Monday, August 02, 2021

After 20 years... My fight continues!

Exactly 20 years ago I fulfilled Eni’s Code of Ethics...

20 years ago I was fired by the corrupt executives that I reported...

For 20 years I contacted four different Boards and three CEOs...

For 20 years I have been suffering reprisal...

In these 20 years, I try to make Eni fulfill the words and the spirit of its own Code of Ethics... 

For 20 years I try to rescue and restore my name, my honor and my reputation...

My fight continues!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

ESG vs Whistleblower Protection


In many companies around the world, when someone is hired, the Code of Ethics is introduced to the new employee, who is informed that the code is the main instrument of the company’s governance and the guideline to all the corporate actions. However, when reporting any nonconformity to the Code of Ethics, or deviations of conduct of colleagues or superiors, the Whistleblower is fired, has their professional career destroyed and their reputation buried.

For a company to be ethical and fulfill all the premises of the ESG, it is necessary to protect the Whistleblowers and influence other companies to do the same.

Otherwise, the Code of Ethics won’t serve any purpose and the company will only have a nice ethical speech!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

OECD Guidelines vs Whistleblowers

Read my contribution to the "public consultation" for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The Board of Directors is the highest authority in the company and composed by the representatives of the Shareholders. Thus, the members of the Board dictate to the executives the guidelines of    conducting business. Besides, they are the personification of “Corporate Governance” and, as if that wasn’t enough, they must fulfill the role of “Guardian of Ethics”, holding in their right hand the “Code of Ethics”!

The Code of Ethics is the company’s “Constitution”, the “Magna Carta”. Because it is the “Corporate Higher Law”, the Code of Ethics is the company’s main instrument of “government”. However, by publishing the Code of Ethics in the corporate website, the company makes its ethical, social and environment commitments “publicly known”, claiming to the market exactly “how” the company will conduct its business. Besides, the Code of Ethics “motivates” the Stakeholders, especially the employees, to “report” to the “Complaint Channel” any “nonconformities” regarding the code or professional “conduct deviations”, that is, the words and the spirit of the Code of Ethics has a “value” from the fabric floor to the Board and, especially, the CEO, who is the main example to be followed within the corporate walls. As if this wasn’t enough, the Code of Ethics guarantees to the whistleblowers “protection” against any kind of “retaliation”. However, the Code of Ethics results in reciprocal “rights” and “duties”!

Global research demonstrates that most of the complaints reported to the Complaint Channels” are from “employees”. So the whistleblowers are the companies’ main “allies” because, by making a complaint, the whistleblower is trying to conserver the name, the image, the reputation and the corporate patrimony. This way, the whistleblowers, by doing what is right, are contributing to the success and the continuity of business!

Unfortunately, what we observe in the global market is that many whistleblowers are being silenced and having their careers and reputations buried around the world by companies that don’t respect their Codes of Ethics, by employees and executives who steal corporate coffers and the Board that pretends nothing happens.

For all the reasons mentioned above, it would be of great importance if OECD includes in the “OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises” a special highlight for themes involving “Ethics & Compliance Programs”, especially about its main tools: the “Code of Ethics” and “Complaint Channels”, having as a main goal the improvement of corporate actions and attention regarding “protection of whistleblowers”.

As a result, multinational companies would actually be globally acting based on the most important pillars of RBC (Responsible Business Conduct): “Ethics, Integrity and Compliance”!

Access the OECD public consultation in this LINK.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

23 June: World Whistleblowers Day 2021


Council of Europe Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law

Whistleblowing is about protecting HumanRights and the RuleOfLaw in a democratic society!

The Council of Europe Recommendation encourages its 47 member states to have in place a normative, institutional and judicial framework to protect whistleblowers.

Read more about Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7  

Friday, June 18, 2021

Eni's Board: put yourself in my shoes!

One of the greatest virtues of a man (and a woman) is to put himself in someone’s shoes. This worthy attitude makes use find out first-hand what the other is experiencing!

What if it was one of you living what I’ve been going through in these almost 20 years? How would you feel? What would you think of the attitude of Eni’s Board, which goes against the premises, the principles and the values of Eni's Code of Ethics?

Friday, June 11, 2021

Eni & Shell: The Bribery of the Century

 

Commenting on the judgment, a spokesperson for campaign groups Global Witness, HEDA, Re:Common and Corner House said: "The judgment lays bare the stinking carcass of the OPL 245 deal. Many will be mystified by the conclusions drawn by the judges. The bar they have set for a conviction for international corruption is impossibly high - presenting companies with a 'get out of jail free' card. We urge the public prosecutor to appeal this judgment, which, if allowed to stand, creates a terrible precedent for the global fight against corruption and the ability to hold fossil fuel companies to account.”

