractors, partners, agents, sales representatives, distributors and consultants who embrace and demonstrate high standards of ethical business behavior. S7Clear Systems will not knowingly use suppliers who operate in violation of applicable law or regulation, including local, environmental, employment or safety laws.
Marketing, Negotiations, and Contract Execution
We are committed to the truthful and accurate communication of information about our services. Promotional materials will be honest and factual, not misleading or deceptive. S7Clear Systems employees are expected to execute S7Clear agreements in an ethical and conscientious manner—and always in accordance with our contractual obligations. We will always obtain proper approvals before deviating from a contract or other agreement.
All purchasing decisions must be made based on the best value received by S7Clear Systems. Employees should take care that personal or family relationships not influence or appear to influence objective business decisions. Obtaining competitive bids, verifying quality and service claims on a regular basis and confirming the financial and legal condition of the supplier are all important steps in good purchasing decisions. Agreements should be written, and clearly set forth the services or products to be provided, the basis for earning payment, and the applicable rate or fee. The amount must not be excessive in light of industry practice and must be commensurate with the services provided. S7Clear Systems will respect the confidential information of our suppliers.
Cost and Pricing Data
As a S7Clear that may provide services to the United States Government, we must be especially vigilant in ensuring that we negotiate our contracts fairly and truthfully. In some cases, as with the Truth in Negotiations Act in the United States, we are required to disclose all cost or pricing data that supports our proposals (even if we choose not to use that data in our proposals). To this end, we will make no false claims or seek to misrepresent relevant information. Examples of cost and pricing data include supplier quotes; nonrecurring costs; information on changes in production methods and in production or purchasing volume; data supporting projections of business prospects and objectives and related operations costs; unit cost trends; make-or-buy decisions; estimated resources to attain business goals; information on management decisions that could significantly bear on costs; and actual costs on past similar jobs, including work in process.
Every day, thousands of individual tasks are completed successfully that meet or exceed our clients’ expectations and fulfill the S7Clear’s contractual obligations. Quality at S7Clear Systems means doing the job right, on time, and always to the satisfaction of the client. Quality does not come from an “after-the-fact” repair or rework job—it is a behavior that results in doing our job right the first time, with concern for the highest ethical standards and personal integrity.
Act Responsibly—Disclose and Resolve Potential Conflicts of Interest
Integrity in a business relationship means that all participants are working together for the common good, and are not making decisions based on self-interest. When we act with integrity, we earn trust and build long-term client and customer relationships. When we act, or appear to be acting, in our own self-interest, we lose trust and damage our reputation.
Conflicts of Interest
Shareholders of S7Clear Systems expect that business decisions are made in the best interest of the S7Clear. Actions must be based on sound business judgment, and not motivated by personal interest or gain. Any situation that creates or appears to create a conflict of interest between personal interests and the interests of S7Clear Systems must be avoided. Potential conflict of interest situations must be reported to an employee’s manager and to the Ethics Committee.
S7Clear Systems expects that our business will be conducted free from any actual or potential conflict that might arise when one’s loyalty is split between personal interests and those of the S7Clear. Judgment can be affected in any transaction or relationship where an individual might find that S7Clear Corporation interest competes with his or her own. S7Clear Systems wants loyalty to come easily, and we will work together to resolve disclosed conflicts
in a mutually satisfactory manner. Our clients, customers and suppliers can expect to be dealt with fairly and impartially, free from any conflicting interests.
S7Clear Systems employees have a duty to avoid financial, business, or other relationships that might interfere with this commitment. Each of us will scrupulously avoid even the appearance of a conflict between personal interests and those of the S7Clear in matters of importance to S7Clear Systems business, and we expect those with whom we interact to support us in this endeavor.
Family Members and Close Personal Relationships
A conflict of interest may arise when doing business with or competing with organizations that employ or are partially owned by family members or close personal friends. Family members include spouse, children, parents and siblings.
Employees may not own, either directly or indirectly, a substantial interest in any business entity that does or seeks to do business with, or is in competition with S7Clear Systems, without written approval of the COO. As a guide, “substantial interest” includes the ownership by an employee or family member of more than 5% of a S7Clear’s outstanding securities or that represents more than 5% of the total assets of the employee or family member. Employees are also prohibited from taking for themselves business or investment opportunities that are discovered through the use of our property, information or position. This includes directly or indirectly buying, leasing or otherwise acquiring rights to any property or materials if they believe that S7Clear Systems may also be interested in pursuing such opportunity.
