Use of Confidential Information
Like any other asset, confidential information, which includes trade secrets, proprietary information and intellectual property belonging to us, our customers or suppliers, is a valuable part of our business and we are obligated to safeguard it. Our Information Marking and Handling Policy sets out different levels of confidentiality, each with its own rules on how such different levels of information may be stored, copied, circulated, transmitted and destroyed. Confidential information should not be shared with anyone outside Magna unless it is required by law or for an authorized business purpose and should only be shared internally on a “need to know” basis.
Q & A
What can I do to protect our confidential information?
There are many steps we can take to protect confidential information. We should treat confidential records and information with great care and not leave our electronic devices unattended, especially during travel or business events. We should also avoid discussing Magna business in public areas, such as on a crowded elevator or airplane. We must also familiarize ourselves with our information governance policies and guidelines available on MagNET.
Investments and Corporate Opportunities
We must avoid situations where our personal interests come into conflict with Magna’s interests, or situations which give that impression. For example, if we discover business opportunities because of our employment, or through the use of Magna’s property or information, we must not take personal advantage of these opportunities. We must also refrain from using Magna resources for personal gain. We must also never be involved in any activity that puts us in competition with Magna.
Q & A
I work in engineering and during the course of my work, I have come up with a new transmission design that I think could be of interest to a few of our automotive customers. Since I came up with the design, can I market it directly to them?
No, doing so would violate our Code. Any intellectual property we create as part of our jobs belongs to Magna. In addition, any design developed during the course of our employment at Magna, and using company resources, provides Magna with a valuable business opportunity. We must not take personal advantage of these situations without seeking Magna’s approval.
I am overseeing the opening of a new division and am choosing between two countries where it will be located. One of the countries will offer a personal tax break to senior employees (including myself) if we open our division there. What should I do?
This eligibility for a personal tax break gives rise to a conflict of interest. We should not make decisions for Magna that could result in personal benefit. Before making any decision on where to open the division, disclose this conflict in accordance with our Policy on Conflicts of Interest, and await further directions from management.
Self-Dealing and Interacting with Relatives or Friends
Our personal interests and relationships should not interfere with our work responsibilities. Therefore, it is inappropriate for anyone to supervise relatives or close friends, be in a direct reporting relationship with them, or materially influence their performance evaluation or compensation. It is also not appropriate to be in a position to hire, evaluate, provide funding to, or enter into contracts or other business relationships with a relative or close friend or a business or organization in which either we or our relatives or close friends have a significant interest.
Specifically, if our work decisions may be affected, or appear to be affected, by the position or interests of our relatives or close friend, or by any significant interest that we or our relatives or close friends have in another business or organization, we must disclose these situations in accordance with our Policy on Conflicts of Interest. We must also comply with any measures that may be put in place to ensure all such dealings and decisions are made on a fair and transparent basis.
Q & A
I’m a buyer in the purchasing department. My wife was recently hired as the head of sales for one of our suppliers. Is this a conflict of interest?
Yes. Your wife’s new role could affect your business judgment or give others that impression. This conflict should be disclosed in accordance with our Policy on Conflicts of Interest. That way, management can assess the situation and take appropriate measures to manage the conflict. Doing so helps Magna and protects you and your wife from any allegation of improper conduct.
To help Magna succeed, we must devote our full time and attention to our jobs during working hours. Therefore, we may not accept outside commitments that would reduce the time and attention we can devote to our jobs at Magna.
Unless it has been disclosed in accordance with our Policy on Conflicts of Interest and necessary authorizations have been obtained, we are prohibited from accepting paid or unpaid positions that might pose a conflict of interest with Magna or give the impression of such a conflict.
Gifts and Entertainment
Our relationship with all of our business partners must be based on integrity and sound business judgment. As a result, if we give or receive gifts or entertainment (which could be anything of value), we must be careful not to compromise, or appear to compromise, our commitment to fair dealing and to making decisions that benefit Magna.
In our business relationships with customers or suppliers, it is acceptable to give or receive business gifts or entertainment as long as they are reasonable, occasional, and of modest value. Any gift or entertainment that we provide must also be recorded accurately and transparently in our expense reports and Magna’s books and records.
Because of increased legal risks, we must all take special care when dealing with government officials. Offering gifts or entertainment to government officials requires written approval. More information about the necessary approvals, as well as additional information about gifts and entertainment, can be found in our Policy on Gifts & Entertainment.
Q & A
One of our suppliers has offered airfare and accommodations to see my favourite team play in the championship. Is that okay?
No. Our business decisions must always be motivated solely by Magna’s best interests. Accepting this extravagant gift could give the impression that we favour that supplier in future sourcing decisions. We may only accept business gifts and entertainment that are reasonable, occasional, and modest in value. When in doubt, check with Legal or Compliance.
A government auditor who has conducted environmental audits at my division several times over the years is having a child next month. I would like to give him a bottle of whiskey as a present. Would that be permitted?
Giving a gift or entertainment to a government official requires extra caution and pre-approval in accordance with our Policy on Gifts & Entertainment. For more information, consult with Legal or Compliance.
If we have any questions or need more information about our Code of Conduct and Ethics, we can contact Legal or a member of Magna’s Ethics & Legal Compliance team. A list of Compliance team members can be found on magna.com or the Ethics & Legal Compliance page on MagNET.