Read more about this subject at article

Friday, May 21, 2021

Microsoft vs Eni


This month, the global media is talking about the "investigation" carried out by Microsoft's Board on the love affair of the company founder Mr. Bill Gates, which occurred in the year "2000".

The Board of the Italian oil giant has, in these 20 long years, a totally different posture from the position of the Microsoft’s Board in relation to its former Chairman, Mr. Gates.

My "ethical fight" with Eni completes two decades in August 2021. In all these years, four different Chairmans and three different CEOs have been contacted by me. But, Eni’s Board did not analyze my case despite the evidences and the proofs presented by me.

In November 2020, Eni requested a "proposal for amicable settlement", confirmed by the Italian Ambassador in Brazil. But, the company was silent ... It did not say "yes" and it did not make a "counterproposal" as determined by "good practices" in commercial or judicial relations. It did not even answered the questions asked by an #Eni "critical shareholder" in May 2021! Eni did the same thing at the AGM 2020.

Some of the questions won't stay silent: What is the purpose of Eni's Code of Ethics? How are the Stakeholders' complaints investigated? Why doesn't the Board of Eni fulfill one of its main roles: to be a "Guardian of Ethics"?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Eni... This is why!


This is why I reported a millionaire scheme of corruption at Eni’s Brazilian subsidiary in 2001.

This is why I am a whistleblower!

This is why I lost my job in reprisal because of those I had reported.

This is why I have, in the past 20 long years, written to four different Chairmen and three different CEOs so that the Board of the company could analyze my case.

This is why I’ve been trying, for almost two decades, to rescue and restore my name, my honor and my reputation unfairly depreciated by the Italian oil giant.

This is why I was a victim of my own whistleblowing! 

This is why I was never able to go back to the corporate market, because I am now in a “black list”.

This is why I lost the opportunity to enjoy my retirement when I grow old.

And this is why I would do it all over again!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The whistleblower fight is inglorious!


To

Italian Corporate Governance Committee

Ms. Maria Patrizia Grieco

President

 

Copy:     Vice President & Members of the Italian Corporate Governance Committee

Experts

NCP Italy (OECD) 

 

 

Subject: What is the "model" of Corporate Governance used by Eni?

 

 

Dear Ms. Maria Patrizia Grieco,

 

Even though Eni requested a "proposal for amicable settlement" through the company's lawyer, a proposal request which was confirmed by the Italian Ambassador in Brazil, Eni is silent and didn't answer the questions of its critical shareholder, Mr. Mauro Meggiolaro (see attached file). The Italian oil giant only repeated its same "speech", which was first given when the company didn't answer the questions about the "Flinto Case" at AGM 2020 (see attached file).

 

Observe that the "proposal for amicable settlementproves all of my allegations in these past 20 long years! (see attached file). In fact, there were many mistakes practiced against me both by Eni and its Brazilian subsidiary, mistakes which didn't line up with the principles and values of the company's Code of Ethics.

 

Eni's unjustifiable attitude by not answering a proposal of agreement requested by the company itself, as well as not answering the questions made by its critical shareholder, seems to me that the company is retaliating against me once again!

 

Some of the questions won't stay silent: What is the purpose of Eni's Code of Ethics? How are the Stakeholders' complaints investigated? What is the "model" of Corporate Governance used by the Italian oil state giant? Why doesn't the Board of Eni fulfill one of its main roles: to be a "Guardian of Ethics" within and outside the company's walls? 

 

Finally, I also take this opportunity to get something off my chest: “Finally, the CEO's professional reputation was restored, as well as Eni and its role of a great company". This was the quote of Mr. Claudio Descalzi's lawyer after the sentence of the Court of Milan. Observe that the situation lived by Mr. Descalzi – where his reputation was being questioned by the prosecutors who were investigating the OPL 245 Case – brought him, without a shadow of a doubt, pain and suffering. And this is exactly the situation that I've been living in for almost two decades! I only fulfilled the words and spirit of ENI's Code of Ethics and, to this day, the company still sees me as the villain of the story. Three different Chairmen and three different CEOs were contacted by me in these long 20 years without ever having received an answer. Now, in November/2020, Eni requests a "proposal of amicable agreement" through the company's lawyer, a proposal which was confirmed by the Italian Ambassador in Brazil. This gave me a lot of expectation that the company had, finally, analyzed my case and confirmed its mistakes. However, Eni is silent! The company didn't say "yes", nor did it make a counterproposal, as determined by the best practices of the relations between Stakeholders. Just like at AGM 2020, the company didn't answer my questions. I confess that, with the new Board, and with a president who is a lawyer and a University professor, I had hopes of putting an end to my story with the Italian oil company. However, it seems this is not what the company wants!.

 

I hope you can help me in this case.

 

Best regards.