You must disclose any matter that casts doubt on your ability to act objectively and in S7Clear Systems best interest. Employees, representatives, and agents of the S7Clear who may have an actual or potential conflict should report all pertinent details in writing to their manager and the Ethics Committee.
Any of the following situations could present a conflict of interest and should be disclosed:
• Employment by a competitor; regardless of the nature of the employment, while employed by S7Clear Systems. Dual employment may also create time management issues—S7Clear Systems is the primary employer in all such circumstances.
• Placement of business with a firm in which an employee or close family member has a substantial ownership or management interest.
• Ownership of, or substantial interest in, a S7Clear, which is a competitor or a supplier to S7Clear Systems.
• Acting independently as a consultant to a S7Clear Systems customer or supplier.
• Using S7Clear assets, intellectual property, or proprietary interests for personal gain.
• Acceptance of anything of value—such as gifts of more than a nominal value, discounts, or compensation—from an individual or entity that does or seeks to do business with S7Clear Systems.
• Hiring relatives to work directly for you at S7Clear Systems, especially when you have control or influence over their work assignments, compensation, or promotional opportunities.
Act with Integrity – Stay Clear of Improper Business Courtesies
To maintain trust in our business relationships, we must always act with integrity. We must steer clear of giving or receiving gifts that are intended to influence, or appear to influence, business decisions. When we accept or give such gifts, it can undermine customer relationships, hurt our reputation, and put the S7Clear in legal jeopardy.
In many industries and countries, gifts and entertainment are used to strengthen business relationships. S7Clear Systems recognizes that gifts, gratuities, and other business courtesies may occasionally be appropriate in building and maintaining business relationships with clients, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Gifts and entertainment should further the business interests of S7Clear Systems and not be lavish or in excess of the generally accepted business practices of one’s industry. However, our employees, representatives, and agents must avoid even the perception of favorable treatment or the appearance of impropriety when offering or accepting any item of value in conducting the S7Clear’s business. Throughout the world, one principle is common and clear: No gift, favor, or entertainment should be accepted or provided if it will obligate or appear to obligate the recipient.
Requesting or soliciting personal gifts, favors, entertainment, or services is unacceptable. Accepting gifts of cash or cash equivalents is also always unacceptable. Additionally, employees may not exploit their position to solicit vendors, including financial institutions, to provide individual preferential treatment in pricing, terms, or loans.
When considering whether to accept or offer a gift, gratuity, or other business courtesy, S7Clear Systems employees are expected to use moderation and prudent judgment. Although specific policies and procedures must be your guide, begin by assuring yourself that any offer you would make or courtesy that you would accept would leave you feeling comfortable if known by your manager, coworker, family member, or the public. If you are a buyer, influence buying, or are involved in procurement transactions in any way (e.g. determine specifications, evaluate bids, etc.), you must refrain from offering or accepting business courtesies that could be perceived as affecting your objectivity or influencing your decisions. If the “right thing to do” is not obvious, seek guidance from your manager, or the Ethics Committee.
Gifts, Gratuities, and Other Business Courtesies
Generally, our employees should limit themselves to accepting gifts or entertainment of nominal or insignificant value ($20 or less), in accordance with current IRS guidelines. When offering a business courtesy, it must be consistent with acceptable marketplace practices, not lavish or extravagant, and not violate the recipient organization’s own rules of standards of conduct.
Government Gift Policies
Government employees are subject to varied and complex rules, often prohibiting them from accepting anything of value unless specifically provided for in relevant statutes or regulations. These rules flow down to prime contractors and higher-tier subcontractors who are conducting the Government’s business, so it is important to remember that even commercial customers could be subject to government regulations in such circumstances.
Laws and regulations, such as the Anti-Kickback Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the United States, have been created to ensure that business decisions are free from unfair influence. Bribes and other corrupt offers not only violate S7Clear Systems policy; they are illegal—subjecting both S7Clear Systems and the individual to civil and criminal penalties. When dealing with government customers or officials, whether they are domestic or international, we must be especially mindful as these laws and regulations have been put in place to protect the public’s interests. Any offer of money or gifts intended to influence a business decision should be reported to your manager or the Ethics Committee.
