Barrick Gold to vet supplier ethics on web

 

Early adopter of new internet-based system.

Barrick Gold has become an early adopter of a new due diligence platform that it will use to screen suppliers for compliance with anti-bribery, conflict minerals reporting and other regulations.

The miner has signed on to use the web-based TRACE Registered Access Code (TRAC) tool, and has also accepted an invitation to help shape the tool further as part of a leadership group.

Under the scheme, TRAC users receive a 12-digit code that establishes their identity and screens it against "international watch lists" for compliance with regulatory and ethical requirements that would generally be covered off when due diligence is performed.

The watch lists cover compliance with anti-bribery, emerging cross-border government regulation, conflict minerals reporting, anti-money laundering, forced labour trafficking, and import and export rules and laws.

Barrick's director of sourcing and supplier development, Mark Chappell, said the miner "wants to do business with suppliers that share our global commitment to ethical business conduct".

Among the other early adopters of the TRAC scheme are American Airlines, Adobe and industrial automation and power vendor, ABB.

In launching the scheme, TRAC said it wanted to become "a new standard for baseline due diligence" (pdf).

"Businesses and other organisations need to know the entities with which they do business — whether small or large and wherever they operate," TRACE president Alexandra Wrage said.

"TRAC helps companies avoid potentially costly entanglements with fraudulent or corrupt actors."

Wrage also hoped that enrolling in TRAC would set suppliers apart for their "commitment to transparency" as they competed to win work.

Individual TRAC holders would be charged $US80 ($A76.42) a year to participate in the scheme. There was no charge for firms to check the TRAC information of other users, as long as they had sought permission first.

In an FAQ, TRACE said that TRAC took a "defense-in-depth" approach to information security, with data residing on US servers and 256-bit encryption for the public-facing TRAC portal.

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