Being accountable

Who are you in Turkey? One can answer this question like this “I am a citizen of the Republic of Turkey”. Who are you in the USA? Those living there can answer like “I am a citizen who pays taxes to the US state.”

The difference is neither language nor religion. One of them is aware that he pays taxes. With this awareness, he can call his government to account every day. He does not wait for elections for this. Citizenship is not a task done every four years. Citizenship is a right and privilege. He asks and questions with this consciousness. I think that a management approach in which the people ask for an account and actively participate in management, the judiciary and the legislature are a fully independent and supervisory mechanism and the will of voters is 100 percent reflected in the administration is important for democracy.

A system in which even those who are successful can only be president for two terms, the political life of those who fail is soon finished. A transparent management in which aid and donations are open and legal. A political structure in which the assembly plays an active role in administration. A model in which quick decisions are made and implemented within this political structure. And for us, citizenship is a duty. If you look at the 1961 Constitution, you will see a written text with rights and freedoms. There are more homework and duties in the 1981 Constitution, which shows that you are a citizen in name only.

Citizen Ahmet votes for candidates nominated by party leaders on his behalf. But wouldn't it be better if the citizen chose the candidates chosen by party members, not directly from the delegates? When party leaders are elected by millions of party members instead of nearly a thousand delegates, then see the presidential system. How things work just fine. The first and most basic condition for transparency is the establishment of awareness that people are citizens.

If the nation does not live with the awareness and responsibility of being a citizen, the state mechanism does not work, even if it is the presidency or the parliamentary system. You go one step forward, two steps back.

Transparent and supervised companies win.

Transparency is a required specification for companies as well as governments. For foreign trade companies, being transparent is accepted as an indicator of being workable. Companies are going public for this. Because public companies are audited by the Capital Markets Board (CMB). They use this as a trump card in the international market.

Companies can have themselves audited by an independent audit company, whether public or not. There are also companies that are not legally open to the public but still have their own audits every year. Customs consultancy companies cannot be open to the public. Despite this, Ünsped, which carries out the customs clearance procedures of foreign trade companies, received the transparency award in 2019. It has been corporate rating for the last five years as a company.

We talk about measuring and being auditable with Celalettin Güleryüz, the Ünsped Customs Consultancy CFO.

What is important for corporate governance?

Regulations on corporate governance focus on four basic principles. Fairness, transparency, accountability and responsibility. We can say that the corporate management of a company conducts its relations with all its stakeholders within the framework of the principles of equality, transparency, accountability and responsibility. The principle of fairness is the expression of the management of the company to treat all rights holders equally. It refers to the protection of shareholder rights and implementation of contracts, including minority shareholders and foreign partners. Transparency requires accurate, clear and comparable information sharing with the public. Accountability requires the board to monitor its peak management performance independently and ensure that top managers are accountable to shareholders. Responsibility, while creating value for the shareholders of companies, explains how to work in compliance with laws and regulations that reflect social values.

What is the benefit to companies?

These principles enable companies to continue their activities to international standards, to be transparent and accountable to both beneficiaries, stakeholders and the society, so that their transfers to future generations are based on stronger foundations. It helps the company to work effectively and efficiently.

What happens if there is no corporate governance?

In companies where corporate governance is lacking, structures that are insufficient in terms of management and at the same time are open to corruption and are not accountable, occur. Uncertainty adversely affects business processes as the goals cannot be established with audit and surveillance policies. It creates serious problems in the long-term performance of the company and fluctuates in performance according to daily conditions.

Why do you give corporate ratings as Ünsped?

To establish a sustainable structure, although UGM is not a public company. To increase our service quality and reliability by operating the processes that have been audited within the scope of our responsibilities towards our customers. To establish an open, transparent and accountable structure against all stakeholders together with shareholders and stakeholders. Thus, to prevent negligence and abuse. To have auditing and documenting the processes of full compliance with ethical principles and legal regulations. To fulfill our responsibilities towards business, environment and society. As a result of all this, as a reliable and reputable company in the sector, we have been announcing our note “Corporate Governance Rating” to the public every year since 2015 and continue to work on improving our processes in order to serve our customers not only today but also in the future. In 2019, we got 9.22 points out of 10.

So, do you share this with your customers in a transparent way?

As the supplier of our customers, we have an independent audit on financial legislation and compliance issues in our internal processes and share them with all our stakeholders. As a supplier of our customers, we receive and present a tax reconciliation report as to whether our company fulfills its tax obligations under the independent audit.