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The Ethics of Effective Government Relations

Abu Dhabi, UAE (December 20, 2017) -There was a time when government relations managers were seen as little more than couriers of “brown envelopes” of cash and other benefits to grease the way to a lucrative concession agreement or licence.  Thankfully, those days are now many years, even decades in the past.  Attitudes to bribery and corruption in the oil and gas have changed, partly as a result of tougher laws and regulations but also because of growing social intolerance of corruption and its impacts.  Most companies now have robust measures in place to ensure that its staff, contractors and suppliers do not engage in unethical practices especially in relation to interactions with governments.  Oil and gas companies throughout the supply chain from super-majors through to specialist suppliers of goods and services are aware of the stringent penalties in the form of fines and prison sentences that can be imposed by authorities.

While the issue of blatant bribery in the form of cash in brown envelopes is black and white, the attitude of societies and governments to ethical issues continues to evolve.  This creates grey complex areas for companies to navigate in their dealings with governments.  In the past 10-15 years, demands have arisen for greater transparency on the part of oil and gas companies, not only in their tax payments, but also in their contracts with governments and their beneficial owners.  There are also growing expectations that oil and gas companies will play an active role in avoiding collusion in the abuse of human rights in the communities where they operate.  Transparency and human rights are just two of the ethical issues that government relations managers now have to address in their dealings with governments.

PetroKnowledge have designed an Effective Government Relations training course that focuses on best practice in managing government relations and strategies to create and build a strong license to operate for your business through a series of case studies and practical exercises including a one day scenario-based business game. 

To find out more about PetroKnowledge, and enroll on one of our training programmes, contact us here.


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