Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

Document Sample
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics Powered By Docstoc
					             Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
A Message about the Code from the Chairman and CEO:

To All Officers, Directors and Team Members:

One of our Company’s most valuable assets is its integrity. Protecting this asset
is the job of everyone in the Company. To that end, we have established this
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. This Code applies to every officer,
director and team member of the Company. We also expect that those with
whom we do business (including our agents, consultants, suppliers and
customers) will adhere to this Code. This Code is designed to help you comply
with the law and maintain the highest standards of honest and ethical conduct.
The Code does not cover every issue that may arise, but it sets out basic
principles and a methodology to help guide you in the attainment of this common
goal.

All of the Company’s officers, directors and team members must carry out their
duties in accordance with the policies set forth in this Code and with applicable
laws and regulations. To the extent that other Company policies and procedures
conflict with this Code, you should follow this Code. Any violation of applicable
law or any deviation from the standards embodied in this Code will result in
disciplinary action up to and including termination. Disciplinary action also may
apply to a team member’s supervisor who directs or approves the improper
actions, or is aware of those actions but does not act appropriately to correct
them. In addition to imposing its own discipline, the Company may also bring
suspected violations of law to the attention of the appropriate law enforcement
personnel. If you are in a situation which you believe may violate or lead to a
violation of this Code, you need to follow the procedures outlined in Sections 8
and 9 of the Code.



                                               Firoz H. Lalji



                                               Chairman and Chief Executive
                                               Officer
1.      Basic Principles

At Zones Inc., we are committed to doing the right thing. This Code is specifically
designed to be part of an effective program to prevent and detect violations of the
law. It is important that each team member understand the basic principles from
which we operate.

•    We will always be truthful.
•    We will adhere strictly to the letter and the spirit of the law.
•    We will strive to provide exceptional service to our customers.
•    We will be a good corporate citizen.
•    We will work to promote and sustain a work environment that fosters mutual
     respect, openness and integrity.
•    We will be fair in all aspects of our business.

The successful business operation and reputation of the Company is built upon
the principals of fair dealing and honest and ethical conduct of all its team
members. Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires careful observance
of the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations, as well as scrupulous
regard for the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity.

The continued success of the Company is dependent upon its customers’ trust
and we are dedicated to preserving that trust. Team members owe a duty to the
Company, its customers, and shareholders to act in a way that will merit that
continued trust and confidence.

In general, the use of good judgment, based on high ethical principals, will guide
you with respect to lines of acceptable conduct. When faced with a business
decision that seems to have ethical overtones, here are several questions you
should ask yourself to determine if your actions are proper:

•    Am I adhering to the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law?
•    Would I want my actions reported on the front page of the newspaper?
•    What would my family, friends or neighbors think of my actions?
•    Will there be any direct or indirect negative consequences for Zones?
•    Are my actions consistent with Company policies?

If a situation arises where it is difficult to determine the proper course of action,
the matter should be openly discussed with your immediate supervisor or a
member of senior management. If you have any doubt, ask for guidance.




                                           1
2.     Compliance with Laws, Rules and Regulations

The Company seeks to comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws,
rules and regulations in all countries in which it operates.

The Company is committed to full compliance with all applicable laws, rules and
regulations and expects its directors, officers and team members to conduct
business in accordance with the letter, spirit and intent of all relevant laws and to
refrain from any illegal, dishonest or unethical conduct.

An explanation of certain of the key laws with which you should be familiar can
be found in the team member handbook under “Compliance with Laws”. As
explained below, you should always consult your manager or the Compliance
Officer (the Company’s Chief Financial Officer) with any questions about the
legality of your colleagues’ conduct.

3.     Full, Fair, Accurate, Timely and Understandable Disclosure

It is of paramount importance to the Company that all disclosure in reports
and documents that the Company prepares and provides to internal and
external parties is full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable.

Team members must take all steps available to assist the Company with
responsibilities consistent with their role within the Company. In particular, you
are required to provide prompt and accurate answers to all inquiries made to you
in connection with the Company’s preparation of its public reports and disclosure.

The Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Financial Officer
(“CFO”) are responsible for designing, establishing, maintaining, reviewing and
evaluating the effectiveness of the Company’s disclosure controls and
procedures. The Company’s CEO, CFO, controller, other officers and such other
Company personnel as are designated from time to time by the Board of
Directors shall be deemed the “Senior Officers” of the Company. Senior Officers
shall take all steps necessary or advisable to ensure that all disclosure in reports
and documents prepared by the Company is full, fair, accurate, timely and
understandable.

