Siemens business is clean business

The Siemens compliance system. Compliance is a top management priority for Siemens. That’s why the global Legal and Compliance Department falls directly under the purview of CEO Roland Busch.
Siemens Integrity Initiative – Annual Report 2019

Siemens Integrity Initiative – Annual Report 2019

The Annual Report 2019 highlights outcomes of the First, Second and Third Funding Round.


Compliance and integrity go hand in hand

Siemens shows zero tolerance toward corruption, violations of the principles of fair competition and other breaches of the law – and where these do occur, we take swift action. But compliance means much more than just adhering to laws and to the regulations described in the Siemens Business Conduct Guidelines. Compliance forms the basis for all our decisions and activities, and it is the key to integrity when conducting business. Our premise is this: Only clean business is Siemens business. This applies worldwide and at all levels of the organization. In addition to combating corruption and competition and export-control violations, the Compliance Department also protects our company against fraud and money laundering as well as safeguards personal data and human rights. We are also active in international organizations that strengthen responsible business practices. These activities include our worldwide commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum with its Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). We actively support the enactment of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Anti-Bribery Convention of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

What is the Siemens compliance system?

The Siemens compliance system comprises a comprehensive system of measures to ensure our business is always carried out in full accordance with the law as well as with our internal principles and rules. In the process, we also want to instill the notion of responsible conduct in everything that Siemens employees think and do.  


Our Compliance System is divided into three levels of action: prevent, detect and respond. Preventative measures include, for example, compliance risk management, guidelines and procedures, and comprehensive training and advising of employees. Communication channels such as our “Tell us” reporting system and ombudsperson as well as fair internal investigations are indispensable to recognizing and resolving matters of misconduct. Unambiguous responses and clear consequences serve to punish misconduct and eliminate weaknesses. The responsibility all managers carry for compliance is the overarching element above these three levels.

We need to transform the backbone of our economies, from industry to infrastructure, from transport to healthcare – and technology can help. Greater collaboration within ecosystems will be essential to tackling the challenges of our fast-changing world, always with the highest level of integrity.
Roland Busch, President and CEO of Siemens AG
Zero tolerance for misconduct

Code of Conduct for our business partners

Siemens has required its suppliers and business partners with an intermediary function to adhere to a code of conduct. This code is modeled after the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact. It covers legal compliance in general and our anticorruption policies in particular, including provisions against anticompetitive practices and conflicts of interest. Using audits, we systematically identify potential risks in our supply chain and collaborate with our business partners and to ensure they comply with the Siemens Code of Conduct.  

Selection and monitoring of our business partners

Under certain circumstances, Siemens can be held legally responsible for the actions of its business partners. We counter this risk by taking a comprehensive approach to selecting our partners, by contractually obliging them to adhere to our Code of Conduct, and by monitoring the ongoing collaborations. This process covers the entire life cycle of the business partnership. Our compulsory companywide Business Partner Compliance Tool supports implementation of the process and ensures documentation of relevant information and activities. And we systematically harness the potential of big data using dashboards and analytics to improve risk management and the monitoring of our business-partner relationships.

Integrating compliance into our business processes

Integrating compliance into our business processes has played a crucial role in creating an effective compliance system, and a key aspect of this has been educating our customers about our compliance principles.


One example of this took place at the Hannover Messe, the world’s most important industry trade fair. There, Digital Industries presented the new game “Compliance included …” to their customers. When it comes to compliance, this is what Siemens is all about: clean business, always and everywhere!

Principles and requirements for Siemens suppliers

Code of Conduct

“Tell Us” and Siemens ombudsperson

Channels for reporting misconduct

Reliable reporting channels for internal and external stakeholders and the protection of internal whistle-blowers from sanctions help ensure possible misconduct is reported, thoroughly investigated and clarified. At Siemens, we provide different reporting channels to internal and external whistle-blowers to inform us about possible compliance violations. The “Tell us” compliance reporting system provides a secure channel for reporting this information 24 hours a day: online or by telephone, anonymously if desired, and in several languages.

Compliance 2019, by the numbers

In the 2019 fiscal year, 514 alleged compliance infringements prompted further inquiry or investigation. That same year, disciplinary measures for compliance violations totaled 262. A special directive protects Siemens employees who report misconduct in good faith and to the best of their knowledge from company retribution.

The Siemens ombudsperson

In addition to "Tell us", Siemens offers another channel for reporting compliance violations: the ombudsperson. The attorney Dr. Sibylle von Coelln from the law firm "HEUKING ∙ VON COELLN Rechtsanwälte", has been appointed the company’s external ombudsperson. Employees and third parties can confidentially and anonymously confide in this impartial professional should they observe improper business practices in the company.

Link to "Tell us" and the ombudsperson

Siemens reporting channels

Collective Action

Siemens Integrity Initiative

The Siemens Integrity Initiative supports organizations and projects that combat corruption and fraud through Collective Action as well as education and training in order to promote clean markets and fair competition. As part of comprehensive settlements between the World Bank Group and Siemens AG in July 2009 and between the European Investment Bank and Siemens AG in March 2013, the Siemens Integrity Initiative supports projects that have a clear focus on business and can demonstrate objective and measurable results with the potential for expansion and replication in the future.

Several  Funding Rounds over 15 years

Siemens has committed to funding organizations and projects that combat corruption and fraud through Collective Action initiatives as well as education and training in several funding tranches over 15 years. For the first three Funding Rounds, 77 projects with more than US$ 98,5 million in funding and project durations of 3 to 5 years were carefully selected from an international pool of applicants.
An overview of the projects can be found at