Ethical Corporate Management
Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles
for Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd.
- All articles adopted by the 5th special meeting of the Company's 6th Board of Directors on December 28, 2010.
- The amendment approved by the 2nd meeting of the Company’s 7th Board of Directors on August 13, 2013.
- Amended by the 9th Board of Directors at the 8th meeting on August 5, 2020.
- Amended by the 9th Board of Directors at the 5th interim meeting on September 28, 2021.
Article 1 (Purpose of enactment and applicable scope)
The Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles ("Principles") is enacted to assist Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. and its affiliated institutions (hereinafter referred to as the “Company") to establish a corporate culture of ethical management and sound development.
The applicable scope of the Principles covers the Company’s subsidiaries, any foundation constituted as a juristic person to which the Company's direct or indirect accumulated contribution of funds exceeds 50% of the total funds received, and other institutions or juridical persons which are substantially controlled by the Company (hereinafter referred to as the "Business Groups").
Article 2 (Prohibition of unethical conducts)
When engaging in commercial activities, directors, managers, employees, and mandataries of the Company or persons having substantial control over the Company (hereinafter referred to as the "substantial controllers") shall not directly or indirectly offer, promise to offer, request or accept any improper benefits, nor commit unethical acts including breach of ethics, illegal acts, or breach of fiduciary duty (hereinafter referred to as the "unethical conduct") for purposes of acquiring or maintaining benefits.
Parties referred to in the preceding paragraph include civil servants, political candidates, political parties or members of political parties, state-run or private-owned businesses or institutions, and directors, supervisors, managers, employees or substantial controllers or other interested parties of the same.
Article 3 (Types of benefits)
"Benefits" mentioned in the Principles means any valuable things, including money, endowments, commissions, positions, services, preferential treatment or rebates of any type or in any name. Benefits received or given occasionally in accordance with accepted social customs and that do not adversely affect specific rights and obligations shall be excluded.
Article 4 (Legal compliance)
The Company shall comply with the Company Act, Securities and Exchange Act, Business Accounting Act, Political Donations Act, Anti-Corruption Act, Government Procurement Act, Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest, TWSE/GTSM-listing related rules, or other laws or regulations regarding commercial activities, as the underlying basic premise to facilitate ethical corporate management.
Article 5 (Policy)
The Company shall abide by the operational philosophies of honesty, transparency and responsibility, base policies on the principle of good faith and obtain approval from the board of directors, and establish good corporate governance and risk control and management mechanism so as to create an operational environment for sustainable development.
Article 6 (Guidelines for conduct)
The Company has established the "Procedures for Ethical Management and Guidelines for Conduct of Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd." (hereinafter referred to as the " Guidelines for Conduct") in order to implement the operational philosophies and policies prescribed in the preceding article, which includes operating procedures, behavior guidelines, and training, etc.
The Guidelines for Conduct established in accordance with the previous paragraph shall comply with relevant laws and regulations of the territory where the Company and its Business Groups are operating.
Article 7 (The scope of the Guidelines for Conduct)
The Company shall analyze and assess on a regular basis business activities within their business scope which are at a higher risk of being involved in unethical conduct, and establish its Guidelines for Conduct accordingly and review their adequacy and effectiveness.
The Company should refer to prevailing domestic and foreign standards or guidance in establishing the “Guidelines for Conduct”, which shall at least include preventive measures against the following:
1. Offering and acceptance of bribes.
2. Illegal political donations.
3. Improper charitable donations or sponsorship.
4. Offering or acceptance of unreasonable presents or hospitality, or other improper benefits.
5. Misappropriation of trade secrets and infringement of trademark rights, patent rights, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights.
6. Engaging in unfair competitive practices.
7. Damage directly or indirectly caused to the rights or interests, health, or safety of consumers or other stakeholders in the course of research and development, procurement, manufacture, provision, or sale of products and services.
Article 8 (Promises and executions)
The Company shall request their directors and senior management to issue a statement of compliance with the ethical management policy and require in the terms of employment that employees comply with such policy.
The Company and its Business Groups shall clearly specify in their rules and external documents and on the company website the ethical corporate management policies and the commitment by the board of directors and senior management on rigorous and thorough implementation of such policies, and shall carry out the policies in internal management and in commercial activities.
The Company shall compile documented information on the ethical management policy, statement, commitment and implementation mentioned in the first and second paragraphs and retain said information properly.
Article 9 (Engaging in commercial activities under ethics)
The Company shall engage in commercial activities in a fair and transparent manner based on the principle of ethical management.
