Meet our Compliance officers
| Date: 11/03/2021
Interview with our local Compliance team in the DRC
Samy is responsible for the implementation of our Ethics and Compliance programme in Central Africa. He is based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why did you choose to work for Glencore?
Through its unique scale, Glencore can have a considerable influence on – and be a role model for – other companies in Africa through the way we integrate ethics and compliance into how we do business.
What do you enjoy about working at Glencore?
Glencore doesn’t hesitate to support and encourage new ideas and initiatives if they improve the way of working. The effective implementation of an ethics and compliance programme requires a commitment to continuous improvement. In particular, in my current environment, one has to be willing to continually seek out new ways to get people to understand the importance of doing business the right way. Being at the forefront of Glencore’s ethics and compliance strategy in the DRC has been enriching and rewarding. Since I started here, I’ve also enjoyed being part of the Group’s support for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our membership of the Fair Cobalt Alliance, which aims to improve working conditions and eliminate child labour, supports our Value of Integrity and our vision and long-term strategy for being an internationally respected mining business that responsibly produces and trades commodities.
What do you think makes a good Regional Compliance Officer?
A good RCO should be an unbiased technician, seeking to reach consistent decisions and able to clearly demonstrate the rationale for those decisions. The aim is to create and strengthen trust in the RCO amongst all stakeholders and be a trusted advisor.
Being a good RCO requires the ability to adapt and be flexible, especially in Africa, where implementing an ethics and compliance programme in this jurisdiction and industry can be complicated. There are many challenges that require you to be active and deeply involved in the business to understand the dynamics and issues.
Lastly, you need to be able to quickly identify where the ethics and compliance risks lie and foresee when projects – although well intentioned – could lead to non-compliant practices. One example of this is the Covid-19 pandemic response, where donations could be well intentioned, but still need to be looked at carefully as they can raise compliance issues.
What do you like most about your job as Regional Compliance Officer in the Central and North Africa region?
Over the course of my career in Compliance, the statement I hear that bothers me most is: “This is the way we do things around here”.
Every day that statement motivates me to do my best to show stakeholders why doing business the right way is essential to our success. My role is to raise the standards and challenge some of the practices in this region, and I find that really exciting.
A rigorous and standardised approach draws a clear line between what can be allowed and what is clearly prohibited, regardless of the place of operation.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as Regional Compliance Officer?
In general, I’m pleasantly surprised by the commitment and engagement of the different stakeholders to make a difference in how business is conducted in this part of the world. Everyone knows the stakes are high and wants to contribute at his or her own level to support compliance. There’s an earnest, shared desire to improve the business climate, but sometimes the lack of coordination and alignment amongst the various stakeholders can limit the impact of individual company initiatives.
Hyacinthe works closely with Samy as a full-time member of the Compliance team and is responsible for implementing our Ethics and Compliance programme at the Kamoto Copper Company in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What led you to Compliance and what do you enjoy most about it?
It was the opportunity to add value to support the business in achieving its objectives in the right way. Compliance offers a dynamic career because it’s always evolving and therefore one is always learning.
I enjoy learning through doing in Compliance. It’s the real-life, day-to-day situations that have enriched my knowledge and developed my skills. Each day, I must listen to and engage with different stakeholders, understand and analyse complex issues and suggest concrete solutions. At the same time, I have to demonstrate firmness, common sense, courage and diplomacy in decision-making.
What does your typical work day look like?
No one day is quite like any other. My time and energy are mostly focused on the implementation of compliance policies and procedures, performance of third party due diligence for intermediaries, review of donations and social community projects, and training according to our training plan. The training varies. It might be a training session for senior management on red flags or it may be training new employees to give them an introduction to our Values, the Code of Conduct, and key company policies. We also train them on the importance of speaking up and raising concerns if they witness a breach of our Code, our Values or the law.
In the DRC we have a significant community investment programme, so I spend a lot of my time doing due diligence and analysis on the programme’s beneficiaries that fall under the scope of our Third Party Due Diligence and Management Procedure. An example might be a community investment project for the supply of water to a community surrounding the site.