Integrity & governance

Integrity & Governance

"Microsoft is committed to principled, accountable, and transparent business practices that meet our responsibilities as a global company."
– Brad Smith, General Counsel

Each day we interact with a variety of individuals and groups - including our customers, partners, competitors, co-workers, shareholders, vendors, government and regulatory agencies, and the communities in which we operate. We are committed to interacting with all of these audiences in a respectful, ethical manner and in compliance with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. We train employees annually in our Standards of Business Conduct and have strong compliance systems to ensure the principles are upheld and take corrective action if they are not. We have a sophisticated set of Political Engagement policies to ensure that our participation in the policy process is transparent and maintains appropriate and strong anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies and systems. To learn more about Microsoft’s Commitment to Anti-Corruption, please visit the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery. Additionally, you can download the current Anti-Corruption Policy for Representatives.

We also have a strong set of industry-leading corporate governance policies and systems in place designed to:

  • Establish and preserve management accountability to Microsoft's owners by appropriately distributing rights and responsibilities among Microsoft Board members, managers, and shareholders.
  • Provide a structure through which management and the Board set objectives and monitor performance.
  • Strengthen and safeguard our culture of business integrity and responsible business practices.
  • Encourage the efficient use of resources, and to require accountability for stewardship of those resources.

In working to conduct our business with integrity, we engage with a wide range of stakeholders across all parts of our business operations. We also benefit from participating in a range of groups and initiatives addressing corporate responsibility including the United Nations Global Compact, Business for Social Responsibility, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, and the World Economic Forum's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.

As a US-based company, we comply with, or exceed, governance codes used in the United States.

Microsoft Office of Legal Compliance

The Office of Legal Compliance (OLC) supervises the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of effective and collaborative compliance and governance programs. As part of this, the OLC distributes a "newspaper of record" that covers corporate policy and training announcements. This is sent to every full-time Microsoft employee around the world.

Worldwide Compliance Network

To facilitate the Microsoft Business Conduct and Compliance program, the OLC partnered with the Sales, Marketing, and Services Group (SMSG) Finance organization to further define a multidisciplinary, global compliance committee structure and processes.

The structure includes a worldwide SMSG committee that is responsible for overseeing the regional compliance committees, such as those in Latin America (Latam), North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), Japan, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). There are also local compliance committees in select geographies. The committees include representatives from Human Resources, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Finance, and SMSG Finance.

The compliance committees are charged with working with the Office of Legal Compliance to:

  • Increase global awareness of the compliance program.
  • Help develop and implement of legal and compliance education programs and initiatives.
  • Ensure employee awareness of changes to corporate policy.
  • Provide oversight for regional investigative matters.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Legal Compliance on its ongoing risk-assessment obligations.

Reporting concerns

Employees, partners, customers, or others outside the company who have concerns about compliance or Microsoft business practices can report their concerns to the Microsoft Integrity Hotline.

Principled Business Practices
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