Senior Officers are also responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate
internal control over financial reporting to provide reasonable assurance
regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial
statements. The Senior Officers will to take all necessary steps to ensure
compliance with established accounting procedures, the Company’s system of
internal controls and generally accepted accounting principles. Senior Officers
will ensure that the Company makes and keeps books, records, and accounts,
which, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and
dispositions of the assets of the Company. Senior Officers will also ensure that



                                          2
the Company devises and maintains a system of internal accounting controls
sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that:

     •   transactions are executed in accordance with management’s general or
         specific authorization;

     •   transactions are recorded as necessary (a) to permit preparation of
         financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting
         principles or any other criteria applicable to such statements, and (b) to
         maintain accountability for assets;

     •   access to assets is permitted, and receipts and expenditures are made,
         only in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization;
         and

     •   the recorded accountability for assets is compared with the existing assets
         at reasonable intervals and appropriate action is taken with respect to any
         differences, all to permit prevention or timely detection of unauthorized
         acquisition, use or disposition of assets that could have a material effect
         on the Company’s financial statements.

Any attempt to enter inaccurate or fraudulent information into the Company’s
accounting system will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action, up to
and including termination of employment.


4.       Conflicts of Interest and Corporate Opportunities

You must avoid any situation in which your personal interests actually or
even appear to conflict with the Company’s interests. You owe a duty to
the Company not to compromise the Company’s legitimate business
interests and to advance such interests when the opportunity to do so
arises in the course of your employment.

It is your responsibility to promote Zones’ best interests at all times. This is an
obligation to your fellow team members, customers, Zones’ shareholders and all
others concerned with or dependent upon the welfare and progress of the
Company. A conflict of interest occurs when your judgment in acting in the
Company's best interest is adversely affected. Examples include, but are not
limited to:
•    Providing information or rendering services to competitors.
•    Using or permitting others to use Company documents, equipment, or trade
     secrets for purposes other than those sanctioned by the Company.




                                           3
•    Employment of relatives or individuals with a personal relationship in a direct
     reporting line or other positions which may have a perceived conflict of
     interest.

Conflicts are not always clear-cut. If you become aware of a conflict described
above or any other conflict, potential conflict, or have a question as to a potential
conflict, you should consult with your manager or the Company’s Compliance
Officer and/or follow the procedures described in Sections 8 and 9 of the Code.
If you become involved in a situation that gives rise to an actual conflict, you
must inform your manager or the Company’s Compliance Officer of the conflict.

5.      Confidentiality

We respect our ethical and legal responsibilities to protect Zones’
confidential and proprietary non-public information and communicate it
only as necessary to conduct business. We do not use this information for
our personal advantage or for non-Zones business use, and maintain this
confidentiality even after Zones no longer employs us.

While you are employed by Zones you may have access to or receive
confidential or proprietary information. Confidential information includes all non-
public information that might be of use to competitors, or harmful to the
Company, or its vendors and customers, if disclosed. You must maintain the
confidentiality of such information entrusted to you by the Company, its
customers and its suppliers, except when the Company authorizes disclosure or
the law requires disclosure.

Examples of confidential and proprietary information may include:
•    Pay rates, commission programs, and other employment practices
•    Capital expansion plans
•    Pricing formulas and margins
•    New product programs and special promotions
•    Financial statements
•    Team member lists
•    Customer or prospective customer lists
•    Sales forecasts or performance
•    Product or service design data
•    Company marketing strategies

To the extent you learn of, or are exposed to, any confidential or proprietary
information, it is your responsibility as a team member of Zones to maintain its


                                           4
confidentiality. You should not discuss confidential matters with fellow team
members or with individuals outside the Company, except as required by your
position. All confidential data must be kept locked in cabinets, desks, etc., as
appropriate. Disclosure of confidential information in violation of this agreement
may provide grounds for legal action against you, and may be grounds for
immediate termination of employment or possible legal action.

The obligation of team members with respect to confidential information extends
beyond the workplace. In that respect, it applies to communications with family
members and continues to apply even after employment or director relationship
with the Company terminates.

6.       Fair Dealing

Our goal is to conduct our business with integrity.