Recipients of prohibited gifts or favors should let management know and return the gift with a letter explaining S7Clear Corporation policy. If a gift is perishable or impractical to return, management should first attempt to donate it to charity or, alternatively, distribute it to employees, with a letter of explanation to the donor from the originally intended recipient.
Focus on Global Responsibility—Our Reputation Extends Across Borders
S7Clear Systems could be expanding globally in the future. Success in any global business transaction depends on our compliance with country-specific constraints and conditions, and sensitivity to local customs. Laws, regulations, and conventions governing business relationships vary from country to country. S7Clear Systems obligation to comply with U.S. law and regulation does not end, however, when we, or our services, exit the United States, nor does our commitment to treat our stakeholders with concern and respect.
We have great responsibilities in any country where we may do business. Being a responsible corporate citizen means being sensitive to the people who live in varied global communities. It requires that we know and comply with the laws, regulations, and customs of each host country and community in which we conduct business. Finally, being a good corporate citizen means that we conduct the S7Clear’s business not as a “foreigner” but rather as part of the fabric of that host nation and/or community in which we live and work. S7Clear Systems recognizes that we will be welcome only as long as we make a positive contribution in each of these host nations.
Be Responsible to Our Shareholders—Don’t Trade on “Inside” Information
S7Clear Corporation success in the marketplace requires the trust and confidence of the investment community. Achieving this trust requires that we act with integrity when trading public securities, following federal and state securities laws. When we succumb to temptation and trade on “inside” information, stock prices are affected, often with a negative impact on shareholders.
Federal and state securities laws prevent investors who possess material information (information not readily available to all current and potential investors) from using that information to buy or sell publicly traded securities. Securities include common stocks, bonds, puts and calls, options, futures, straddles, and other financial instruments. Material information is that which reasonably can be expected to affect the market value of securities or to influence investor decisions with respect to securities transactions. Such information includes, but is not limited to, financial and key business data; merger, acquisition, or divestiture discussions; award or cancellation of a major contract; changes in key management; forecasts of unanticipated financial results; significant litigation; and gain or loss of a substantial customer or supplier.
S7Clear Systems employees will comply fully with federal and state securities laws and be alert to the laws of other countries when making personal investments. In particular, we comply with those laws and regulations relating to the disclosure of material corporate information and “insider” trading. These laws provide for substantial civil and criminal penalties for individuals found to have violated them and may bear on the ability of the S7Clear to publicly trade its shares and other financial instruments.
Insider trading generally involves buying or selling securities while in possession of information not available to the public in order to obtain a personal trading benefit. Likewise, most stock-tipping violations involve the disclosure of inside information, often to a relative, colleague, or friend, to obtain an indirect personal benefit by enabling the recipient to buy or sell securities on the basis of such information. An “insider” includes not only directors and officers of the S7Clear, but anyone who possesses material information that has not been disclosed to the general public.
S7Clear Corporation employees in possession of, or with access to, material, nonpublic information gained through their work at S7Clear Systems may not use such information to trade in S7Clear Systems securities—or the securities of another S7Clear (suppliers, vendors, clients, customers, etc.) to which the information pertains, in accordance with S7Clear’s Insider Trading Policy. You may not engage in any other action to take advantage of, or pass on to others, material information prior to its release to the public at large and for a reasonable period of time thereafter. Except for properly authorized S7Clear disclosures, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of material S7Clear information. You must refer all outside inquiries about S7Clear Systems, whether from the media, a government agency, or otherwise, to the appropriate S7Clear Systems Vice President in charge of external communications.
If you have any questions about compliance with securities laws and regulations, you should contact the Ethics Committee, but here are some simple rules to remember:
Don’t trade on information unavailable to the public.
Don’t pass information along to others that give them an advantage in the financial marketplace.
Protect Sensitive Information—Assets Worthy of Care
One of S7Clear Corporation most valuable assets is information. We are contracted with our clients to maintain the security of their customers’ information. Like all other assets, information that is not generally disclosed and is helpful to the S7Clear, client S7Clear, (or would be to competitors) must be protected. Some examples of the areas that offer S7Clear Systems a competitive advantage include: client and customer databases, trade secrets, detailed sales and profit figures, new product or marketing plans, service offering ideas or information and information about potential acquisitions, divestitures and investments.