 

Douglas Linares Flinto

Chairman & CEO

Brazilian Business Ethics Institute

www.eticanosnegocios.org.br

 

 

From: Douglas Flinto 

Date: terça-feira, 4 de maio de 2021 10:33

Subject: Eni x Italian Corporate Governance Committee 

 


To

Italian Corporate Governance Committee

Ms. Maria Patrizia Grieco

President

 

Copy:       Vice President & Members of the Italian Corporate Governance Committee

   Experts

                

 

Subject: Eni’s Corporate Governance 

 

 

Dear Ms. Maria Patrizia Grieco, 

 

ENI’s Board of Directors is the highest authority in the company and composed by the representatives of the shareholders. Thus, the members of the Board dictate to the executives the guidelines of conducting business. Besides, they are the personification of “Corporate Governance” and, as if that wasn’t enough, they must fulfill the role of “Guardian of Ethics”, holding in their right hand ENI’s Code of Ethics!

 

However, the Board of ENI is not fulfilling its mission regarding the story lived with me in almost two decades.

 

Please check the text below and the attached files of this message.

 

I hope your institution can act regarding all this and serve as an example for this Committee.

 

I wait for your contact.

 

Best Regards.

 

Douglas L. Flinto

Chairman & CEO

Brazilian Business Ethics Institute

eticanosnegocios.org.br

 

 

From: Douglas Flinto 

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Subject: Italy: Prime Minister & Ambassador in Brazil

 


To

Itamaraty 

Mr. Carlos Alberto Franco França

Chancellor of Brazil

 

Copy:       Farnesina

                Ambassador of Italy in Brazil

 NCP Brazil (OECD)  

 

 

Dear minister Carlos Alberto Franco França,

 

On November 9th, 2020, Mr. Ettore Sequi, an Italian diplomat who works as Chief of Staff of the Italian Foreign Minister, orientated me to look for the new ambassador of Italy in Brazil, Mr. Francesco Azzarello. On the following day, Mr. Carlo Jacobucci, the counselor of the Embassy, informed me that, as soon as the ambassador received pieces of information about “Flinto Case” from the Italian oil giant, ENI, our conversation would be scheduled.

 

On November 26th, 2020, when Mr. Azzarello politely, cordially, and kindly picked up the phone, he informed me that ENI was waiting for an "proposal for amicable settlement" so we could try to put an end to our story that, in August 2021, will complete 20 long years.

 

On December 18th, 2020, ENI received the agreement proposal it had requested (see attached file). However, it's been over 135 days, and I still haven't received any answer. ENI hasn't said “yes” nor has it made a “counterproposal”, something common in the good practices of trade or judicial relations. Despite of this attitude, on April 19th, 2020, I sent a new email to Eni's Board (see attached file). Unsuccessfully again! I confess that I am very concerned about this unjustifiable situation!

 

Because of Eni’s attitude, Mr. Mauro Meggiolaro, a journalist and ENI's critical shareholder (representing Fondazione Finanza Etica – Banca Etica), will take my case for the fourth time to ENI's Shareholder Meeting (AGM 2021), which will take place in Rome on May 12th, 2021. Besides that, yesterday, Mr. Meggiolaro sent questions to ENI (see attached file) so that the Board can answer them on May 9th, 2021, as determined by the Italian laws regarding companies with shares in the stock exchange.

 

For all those reasons, the purpose of this email is to request Itamaraty to help a Brazilian citizen who's being punished, systematically and unfairly, by Italy's largest company. ENI is responsible for not only denigrating my name, my honor, and my reputation all these years but also for destroying my professional career and taking from my hands the possibility of living nicely off a retirement paid by the government of my country.

 

I would like you, as Chief of Brazil's Diplomacy, to contact Italy's Prime Minister – who is the main representative of ENI's largest shareholder: the Italian government – so the Board of the company can be requested to, after almost two decades, finally, analyze my case based in the principles and values of ENI's Code of Ethics and the assumptions of the Ethics & Compliance Programs used by transnational corporations all over the world.

 

I wait for your contact with great expectations and hope.

 

Best regards.

 

Douglas L. Flinto

Chairman & CEO

Brazilian Business Ethics Institute

55 19 9.9611-9089

eticanosnegocios.org.br

 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Whistleblower

"If you want to know what an organization truly believes ethically, look at how they treat their whistleblowers"

by David Colapinto

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Mark of the Whistleblower


When they are hired, they receive the #CodeOfEthics with pats on their back. However, when they comply with the words written in the “Greater Law” of the company, denouncing misconduct or non-compliance with the Code of Ethics, they get kicked, lose their job, have their reputation destroyed, struggle to go back to the job market, and become the villain of the story!

#Ethics #BusinessEthics #Integrity #Compliance