Prior to any commercial transactions, the Company shall take into consideration the legality of their agents, suppliers, clients, or other trading counterparties and whether any of them are involved in unethical conduct, and shall avoid any dealings with persons so involved.
When entering into contracts with their agents, suppliers, clients, or other trading counterparties, the Company shall include in such contracts terms requiring compliance with ethical corporate management policy and that in the event the trading counterparties are involved in unethical conduct, the Company may at any time terminate or rescind the contracts.
Article 10 (Prohibition of offering and acceptance of bribery)
When conducting business, the Company and their directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers, may not directly or indirectly offer, promise to offer, request, or accept any improper benefits in whatever form to or from clients, agents, contractors, suppliers, public servants, or other stakeholders.
Article 11 (Prohibition of offering illegal political donations)
When directly or indirectly offering a donation to political parties or organizations or individuals participating in political activities, the Company and their directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers, shall comply with the Political Donations Act and their own relevant internal operational procedures, and shall not make such donations in exchange for commercial gains or business advantages.
Article 12 (Prohibition of improper charitable donation or sponsorship)
When making or offering donations and sponsorship, the Company and their directors, managers, employees , mandataries, and substantial controllers shall comply with relevant laws and regulations and internal operational procedures, and shall not surreptitiously engage in bribery.
Article 13 (Prohibition of unreasonable presents, hospitality or other improper benefits)
The Company and their directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers shall not directly or indirectly offer or accept any unreasonable presents, hospitality or other improper benefits to establish business relationship or influence commercial transactions.
Article 14 (Prohibition of infringement of intellectual property rights)
The Company and their directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers shall observe applicable laws and regulations, the Company's internal operational procedures, and contractual provisions concerning intellectual property, and may not use, disclose, dispose, or damage intellectual property or otherwise infringe intellectual property rights without the prior consent of the intellectual property rights holder.
Article 15 (Prohibition of unfair competition)
The Company shall engage in business activities in accordance with applicable competition laws and regulations, and may not fix prices, make rigged bids, establish output restrictions or quotas, or share or divide markets by allocating customers, suppliers, territories, or lines of commerce.
Article 16 (Prevent products or services from harming stakeholders)
In the course of research and development, procurement, make, provision, or sale of products and services, the Company and their directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers shall observe applicable laws and regulations and international standards to ensure the transparency of information about, and safety of, their products and services. They shall also adopt and publish a policy on the protection of the rights and interests of consumers or other stakeholders, and carry out the policy in their operations, with a view to preventing their products and services from directly or indirectly damaging the rights and interests, health, and safety of consumers or other stakeholders. Where there are sufficient facts to determine that the Company's products or services are likely to pose any hazard to the safety and health of consumers or other stakeholders, the Company shall, in principle, recall those products or suspend the services immediately.
Article 17 (Organization and responsibility)
The directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers of the Company shall exercise the due care of good administrators to urge the Company to prevent unethical conduct, always review the results of the preventive measures and continually make adjustments so as to ensure thorough implementation of its ethical corporate management policies.
To achieve sound ethical corporate management, the Company shall allocate resources and personnel and assign Organization and Talent Development Department in assisting the board of directors and the management to formulate, supervise and implement ethical corporate management policies and guidelines for conduct, mainly in charge of the following matters, and report to the board of directors regularly (at least once a year)：
1. Assisting in incorporating ethics and moral values into the Company's business strategy and adopting appropriate prevention measures against corruption and malfeasance to ensure ethical management in compliance with the requirements of laws and regulations.
2. Analyzing and assessing on a regular basis the risk of involvement in unethical conduct within the business scope, adopting accordingly programs to prevent unethical conduct, and setting out in each program the standard operating procedures and conduct guidelines with respect to the Company's operations and business.
3. Planning the internal organization, structure, and allocation of responsibilities and setting up check-and-balance mechanisms for mutual supervision of the business activities within the business scope which are possibly at a higher risk for unethical conduct.
4. Promoting and coordinating awareness and educational activities with respect to ethics policy.
5. Developing a whistle-blowing system and ensuring its operating effectiveness.
6. Assisting the board of directors and management in auditing and assessing whether the prevention measures taken for the purpose of implementing ethical management are effectively operating, and preparing reports on the regular assessment of compliance with ethical management in operating procedures.
Article 18 (Legal compliance for business operation)
Directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers of the Company shall comply with laws and regulations and the prevention programs when conducting business.