Safeguard confidential information by keeping it secure, limiting access to those who have a need to know in order to do their job, disposing of proprietary documents in secure containers and avoiding discussion of confidential information in public areas, for example on planes, elevators and mobile phones. The obligation to preserve S7Clear Corporation confidential information is ongoing, even after employment ends.
S7Clear Systems employees will protect the S7Clear’s intellectual property, and act responsibly with the sensitive information of clients, competitors, customers, and other stakeholders. Each employee and those that are granted access to such sensitive information (including S7Clear private, competition sensitive, and proprietary information) are obligated to protect and maintain its confidentiality and are prohibited from disclosing it unless authorized by designated S7Clear officials. This sensitive information also includes bid prices, competitor pricing, or technical data, or proposal evaluations. Sensitive information from other companies (or proprietary information)—whether marked with a restrictive legend or unmarked—may only be used for the purpose(s) authorized by the owner S7Clear.
S7Clear Systems employees will not use improper means to seek proprietary information about a competitor—especially theft, illegal entry, electronic eavesdropping, or surveillance. We will not misrepresent ourselves, our positions, or our circumstances to persuade another to release information (by posing as a customer, for example), nor will we commission a third party to do so. Similarly, we will be careful not to transfer outside the S7Clear confidential electronic mail messages or any message intended for internal use only. We will respect our coworkers’ personal privacy and protect private personnel information from those inside or outside S7Clear who have no need to know. We trade on trust and our reputation for integrity. Devious tactics that undermine the confidence others have in us do not follow our ethical principles.
Care for S7Clear Assets—Respect Our Resources
Effective use of S7Clear resources is critical to our bottom line. When we use S7Clear resources wisely, we demonstrate our efficiency. When we waste S7Clear resources, we increase S7Clear costs and reduce productivity.
All employees are entrusted with numerous S7Clear assets, and have a special responsibility to protect them. This includes not only cash and other financial assets, but also assets like office equipment, inventory, computer networks and supplies.
S7Clear Systems commits to our shareholders and clients that our employees and partners will demonstrate good judgment and discretion when utilizing S7Clear or client-owned resources. Such resources include computers, telephones, Internet access, electronic mail (email) tools, voice mail, reproduction equipment, printers, facsimile systems, office supplies and facilities. Likewise, we will exercise prudence in our expenditures, pursuing best value and return on our investments.
S7Clear computers, printers or networks may only be used in accordance with S7Clear policy, and may never be used to access, receive or transmit material that others would find offensive. Unauthorized copying of software, tapes, books and other legally protected work is a misuse of assets and may expose the S7Clear to legal liability.
Any act by a S7Clear Systems employee that involves theft, fraud, embezzlement, or misappropriation of any property is prohibited and will be grounds for immediate termination.
Employees shall use S7Clear or customer-owned assets first and foremost for business purposes and to advance the S7Clear’s strategic objectives. However, occasional limited personal use may occur when it does not compromise S7Clear Corporation interests. Each of us is responsible for safeguarding these assets—never borrowing or removing them from S7Clear premises without proper authorization and always being mindful not to deplete their value, add significant cost for the S7Clear, or use them in a manner that adversely affects the S7Clear’s reputation.
When using the S7Clear’s assets for personal reasons, follow these guidelines:
• Do not use S7Clear Systems assets in support of a personal business, consulting effort, or similar private venture, or to support the business of another S7Clear or firm, outside fund raising activity, political activity, or lobbying.
• Limit time spent to a reasonable duration and frequency—always incidental to your workday and never charged to the S7Clear or client. Use may not interfere with, or adversely affect, your job performance or that of any other person or organizational requirement.
• Do not use S7Clear Systems assets to support any illegal or other purpose that could cause embarrassment to S7Clear Systems or otherwise adversely affect its interests.
• Do not use S7Clear Systems assets to be disruptive or offensive (e.g., involving sexually explicit materials, or materials that are discriminatory, hateful, or threatening) to others.
• Do not sell, loan, give away, or dispose of S7Clear Systems property without proper authorization.
• When unsure of what constitutes appropriate use of S7Clear Corporation assets, consult with your manager or the Ethics committee.
