Business Practice Standards

Interested in becoming a supplier to Cincinnati Bell? Learn more about the basic requirements and policies for suppliers and the programs we support.

Cincinnati Bell's Business Practice Standards apply to individuals/ organizations who provide direct and indirect materials and services, independent contractors, distributors, suppliers and other intermediaries, herein referred to as "Suppliers".

Cincinnati Bell's partnership with suppliers requires us to clearly define requirements, exchange information, and share mutual benefits. Generally, suppliers to Cincinnati Bell have their own business standards. Although Cincinnati Bell cannot control the behavior of our suppliers, we will not tolerate their illegal actions. Cincinnati Bell employees are accountable for doing business according to the Business Practice Standards listed below:

Contact Information

If you need additional information or guidance on these standards, or wish to report a potential violation, you may contact the Purchasing help line at 513-397-7575.

Accuracy of Business Records

Record and report facts accurately, honestly and objectively. Financial records must be accurate in all material respects. Do not hide, fail to record, or make false entries. All financial books and records must conform to the generally accepted accounting principles.

Confidential Information, including Proprietary Information and Trade Secrets

"Confidential Information" includes facts, data and knowledge that have not been disclosed to the public.

Many different types of information have value because they are maintained in confidence. Such information includes unpatented technology as well as non-technical data such as financial, marketing, strategic, manufacturing, human resource, supplier, and material non-public information.

All suppliers requiring access to Cincinnati Bell's confidential information are required to complete a confidentiality agreement and/or receive approval from Cincinnati Bell's legal counsel prior to accepting confidential information.

Confidential information is to be limited to information required to fulfill contracted performance requirements. Suppliers will keep confidential this information and any other information that they may acquire with respect to Cincinnati Bell's business (including, but not limited to, information developed by Suppliers and information relating to products, customers, suppliers, pricing, costs, know-how, strategies, programs, processes, and practices) unless and until Cincinnati Bell consents to disclosure, or unless such knowledge and information otherwise becomes generally available to the public through no fault of supplier.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest arises when personal interests or activities influence (or appear to influence) the ability to act in the best interest of Cincinnati Bell. Entering into an arrangement that conflicts with your responsibility to Cincinnati Bell must be avoided.

Some situations that could cause a conflict of interest include:

  • Doing business with family members.
  • Having a financial interest in another company in our industry.
  • Providing similar services for direct competitors of Cincinnati Bell, with access to confidential or competitive information.

A conflict of interest may arise if a family member has a "significant financial interest" in a Cincinnati Bell supplier, Cincinnati Bell customer, or competitor of Cincinnati Bell.
"Family member" include:

  • Spouse
  • Brothers or sisters
  • Parents
  • In-laws
  • Children
  • Life partner


Supplier must disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest and discuss them with Cincinnati Bell's management. Any activity that is approved, despite the actual or apparent conflict, must be documented.

Employment Practices Guidelines

Cincinnati Bell is guided by our commitment to treating all employees with dignity and respect and believes in the value of workplace diversity. Cincinnati Bell has the same commitment to its Suppliers and expects its Suppliers to honor that commitment.

Illegal Drugs or Alcohol

Suppliers are expected to perform work for Cincinnati Bell free from the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol and in condition to perform their duties. Suppliers cannot use, possess, or sell illegal drugs on Cincinnati Bell property.

Minimum Hiring Age/Child Labor

Suppliers will not produce or manufacture goods or services using forced or indentured child labor. Regular full-time employees are to be at least 18 years of age. Suppliers and Contractors must disclose the existence of part-time work, summer jobs, or apprenticeship programs for individuals under the age of 18 to Cincinnati Bell's management.

Fair Employment Opportunity

Suppliers are expected to comply with all applicable Employment laws and regulation including statutes prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.

Workplace Harassment

Cincinnati Bell does not permit intimidation or hostility and will not tolerate any behavior that might harass, disrupt or interfere with another persons ability to work. Suppliers are expected to behave appropriately when working with Cincinnati Bell. Suppliers will not exhibit unacceptable behavior when working with Cincinnati Bell or onsite at a Cincinnati Bell location. Unacceptable behavior includes verbal, non-verbal, and physical attacks.

Environment, Health & Safety

Cincinnati Bell is committed to protecting our employees, neighbor, and the environment. Suppliers are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding environment, health, and safety. Suppliers working with Cincinnati Bell or onsite at a Cincinnati Bell location must work in a way that assures their own safety and the safety of others. Any emergencies must be reported promptly and appropriate responses made.

Gifts & Entertainment

Gifts and entertainment are not needed in order to conduct business with Cincinnati Bell and may give rise to conflict of interest. Suppliers should be aware of and respect these guidelines.

In many cultures, gifts and entertainment are an integral part of doing business. Giving or receiving gifts or entertainment must relate to Cincinnati Bell's legitimate business. Generally exchanging modest gifts, entertainment, or other business courtesies is permissible if:

  • The reason for the gift or entertainment is appropriate.
  • The gift or entertainment helps improve business or community relationships.

Cincinnati Bell employees who are given or offered a gift, entertainment, or preferred treatment they believe is inappropriate must refuse if possible and report the event promptly to their supervisor.

The following situations are always inappropriate and are expressly prohibited:

  • Giving a gift, entertainment, or preferred treatment with the intention of trying to influence the decision making objectively of a Cincinnati Bell employee.
  • Offering a gift, entertainment, or preferred treatment intended to influence a purchasing decision.
  • Offering any gift, entertainment, or preferred treatment while involved in a current purchasing or contracting decision process. (RFI, RFP, RFQ).
  • Any gift of currency.
  • Offering entertainment where the Supplier will not be present/represented (e.g., sports/event tickets).
  • Offering an opportunity to purchase products, services, or a financial interest under terms not available to all Cincinnati Bell employees.

Prohibition of Bribes, Kickbacks, Unlawful Payments, and Other Corrupt Practices

While Cincinnati Bell observes local business customs and market practices, we do not participate in any corrupt practices. Cincinnati Bell expects its Suppliers to act in a similar manner.

Cincinnati Bell employees must not use an agent or representative to do anything Cincinnati Bell policies prohibit. All employees and any agents or other individuals representing Cincinnati Bell must follow the laws of the country in which they operate, applicable United States laws, these standards, and keep accurate business records worldwide to ensure the records reflect actual transactions and payment.

All employees and any agents or other individuals representing Cincinnati Bell must not offer, make, or authorize payment of money, or anything or value, directly or indirectly, to:

  • Illegally influence the judgment or conduct or ensure a desired outcome or action of any individual, customer, company or company representative.
  • Win or retain business or to influence any act or decision of any governmental official, political party, candidate for political office or official of a public international organization.
  • Gain an improper advantage.

Fair Competition and Antitrust

Cincinnati Bell is firmly committed to the ideas of free and competitive enterprise.

Suppliers, Agents or other individuals representing Cincinnati Bell are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulation regarding fair competition and antitrust.

Contact Information

If you need additional information or guidance on these standards, or wish to report a potential violation, you may contact the Purchasing help line at 513-397-7575.