Article 19 (Interest avoidance)
The Company shall adopt policies for preventing conflicts of interest to identify, monitor, and manage risks possibly resulting from unethical conduct, and shall also offer appropriate means for directors, managers, and other stakeholders attending or present at board meetings to voluntarily explain whether their interests would potentially conflict with those of the Company.
When a proposal at a given board of directors meeting concerns the personal interest of, or the interest of the juristic person represented by, any of the directors, managers, and other stakeholders attending or present at board meetings of the Company, the concerned person shall state the important aspects of the relationship of interest at the given board meeting. If his or her participation is likely to prejudice the interest of the Company, the concerned person may not participate in discussion of or voting on the proposal and shall recuse himself or herself from the discussion or the voting, and may not exercise voting rights as proxy for another director. The directors shall practice self-discipline and must not support one another in improper dealings.
The directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers shall not take advantage of their positions or influence in the Company to obtain improper benefits for themselves, their spouses, parents, children or any other person.
Article 20 (Accounting and internal control)
The Company shall establish effective accounting systems and internal control systems for business activities which may be at a higher risk of being involved in unethical conduct, not have under-the-table accounts or maintain secret accounts, and conduct reviews from time to time so as to ensure that the design and enforcement of the systems will continue to be effective.
The internal audit unit of the Company shall, based on the results of assessment of the risk of involvement in unethical conduct, devise relevant audit plans including auditees, audit scope, audit items, audit frequency, etc., and examine accordingly the compliance with the guidelines for conduct. The internal audit unit may engage a certified public accountant to carry out the audit, and may engage professionals to assist if necessary.
The results of examination in the preceding paragraph shall be reported to senior management and the ethical management dedicated unit and put down in writing in the form of an audit report to be submitted to the board of directors.
Article 21 (Procedures and guidelines of conduct)
The Company shall establish “Guidelines for Conduct” in accordance with Article 6 hereof to guide directors, managers, employees, and substantial controllers on how to conduct business. The procedures and guidelines should at least contain the following matters:
1. Standards for determining whether improper benefits have been offered or accepted.
2. Procedures for offering legitimate political donations.
3. Procedures and the standard rates for offering charitable donations or sponsorship.
4. Rules for avoiding work-related conflicts of interests and how they should be reported and handled.
5. Rules for keeping confidential trade secrets and sensitive business information obtained in the ordinary course of business.
6. Regulations and procedures for dealing with suppliers, clients and business transaction counterparties suspected of unethical conduct.
7. Handling procedures for violations of these Principles.
8. Disciplinary measures on offenders.
Article 22 (Education training and review)
The chairperson, general manager, or senior management of the Company shall communicate the importance of corporate ethics to its directors, employees, and mandataries on a regular basis.
The Company shall periodically organize training and awareness programs for directors, managers, employees, mandataries, and substantial controllers and invite the Company’s commercial transaction counterparties so they understand the Company’s determination to implement ethical corporate management, the related policies, prevention programs and the consequences of committing unethical conduct.
The Company shall apply the policies of ethical corporate management when creating its employee performance appraisal system and human resource policies to establish a clear and effective reward and discipline system.
Article 23 (Whistleblowing system)
The Company shall adopt a concrete whistle-blowing system, and should be implemented in accordance with the principle of segregation of power for the investigation of violations of the Company’s employees and the guidelines for handling employee appeals. . The whistle-blowing system shall include at least the following:
1. An independent mailbox or hotline, either internally established and publicly announced or provided by an independent external institution, to allow internal and external personnel of the Company to submit reports.
2. Dedicated personnel or unit appointed to handle the whistle-blowing system. Any tip involving a director or senior management shall be reported to the independent directors or the Audit Committee. Categories of reported misconduct shall be delineated and standard operating procedures for the investigation of each shall be adopted.
3. Follow-up measures to be adopted depending on the severity of the circumstances after investigations of cases reported are completed. Where necessary, a case shall be reported to the competent authority or referred to the judicial authority.
4. Documentation of case acceptance, investigation processes, investigation results, and relevant documents.
5. Confidentiality of the identity of whistle-blowers and the content of reported cases, and an undertaking regarding anonymous reporting.
6. Measures for protecting whistle-blowers from inappropriate disciplinary actions due to their whistle-blowing.
7. Whistle-blowing incentive measures.
When material misconduct or likelihood of material impairment to the Company comes to their awareness upon investigation, the dedicated personnel or unit handling the whistle-blowing system shall immediately prepare a report and notify the independent directors or the Audit Committee in written form.
Article 24(Disciplinary and appeal system)
The Company shall adopt and publish a well-defined disciplinary and appeal system for handling violations of the ethical corporate management principles, and shall make immediate disclosure on the Company's internal website of the title and name of the violator, the date and details of the violation, and the actions taken in response.