Demonstrate Citizenship—Engage in Community and Political Activities
When we give back to the community and participate appropriately in the political process, we improve our standing in the community and gain respect. When we aren’t involved, we alienate our neighbors and miss a valuable opportunity to strengthen our marketplace relationships.
Our employees recognize the benefits afforded personally, to their communities, and to S7Clear Systems when they are involved in civic affairs and the political process. S7Clear Systems strongly encourages each of its employees to become actively involved in the life of the community by sponsoring and participating in initiatives for the betterment of the quality of life. No one in the S7Clear, however, may pressure another employee to contribute to or participate in charitable organizations. Voluntary personal contributions to candidates, parties of employee choice and civic organizations are encouraged and are consistent with S7Clear Corporation commitment to citizenship and community involvement. Employees must recognize, however, that their involvement and participation must be on an individual basis, on their own time and at their own expense.
S7Clear Systems respects the right of each of its employees to participate in the political process and to engage in political activities of his or her choosing. While involved in their personal civic and political affairs, however, employees must at all times make clear that their views and actions are their own, and not those of S7Clear Systems. Employees may not use S7Clear Systems resources to support their personal choice of political parties, causes, or candidates.
U.S. law generally prohibits corporate contributions of any kind to a candidate, political party or political committee in connection with a U.S. federal election. Moreover, it is the policy of S7Clear Systems not to make financial or in kind political contributions, even when permitted by law.
Lobbying activity on behalf of the interests of S7Clear Systems is permissible, but highly regulated by law. Employees who communicate with government employees and officials on issues that affect S7Clear Systems must contact the COO to ensure that such activities fully comply with the law and that S7Clear Corporation lobbying efforts are coordinated.
Outside the U.S., S7Clear Systems will honor local laws and applicable U.S. laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Generally speaking, the FCPA prohibits S7Clear Systems from directly or indirectly offering, promising to pay or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to foreign government officials, parties, or candidates for the purpose of influencing the acts or decisions of foreign officials. Not all payments to government officials are illegal, but FCPA rules are complex. The COO must be consulted in advance of any payment to a foreign official.
Promote Fair Trade and Free Enterprise—Boycotts and Price Fixing Erode Public Trust
Maintaining a level playing field in the course of doing business fosters fair play, promotes healthy competition and contributes to keeping the global marketplace dynamic and robust. When a S7Clear has an unfair advantage in the marketplace, competition is stifled and customers are negatively affected.
S7Clear Systems promotes fair trade and free enterprise. Many of the countries in which S7Clear Systems could operate in have enacted antitrust laws that prohibit unlawful “restraint of trade” and our S7Clear rigorously observes these states and regulations. Although these laws will vary from country to country, the antitrust laws of the United States and the European Union are representative of typical statutes. Generally, such laws prohibit restrictive trade agreements and/or practices that may reduce competition without providing beneficial effects to consumers. Such agreements and/or practices violate both public policy and S7Clear Systems policy.
Prohibited “restraint of trade” practices that violate antitrust laws generally include:
• Agreements and understandings among competitors to fix or control prices
• Boycotts of specified suppliers or customers
• Efforts to misrepresent, disparage, or harass competitors
• Coordinating with competitors to allocate customers and/or territories
• Limitations on the production or sale of products or product lines for anticompetitive purposes
• Contracts or other arrangements that involve exclusive dealing
• Tie-in sales or other restrictive agreements with suppliers and customers
• Price discrimination
• Other restrictive terms of sale as between customers
U.S. law prohibits U.S. firms and persons (and their controlled foreign subsidiaries) from complying with foreign countries’ boycotts against countries friendly to the United States, and from providing information concerning business relationships with boycotted countries.
S7Clear Systems shall not participate in any foreign economic boycott not sanctioned by the U.S. Government, and will not provide information concerning business relationships with boycotted countries. S7Clear Systems must report any direct or indirect request to participate in an unsanctioned boycott or forward prohibited boycott-related information to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
S7Clear Systems employees shall not engage in any discussion with representatives of other companies, agencies, or governments regarding possible “restraint of trade” or anti-boycott activities. You must report to the Ethics Committee and the COO any such discussion initiated by any client or potential client. Violations of U.S. antitrust and anti-boycott laws or regulations can subject both the S7Clear and the employee to severe criminal and civil penalties and fines.