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One way to judge General Motors Corp.’s everyday commitment to good governance standards is by a handbook distributed to all salaried employees called Winning with Integrity. A 21-page set of ethical guidelines ranging from how to report wrongdoing to conflict of interest rules and insider trading issues, Winning with Integrity lays out a clear message that all employees share the responsibility for maintaining the company’s legacy. Each year, employees must affirm they have read its provisions and will comply with them. “In the end, it comes down to personal responsibility–mine, yours, all of ours,” reads an introduction by Chairman and CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. The document has been required reading at GM since 1996, long before Enron Corp.’s collapse or Sarbanes-Oxley’s rise. “The most fundamental thing to have in place is tone at the top,” says Paul Schmidt, GM’s controller, who heads the automaker’s compliance efforts. “It is very important that the organization understand that the top management follows this.”

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