You should endeavor to deal honestly with the Company’s customers, suppliers,
competitors and team members. Under federal and state laws, the Company is
prohibited from engaging in unfair methods of competition, and unfair or
deceptive acts and practices. You should not take unfair advantage of anyone
through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privileged information,
misrepresentation of material facts, or any other unfair dealing.

Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:

     •   bribery or payoffs to induce business or breaches of contracts by others;

     •   acquiring a competitor’s trade secrets through bribery or theft;

     •   making false, deceptive, or untruthful disparaging claims or comparisons
         about competitors or their products or services; or

     •   intentionally mislabeling products or services.


7.       Protection and Proper Use of Company Assets

Each team member, officer and director must strive to safeguard Zones
property, whether it is a piece of equipment, an electronic file or
confidential information.

Company assets are to be used only for legitimate business purposes. Such
assets include, but are not limited to: computers; phones; patents, trademarks
and copyrights; business plans; databases; unpublished financial data and
reports; and any Company records. Unauthorized alteration, destruction, use,
disclosure or distribution of these assets violates Company policy and this Code.
Any such action, as well as theft or waste of, or carelessness in using, these



                                           5
assets, has a direct adverse impact on Zones’ operations and profitability and will
not be tolerated.

Zones also provides telecommunication and information technology tools for the
purpose of achieving the Company’s business objectives. Use of company-
provided information technology and systems and access to its contents are
authorized for legitimate business-related purposes. At all times, we should use
good judgment and common sense; conduct ourselves ethically, lawfully, and
professionally; and strictly follow all authorization protocols while accessing and
using Company-provided information technology and its contents. In using these
Company assets and systems, we do not create, access, store, print, solicit, or
send any material that is intimidating, harassing, threatening, abusive, sexually
explicit, or otherwise offensive or inappropriate, nor do we send any false,
derogatory, or malicious communications. As a result, we have the right to
access, reprint, publish, or retain any information created, sent or contained in
any of the Company’s systems.

8.   Reporting Violations of Company Policies and Receipt of Complaints
Regarding Financial Reporting or Accounting Issues

You should report any violation or suspected violation of this Code , other
Company policies, or applicable laws, rules or regulations to the
appropriate Company personnel or via the Company’s anonymous and
confidential reporting procedures.

The Company’s efforts to ensure observance of, and adherence to, the goals and
policies outlined in this Code mandate that you promptly bring any instance,
occurrence or practice that you, in good faith, believe is inconsistent with or in
violation of this Code, other Company policies, or applicable laws, rules and
regulations to the attention of your supervisors, managers or other appropriate
Company personnel or the Board of Directors.

The following is an approach to dealing with potential problem situations.

•   Discuss possible problems with a supervisor or other member of Zones’
    management. In the event you believe a violation of the Code, Company
    policy, or a violation of applicable laws, rules and/or regulations has occurred
    or you have observed or become aware of conduct that appears to be
    contrary to any of the foregoing, immediately discuss the situation with your
    supervisor. If you receive, or receive notice of, a complaint or concern
    regarding the Company’s financial disclosure, accounting, internal controls or
    audit, you must immediately notify your supervisor, or submit a confidential
    and anonymous report by mailing it to the below address, filing an online
    report with the Company’s third party internet based reporting system at
    www.ethicspoint.com or calling our confidential compliance hotline at (800)




                                          6
     240 9879. These resources will assure that your concerns will be reviewed
     and evaluated promptly.

                           Board of Dirctors of Zones, Inc.
                              c/o Corporate Secretary
                           1102 15th Street SW, Suite 102
                                Auburn, WA 98001


•    Use common sense and good judgment; Act in good faith. You are expected
     to become familiar with, and to understand the requirements of, this Code. If
     you become aware of a suspected violation, do not try to investigate it
     yourself or resolve it on your own. Prompt disclosure to the appropriate
     parties is vital to ensuring a thorough and timely investigation and resolution.
     The circumstances should be reviewed by appropriate personnel as promptly
     as possible, as delay may affect the results of any investigation. A violation of
     the Code, Company policy, or of applicable laws, rules and/or governmental
     regulations is a serious matter and could have legal implications. Allegations
     of such behavior are not taken lightly and should not be made to embarrass
     someone or put them in a false light. Reports of suspected violations should
     always be made in good faith.