Article 25(Disclosure of information)
The Company shall collect quantitative data about the promotion of ethical corporate management and continuously analyze and assess the effectiveness of the promotion of ethical corporate management policy, and shall also disclose the measures taken for implementing ethical corporate management, the status of implementation, the foregoing quantitative data, and the effectiveness of promotion on the Company websites, annual reports, and prospectuses, and shall disclose its ethical corporate management best practice principles on the Market Observation Post System.
Article 26 (Review and revision of the ethical corporate management policies and measures)
The Company shall at all times monitor the development of relevant local and international regulations concerning ethical corporate management and encourage their directors, managers, and employees to make suggestions, based on which the adopted ethical corporate management policies and measures taken will be reviewed and improved with a view to achieving better implementation of ethical corporate management.
Article 27 (Enforcement)
The ethical corporate management best practice principles of the Company shall be implemented after the board of directors grants the approval, and shall be sent to report at a shareholders' meeting. The same procedure shall be followed when the principles have been amended.
When the Company submits its ethical corporate management best practice principles to the board of directors for discussion pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the board of directors shall take into full consideration each independent director's opinions. Any objections or reservations of any independent director shall be recorded in the minutes of the board of directors meeting. An independent director that cannot attend the board meeting in person to express objections or reservations shall provide a written opinion before the board meeting, unless there is some legitimate reason to do otherwise, and the opinion shall be specified in the minutes of the board of directors meeting.
Ethical management implementation status and promotion results of CHT
- CHT has designated the Organization and Talent Development Department as the unit responsible for promoting ethical management, which reports to the board of directors on a regular basis (at least once a year). Such responsible unit reported its implementation status to the board of directors on November 4, 2022.
- In order to improve the management of ethical business practices, in April 2022, the chairman of Chunghwa Telecom appointed the chief administrative officer (CAO) as the person in charge of supervising and offering guidance on business ethics and corruption issues. In 2022, two meetings were held to listen to and discuss reports.
- Relevant implementation status in 2022:
- Education and training
All employees, including part-time employees and contractors, are required to receive training courses related to CHT's ethical business principles and the Code of Conduct. We plan a series of training courses on laws, audits and risk management, which include basic legal knowledge, the Code of Conduct, Ethical the Corporate Management Best Practice Principles, operating procedures and other relevant regulations for employees to study.
- Legal awareness and real-life examples
CHT's responsible unit implements education for all employees, organizes documents on ethical management, the Code of Conduct and material internal information and communicates noteworthy matters to employees through the digital learning platform and case sharing official documents.
- Annual test
In order to improve business operations, every year, we promote corporate ethical management standards and conduct relevant tests, adopt a philosophy of integrity and ethics, strengthen corporate governance and risk management and build a corporate culture that pushes forth integrity. The scope of the test covers the Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles, the Code of Conduct and the obligation to maintain trade secrets, among other topics.
- Regular inspection
We have formulated an Anti-Fraud Execution Plan and set up a dedicated department to monitor and track its execution, as well as ensure the operation of the overall mechanism through the internal control system and independent audits by the audit unit to jointly manage and prevent the occurrence of unethical conduct.
- Whistleblower system and whistleblower protection
(1) CHT has a robust whistleblower system in place to encourage internal and external personnel to report dishonesty or misconduct in the company and has assigned the Organization and Talent Development Department as the unit responsible for accepting reports.
(2) The Communication Channels section on the official website provides effective communication channels for employees, shareholders, stakeholders and outsiders.
(3) There is a protection system for whistleblowers. The identity of whistleblowers and content of reports are kept confidential. Whistleblowers are assured that they will be protected from mistreatment or retaliation for submitting reports.
1. From September 12 to October 7, 2022, the digital learning course "Comprehensive awareness training on the Code of Conduct and Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles" was implemented for all employees and an online comprehensive test was conducted. The score of 100 points means completion. Except for those who did not take the test for valid reasons, the rest completed the test. The total number of testees was 19,596 people, the completion rate was 100% and the total training hours were 19,596 hours.
2. All employees are required to sign a declaration of commitment to abide by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Corporate Management Best Practice Principles. By 2022, 100% of employees had signed such declaration.
3. In order to implement the Code of Conduct, we obtained an external third-party declaration of conformity through the rigorous inspection process of SGS-Taiwan.
4. By the end of October in 2022, 49 external whistleblowing reports and 15 employee whistleblowing reports were accepted, totaling 64 reports, and no major violations of ethical management were involved.