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Interactions with the Government

We are obligated to know the applicable laws and ethical standards of a government with which we deal. These laws and standards may be more rigorous than those that apply to our non-government customers and suppliers. In general, these laws are intended to assure accurate, timely and complete disclosure to the government, and that interactions with the government are conducted in an ethical manner.

All communications and information provided to a government must be accurate, timely and complete. Never engage in misrepresentation, misstatement or omission of material fact, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety when dealing with government agencies or their officials, employees or contractors. Payments or providing anything of value for any purpose to a governmental entity or official must be recorded in accordance with the company’s policies and practices. This applies to payments provided directly by the company and also to payments provided on behalf of the company by an agent or representative.

Violations of these requirements can lead to criminal and/or civil liability for the company and the individual.

"We believe communities and governments are more likely to allow companies to grow and prosper when those firms are leaders in EHS and other regulatory compliance. Everyone benefits when new and better jobs are created by practicing Principled Entrepreneurship™."

—Charles Koch

Interactions with the Government

    • Officials or agencies that one may readily identify as the government, such as members of the legislature, the judiciary, the executive branch or administration, or other elected or appointed political leaders and their respective staff.
    • Municipalities and their emergency responders, such as law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical services.
    • In some circumstances, relatives of government employees.
    • Non-government agents acting on behalf of the government agency.
    • Primary contractors operating on behalf of or under contract to a government agency.
    • Public or state-sponsored hospitals, universities or research organizations.
    • Government “instrumentalities,” including officers and employees of companies under government ownership or control.

    The law may consider interactions with employees of government-owned companies as government interactions; even if the companies are operated like privately-owned corporations or the employees do not believe themselves to be agents of the government.

    Government Submittals and Communications

    Government submittals and communications may include oral or written statements made to government officials or other written reports or statements that are prepared in response to a government requirement or request.

    If you or an agent or representative of the company have interaction with a government entity or its representatives:

    Ensure that all documents and reports are accurate, timely and complete. This includes all supporting documentation that may be required.

    Disclose immediately to your supervisor any misstatement, misunderstanding, material omission or other mistake, whether intentional or unintentional, so that the issue can be resolved in accordance with the law and company policy.

    You must be authorized by appropriate management to represent the company in government submittals and communications. If you are not specifically authorized to submit information to the government, you do not have authority to take such action.

    Government submittals and communications may include:

    • Making commitments to the government on behalf of the company.
    • Certifying compliance.
    • Agreeing to permitting, operating or other business conditions not already prescribed by law.

    Government Contracts

    Contracting and commercial relationships with government entities is materially different from contracting with other entities. In commercial contracting, the parties have, within certain limits, the power to fashion their own terms, conditions and remedies. This is not the case with contracts between private parties and government. Government contract terms, conditions and remedies are largely established by law.

    For these reasons, only certain individuals in the company are authorized to negotiate or enter into a contract with any government entity.

    It is unlawful to make any untrue statement or unsubstantiated claim to a government official, to collude in bidding or to request payment for work not performed. There may also be additional requirements for documentation or performance certification that are defined by law and not stated in the terms of the contract. In addition, you must be alert for government contracting requirements or terms and conditions that may flow down from a primary contractor of the government to the company as a subcontractor. It is also unlawful to offer gratuities or inducements such as future employment, trips or even meals to public officials when the offer may influence or be intended to influence a public official in performing official duties.

    If you have reason to believe that an employee has engaged in any of the behavior described above or has otherwise violated the terms of a government contract, contact your supervisor, a compliance and ethics resource, Legal or the GuideLine. 

    Political Involvement

    The company encourages us to exercise any right we may have to vote and participate in the political process. If you are involved in politics, you must be sure to express your views as an individual, not as a representative of the company. In general, involvement in personal political activities or donations must be on your own time, at your own expense, without the use of company supplies or facilities. Company reimbursement of an employee’s personal political contribution is prohibited. 

    Like all responsible citizens, the company may participate in the political process. However, corporate political participation is highly regulated and complex. Therefore, using corporate resources for, or making corporate payments to, any political party, candidate or campaign may occur only if permitted by law and approved in advance by a compliance and ethics resource, Government & Public Affairs or Legal. This includes visits to company locations by candidates running for public office. 


      If you intend to serve on or run for a public office, be sure to contact your supervisor and compliance resource who will assist you in getting the appropriate reviews and approvals, as allowed by local law, to ensure no conflicts of interest exist and ensure you receive the appropriate guidance and training, and that all reporting requirements are adhered to. 

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      If you intend to serve on a government board, commission or task force of any type, such as public-financed school board, college or university boards, or city planning commissions, be sure to contact your supervisor and a compliance and ethics resource who will notify the appropriate resources in Government & Public Affairs and Legal. These groups will coordinate a review to ensure that any potential or perceived conflicts of interest are reviewed, that you have or will receive the appropriate guidance and training, and that all reporting requirements are adhered to.

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      Lobbying (Advocating Government Policy)

      Lobbying activities can include direct and indirect interactions with governmental agencies or their officials or employees that are intended to influence current or future government action. Such activities are strictly regulated in most countries, as well as in many states, provinces and localities. The company will engage in lobbying activities consistent with our Framework and our Values and in accordance with the law. Such activities must be authorized and guided by a compliance and ethics resource, Government & Public Affairs or Legal.


        It depends on the local and/or state laws, which vary greatly with respect to what type of contact with a government official constitutes lobbying. Seek guidance from a compliance and ethics resource, Government & Public Affairs or Legal.

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        Federal and state lobbying laws apply to contact with certain executive branch officials and employees on many subjects, including laws, regulations, or government policies and programs. These laws also may apply to certain activities relating to those contacts, like background research. Seek guidance from a compliance and ethics resource, Government & Public Affairs or Legal.

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