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Catholic spokesman urges rigorous response to business ethics mentor plan

Pressed by a Sydney newspaper to comment on a plan for a 'network of mentors' to foster more ethical behaviour in company boardrooms, a Catholic Bishops' Conference has spokesperson has suggested a rigorous approach is the only way.

The spokesman stressed that ethics is a science, implying that any attempt to judge particular behaviour or individuals as "ethical" should not be done lightly.

He told The Sydney Morning Herald: "The idea of mentoring for a member of a board would be perhaps to have a confidant, an experienced and wise person who can help them work out what are the proper values at stake."

Richard Francis of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants had proposed that since company directors were generally appointed for business acumen, they need the advice of a "network of mentors" to turn to.

Dr Simon Longstaff from the St James Ethics Centre stressed the importance of independent ethics mentors with no interest in the company's profitability.

Sydney Morning Herald

St James Ethics Centre

31 Jan 2003