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Policies and procedures

Principles, practices, policies, and procedures

Integrity and ethical standards:
It is IBM's policy to conduct itself ethically and fairly in relation to its suppliers and all others with whom IBM does business. If, at any time, this policy is perceived as being compromised in any way, please report your concern to the IBM Global Procurement Ombudsman (800-233-3073). Concerns will be addressed promptly with care, respect, and confidentiality.

Reciprocity:
IBM's goal is to buy goods and services which have the best prices, quality, delivery, and technology. IBM has a policy against reciprocal buying arrangements, because those arrangements can interfere with this goal.

Confidentiality:
IBM considers its business relationships with each of its suppliers and potential suppliers to be a private matter between the two parties. IBM will treat information received from suppliers in a responsible fashion and expects suppliers to treat information received from IBM in the same manner. Further, IBM does not wish to receive from a supplier any information which is considered to be confidential unless the supplier and IBM have entered into a confidential disclosure agreement which covers such information.

Patents:
IBM does not knowingly infringe the patent rights of others. Conversely, IBM requires patent indemnification on all procured materials. IBM will discuss ideas or inventions with outside individuals and, where necessary, will contract for the development of special products. In all such cases, appropriate contractual arrangements must be made in advance.

Supplier diversity program:
IBM maintains a commitment to ensure a diverse supplier base. It is our policy to provide opportunities in all areas of IBM's procurement, marketing and contracting activities to people of different ethnic origins, women, people with disabilities, etc.

Gifts and gratuities:
IBM employees and members of their families may not solicit or accept gratuities from suppliers or prospective suppliers. Only gifts of $50 or less can be accepted by employees.

Business meals and entertainment:
IBM employees who deal with suppliers may accept customary business amenities such as meals and entertainment, provided the expenses involved are kept at a reasonable level and are not prohibited by law or known supplier business practices. IBM employees are expected to reciprocate and share these costs equally over time.

Appropriate conduct on IBM premises:
All individuals on IBM premises are expected to engage in appropriate con