Well, now it's FirstEnergy's turn to sing, dance and make us laugh with their improbable "Code of Business Conduct."
According to FirstEnergy CEO Anthony "Tony" Alexander,
"Maintaining high ethical standards builds trust with our customers, shareholders, fellow employees, and the communities we serve. Our Code of Business Conduct communicates the fundamentals of ethical behavior in the workplace and provides important guidelines to ensure we maintain our high standards."
"Corporate Records – Ensure you accurately record all financial transactions in a timely manner in accordance with prescribed accounting principles. Make full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure of financial and nonfinancial information as required by law and regulation. Never knowingly record false or misleading information on any Company record, report, or document, including those reports and documents submitted to any government agency, including but not limited to the Securities and Exchange Commission."
Their Q & A section is a laugh a minute!
Q: Why do I need a Code of Business Conduct since honesty is common sense?
A: We all must maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Even honest individuals are sometimes not sure of what is appropriate business conduct since not everyone shares the same perspective and values. The Code of Business Conduct provides guidelines for appropriate business conduct and a formal method of establishing accountability for noncompliance.
Does this mean that Mr. Burns and Tony the Trickster are short on common sense?
This one is my favorite:
Q: What are some warning signs that actual or contemplated business activities may be contrary to the Code of Business Conduct?
A: If you hear any of the following types of statements, there could* be a problem:
• "Shred those documents immediately."
• "No one will ever be the wiser."
• "This sounds too good to be true."
• "I know it's not totally above board, but it's the only way to get the results we need."
• "Everybody does it."
• "It never happened. Right?"
• "OK, but just this once."
• "I don't care how you do it, just make it happen within the deadline."
• "A little white lie won't hurt anything."
*This means that you may hear these statements regularly at FirstEnergy, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem. After all, where do you think they got these quotes from if not from their daily business interactions?