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Corporate Conflicts

Managers disconnected at Verizon.

Corporate Conflicts of Interest at Verizon (VZ): It has been widely reported that in an effort to obtain a contract with the New York City municipality, 3 Verizon managers inappropriately "wined and dined" city officials involved with the selection process. Accounting department personnel for Verizon identified the conflict when reviewing the expense reimbursement claims of the Verizon managers involved. Verizon correctly reported the incident to New York City officials who began their own investigation immediately.

While it was clear that Verizon had a corporate policy against "gifts" to obtain business, this incident should serve as a reminder that employees at all levels need to be reminded of business ethics and what the firm policies are. NYC officials determined that Verizon should not be penalized for the infractions and will be allowed to remain in contention in the selection process for NYC contracts. In my experience, I have often had prospective vendors offer to take me out for lunch or dinner to discuss potential business. Others have also offered tickets to sporting or entertainment venues. I have always politely refused such offers. Even unsolicited gifts exceeding a value of $25 from any individual or firm was typically required to be returned. Some firms will often require each employee sign an annual release attesting that they have read the most up to date employee manual on firm policies, understand them, and are in full compliance.

2004 Nelson Chin.
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Samples of Written Policies:

Conflicts of Interest v1
Conflicts of Interest v2
Conflicts of Interest v3

Audit Committee v1


Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

Final Arthur Andersen Alumni Letter

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