PricewaterhouseCoopers Issues Profession's First Global 'Code of Conduct' - Designed to Reinforce Organization's Culture of Integrity Around World -

Nov 19, 2002, 00:00 ET from PricewaterhouseCoopers

    NEW YORK, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- PricewaterhouseCoopers today unveiled
 the accounting profession's first global "Code of Conduct" -- a set of
 principles that guides the organization's business conduct and helps its
 people sustain a culture of ethics and integrity around the world.
     "Our reputation is anchored in the professionalism, ethics and excellence
 of service our people have demonstrated throughout our 150-year history,"
 notes Samuel A. DiPiazza, PricewaterhouseCoopers'global CEO.  "Yet we
 recognize that today's challenging business climate requires us to
 demonstratively reinforce our commitment to high standards and our passion for
 quality and integrity in all we do.  That is why we have developed the
 PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct.  We hope it will be a model for the
     A set of standards describing the behaviors PricewaterhouseCoopers expects
 of its people, the Code also provides guidelines that, combined with the good
 judgment and experience of its employees, exemplify the organization
 everywhere in the world it does business.  The PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of
 Conduct is an outgrowth of the organization's existing values of excellence,
 teamwork and leadership.  PricewaterhouseCoopers' desire to articulate those
 values by creating the global Code was not a "knee-jerk" reaction to the
 current crisis of confidence in the financial markets and the accounting
 profession, although the organization's desire to articulate those values has
 been reinforced by current events.
     Explains Barbara Kipp, global ethics leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers,
 "Although our people conduct business within a framework of relevant laws,
 regulations and internal policies, we recognize that laws and policies do not
 govern all behavior. We felt it was important for all our stakeholders -- our
 people, our clients and the investing public -- to understand exactly what we
 stand for and how they can expect us to conduct ourselves."
     Globally the PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct is part of a
 comprehensive initiative designed to ensure that all PricewaterhouseCoopers
 member firms worldwide help their people to understand and comply with it.
 That included naming dedicated business conduct leaders around the world,
 developing training programs, using communications channels such as helplines
 to allow partners and staff to raise concerns, and creating ways to monitor
 the effectiveness of these activities.
     The PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct is integral to the way the
 organization works every day in every part of the world.  But its
 implementation will take place locally.  Since legal and professional
 requirements -- and business cultures -- differ from country to country,
 PricewaterhouseCoopers encourages local supplements to address local customs
 and laws.
     In the United States, the Code's U.S. supplement provides U.S.-based
 people with more detailed information on a broad range of policies covering
 legal and professional obligations, client and other business relationships,
 organizational and administrative requirements and personal conduct.  It was
 developed by the U.S. firm's long-established Ethics & Business Conduct
 Office, which administers a comprehensive program to guide those faced with
 ethical issues or policy-based questions.  It is believed to be the only
 comprehensive ethics program among the U.S.-based Big Four accounting firms.
 Elements include defined channels of communication (including a confidential
 helpline and mailbox) and training in ethical concepts and ethical
 decision-making. The U.S. ethics program was the 1998 private company
 recipient of the American Business Ethics Award presented by the Society of
 Financial Services Professionals.
     "Although we realize that no code of conduct or ethics management program
 can guarantee the prevention of wrongdoing, we do believe that the
 PricewaterhouseCoopers Code of Conduct, coupled with the appropriate
 supporting activities, can help prevent and detect misconduct.  Even more
 important, it can help sustain a culture where integrity is valued and
 promoted through everyday business practice," says Ms. Kipp.
     PricewaterhouseCoopers ( is the world's largest
 professional services organization.  Drawing on the knowledge and skills of
 more than 125,000 people in 142 countries, we build relationships by providing
 services based on quality and integrity.
     "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the network of member firms of
 PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and
 independent legal entity.
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