•    Internal investigation. When an alleged violation of the Code, Company
     policy, or applicable laws, rules and/or governmental regulations is reported,
     the Company will take appropriate action in accordance with the compliance
     procedures outlined in Section 9 of this Code. You are expected to cooperate
     in internal investigations of alleged misconduct or violations of the Code,
     Company policy, or of applicable laws, rules or regulations.

•    No fear of retaliation. It is Company policy that there be no intentional
     retaliation against any person who provides truthful information to a Company
     or law enforcement official concerning a possible violation of any law,
     regulation or Company policy, including this Code. Persons who retaliate may
     be subject to civil, criminal and administrative penalties, as well as disciplinary
     action, up to and including termination of employment. In cases in which you
     report a suspected violation in good faith and are not engaged in the
     questionable conduct, Zones will attempt to keep its discussions and actions
     with you confidential to the greatest extent possible. In the course of its
     investigation, Zones may find it necessary to share information with others on
     a “need to know” basis. No retaliation shall be taken against you for reporting
     alleged violations while acting in good faith.

For a more complete description of reporting suspected violations, please refer to
the Company’s Whistle-blowing and Complaint Policy.

9.      Compliance Procedures



                                            7
Zones has established this Code as part of its overall policies and procedures.
To the extent that other Company policies and procedures conflict with this Code,
you should follow this Code. The Code applies to all Company directors and
Company team members, including all officers, in all locations. The Code is
based on the Company’s core values, good business practices and applicable
law. The existence of a Code, however, does not ensure that directors, officers
and team members will comply with it or act in a legal and ethical manner. To
achieve optimal legal and ethical behavior, the individuals subject to the Code
must know and understand the Code as it applies to them and as it applies to
others. You must champion the Code and assist others in knowing and
understanding it.

•   Compliance. You are expected to become familiar with and understand the
    requirements of the Code. Most important, you must comply with it.

•   Management Responsibility. The Company’s CEO shall be responsible for
    ensuring that the Code is effectively communicated to all team members,
    officers and directors. Although the day-to-day compliance issues will be the
    responsibility of the Company’s managers, the CEO has ultimate
    accountability with respect to the overall implementation of, and successful
    compliance, with the Code.

•   Corporate Compliance Management. The CEO shall select a team member
    to act as the Corporate Compliance Officer. The Corporate Compliance
    Officer is currently the CFO. The Compliance Officer’s charter is to ensure
    communication, training and monitoring and overall compliance with the
    Code. The Compliance Officer will, with the assistance and cooperation of
    the Company’s officers, directors and managers, foster an atmosphere where
    team members are comfortable in communicating and/or reporting concerns
    and possible Code violations.

    The Company maintains a Compliance Hotline at (800) 240 9879, and
    provides a confidential and anonymous internet based reporting system at
    www.ethicspoint.com. It is also possible for you to submit anonymous and
    confidential complaints by mailing your complaint by U.S. mail to the following
    address:

                         Board of Directors of Zones, Inc.
                            c/o Corporate Secretary
                         1102 15th Street SW, Suite 102
                                Auburn, WA 98001

    These various reporting sites enable confidential and anonymous submission
    of complaints and reports of possible violations to the Company’s Board of
    Directors. The Board of Directors shall maintain a record of all calls and


                                         8
    email messages, reports or complaints received. The Board of Directors shall
    maintain a log of all calls to the hotline and letters, and a summary of all other
    communications expressing complaints or concerns received relating to the
    Company’s financial disclosure, accounting, internal accounting controls or
    auditing matters. Such complaints and concerns will be retained for at least
    five years from the date of receipt.

•   Internal Reporting of Violations. The Company’s efforts to ensure observance
    of, and adherence to, the goals and policies outlined in this Code mandate
    that all team members, officers and directors of the Company report
    suspected violations in accordance with Section 8 of this Code.

•   Screening and Retention of Team Members. The Company shall exercise
    due diligence when hiring and promoting team members and, in particular,
    when conducting an employment search for a position involving the exercise
    of substantial discretionary authority, such as a member of the executive
    team, a senior management position or a team member with financial
    management responsibilities. The Company shall make reasonable inquiries
    into the background of each individual who is a candidate for such a position.
    All such inquiries will be made in accordance with applicable law and good
    business practice. In addition, in the event a team member on that exercises
    substantial discretionary authority engages in illegal or unethical behavior in
    connection with his/her services to the Company or is convicted of or pleads
    guilty or no contest to allegations that he/she committed a crime involving
    moral turpitude, the individual shall be removed from his/her position and not
    assigned to any other position involving the exercise of substantial
    discretionary authority, and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and
    including termination of employment.

