Centrica operates in a highly regulated market. Public policy decisions can affect all aspects of our operations including investments, consumer protection and employment relations.
Centrica operates on a politically neutral basis and works closely with interested parties to inform policy on key issues including energy, environment, consumer policy and employment relations.
We proactively engage with our stakeholders, including government, legislators and regulators in order to shape proposals and manage risks. And in developing our policy positions we engage with a wide range of interested parties including charities, environmental groups and academics.
We work with regulators to find a better approach to intervention that agrees clear targets, for example switching times or complaint handling, against which we could demonstrate progress. We work with political parties to develop a consensus on energy policy that supports the transition to a secure, low cost, low carbon UK.
Our Business Principles and Group Policies provide the foundation for how we operate. This is much more than a tick box for compliance, how we conduct business reflects our values and defines us in the eyes of our people, our customers and our wider stakeholders.
The first of our business principles is “demonstrating integrity in corporate conduct”. This is supported by a number of Group Policies, including Centrica’s Group Policy on Political Involvement which is available to download.
This Policy makes clear that Centrica does not make political contributions and fully complies with the UK Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000 in the UK.
The Policy also explains that “specific employees in Group Corporate Affairs are given responsibility for engaging in and co-ordinating planned public affairs activity on Centrica’s behalf.” Centrica operates on a politically neutral basis and, as stated above does not make political contributions, however we do incur costs in engaging in public policy conversations. The Group Director of Corporate Affairs is responsible for authorising such costs.
Centrica is registered with the EU Transparency Register and our entry can be found online here.
Public Sector Employment
In the UK the Ministerial Code prohibits Ministers from lobbying Government for two years from leaving office. Former Ministers must further seek advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office*. Similar rules apply to civil servants and special advisers for two years after their last day of paid service. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), which provides advice on these rules, includes a standard phrase of “for two years from his last day of service he should not become personally involved in lobbying UK Government” in their guidance to former senior officials taking up new roles in the private sector. We support these safeguards and abide by them.
*Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, Fifteenth Annual Report, 2013-14