At SGRF, we believe that success can only be achieved by gaining trust and building a name that is linked to transparency and governance. This is particularly true if such name is supposed to shoulder the responsibility of providing a decent life for the Sultanate's future generations as well as those living on its good soil.
In light of this, SGRF has taken a number of steps that create a solid internal foundation to maintain high levels of governance and transparency. The most notable step taken towards achieving this goal is the issuance of Authorities and Responsibilities Manual, and the investment manual in 2013, which draws the roadmap for each department in SGRF in order to prevent any conflict of responsibilities or undesired overlap between the authorities granted to each department, and to maintain the integration between the duties of departments in a manner that achieves SGRF objectives.
In addition to the above, SGRF adopted the Code of Business Conduct. It is a guide for all SGRF staff outlining the ethics and behaviours, which an SGRF employee should emulate, as they reflect SGRF integrity. The goal behind this is to gain the trust of whom SGRF is deals with. The Whistle Blowing system was also introduced to report any violations and take appropriate actions in a manner that preserves the rights for all parties.
SGRF Management has been working towards updating and improving SGRF governance frameworks to keep pace with the requirements of the age and achieve a better operational and investment performance. It also aims to realize the goals entrusted with the fund, pursuant to Royal Decree No. 1/80, and its amendments, to establish the sovereign wealth Fund.
SGRF applies the best international practices in the area of governance to guarantee the enforcement of an effective and flexible system that interacts with the requirements of each stage without contravening the existing laws.
The governance structure of SGRF consists of a set of executive, administrative and regulatory levels that include SGRF regulative body represented by the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council (FAERC), SGRF Board of Directors and the Executive Team responsible for managing the SGRF operations including the Audit Committee, the Management Committee, the Investment Committee, the Human Resources Committee, Tenders Committee, and the Information Technology Committee.
SGRF has recently issued corporate Governance Manual. This Manual contains an elaborate account of the tasks to be carried out by each of the SGRF units as well as integration between such units. It also contains the FAERC's scope of competences in its capacity as the SGRF's Regulative Body as well as those of SGRF Board and executive and administrative apparatus. The aim behind this is to prevent any conflict of powers between the Regulative Body, FAERC and the Executive Team and to ensure smooth and effective performance. The Manual also contains the tasks of the Management Committees, Human Resources, Investment Committee, Tenders, Risk Management, mechanisms for selecting their members and the documentation of the meetings of various committees to facilitate the performance monitoring process and transparency.
In 2014, SGRF launched the Violations Reporting System. It is one of SGRF's multiple lines of defence. The System has a high level of confidentiality to hide the identity of the reporter. The launching of this System came as a result of SGRF members' strong belief in the importance of their standing together to prevent any of SGRF staff from committing wrong practices that may damage SGRF's reputation or jeopardize its financial status. The system allows the reporter to describe certain incidents or employees who break the work systems or the procedures applicable at SGRF, whether the same has to do with financial transactions like tenders and investments or administrative operations. Based on such reports, an independent committee carries out an internal investigation and then refers its report to the competent authorities.
To ensure transparency and achieve the best control of its transactions, SGRF goes through three different auditing stages. Through the Internal Audit Committee, the financial statements as well as SGRF transaction-related data are drawn-up and audited. Besides, SGRF Board puts up its recommendations relating to the appointment of an independent auditor to the FAERC for approval of the same. The SGRF is subject to be audited by the State Audit institution (SAI), an independent regulative body that oversees the performance of different government authorities in the Sultanate and presents its unbiased notes on the financial performance, investments and other SGRF transactions to ensure its compliance with the laws and regulations
The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) is a member in the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) since April 2015.
Founded in 2009, IFSWF is a voluntary group of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) which meets to exchange views on issues of common interest and to facilitate adoption by members and a greater understanding of the Santiago Principles and SWF activities internationally. The Forum operates in an inclusive manner and facilitates communication among SWFs as well as with recipient country officials and representatives of multilateral organizations and the private sector.