•   Access to the Code. The Company will ensure that team members, officers,
    directors, and the general public may access the Code on the Company’s
    website. In addition, each current team member will be provided with a copy
    of the Code. New team members will receive a copy of the Code as part of
    their new hire information. From time to time, the Company will sponsor team
    member training programs in which the Code and other Company policies
    and procedures will be discussed.

•   Monitoring. The officers of the Company shall be responsible for reviewing
    the Code with all of the Company’s managers. In turn, the Company’s
    managers with supervisory responsibilities should review the Code with
    his/her direct reports. Managers are the “go to” persons for team member
    questions and concerns relating to the Code, especially in the event of a
    potential violation. Managers or supervisors will immediately report any
    violations or allegations of violations to the Compliance Officer. The
    managers will work with the Compliance Officer in assessing areas of
    concern, potential violations, any needs for enhancement of the Code or


                                          9
    remedial actions to effect the Code’s policies and overall compliance with the
    Code and other related policies.

•   Internal Investigation. When an alleged violation of the Code is reported, the
    Company shall take prompt and appropriate action in accordance with the law
    and regulations and otherwise consistent with good business practice. If the
    suspected violation appears to involve either a potentially criminal act or an
    issue of significant corporate interest, or if the report involves a complaint or
    concern of any person, whether a team member, a shareholder, or other
    interested person regarding the Company’s financial disclosure, internal
    accounting controls, questionable auditing or accounting matters or practices
    or other issues relating to the Company’s accounting or auditing, then the
    manager or investigator should immediately notify the Compliance Officer
    and/or his or her Vice President or other corporate officer, who, in turn, shall
    notify the CEO and the Board of Directors. If a suspected violation involves
    any director, executive officer or any Senior Officer as defined in Section 3
    above, or if the suspected violation concerns any fraud, whether or not
    material, involving management or other team members who have a
    significant role in the Company’s internal controls, any person who received
    such report should immediately report the alleged violation to the CEO, the
    CFO, and, in every such case, the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors
    shall assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of
    investigation. At a point in the process consistent with the need not to be
    compromise the investigation, a person who is suspected of a violation shall
    be apprised of the alleged violation and shall have an opportunity to provide a
    response to the investigator. All actions or investigations in response to an
    alleged violation shall be documented, as appropriate.

•   Corrective Actions. Subject to the following sentence, in the event of a
    violation of the Code, the manager and Compliance Officer should assess the
    situation to determine whether the violation demonstrates a problem that
    requires remedial action as to Company policies and procedures. If a
    violation has been reported to the Board of Directors, that Board shall be
    responsible for determining appropriate remedial or corrective actions. Such
    corrective action may include providing revised public disclosure, retraining
    Company team members, modifying Company policies and procedures,
    improving monitoring of compliance under existing procedures and other
    action necessary to detect similar non-compliant conduct and prevent it from
    occurring in the future. Such corrective action shall be documented, as
    appropriate.

•   Disciplinary Actions. Subject to the following sentence, the manager or Vice
    President, after consultation with the Director of Human Resources and/or the
    Compliance Officer, shall be responsible for implementing the appropriate
    disciplinary action in accordance with the Company’s policies and procedures
    for any team member who is found to have violated the Code. In addition to


                                         10
    imposing discipline upon persons involved in non-compliant conduct, the
    Company also shall impose discipline, as appropriate, upon individuals who
    fail to detect non-compliant conduct and upon individuals who fail to report
    known non-compliant conduct. If a violation has been reported to the Board
    of Directors, that Board shall be responsible for determining appropriate
    disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action may include the termination the
    team member’s employment. Disciplinary action shall be documented, as
    appropriate. In addition to imposing its own discipline, when appropriate the
    Company will bring suspected violations of law to the attention of appropriate
    law enforcement personnel.

•   Retention of Reports and Complaints. All reports and complaints made to or
    received by the Compliance Officer or the Board of Directors shall be logged
    into a record maintained for this purpose by the Compliance Officer and this
    record of such report shall be retained for five (5) years.




                                        11