Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct is applicable to all “Project Staff” meaning any person who is working, as an employee or volunteer, with a local or international project partner, financing partner or product or service provider or is involved in any other official capacity in or for a project supported by Childaid Network. Likewise this Code of Conduct applies to any person working for or having any position within this organization.
2. No bribery
Project Staff may not give or accept gifts and other personal advantages to or from partners, project partners and target groups or any other person or organisation, in order to do or cause to do anything illegal, dishonest or inappropriate or anything constituting a breach of trust, unless these are gifts of minor value and are within normal limits (up to an equivalent value of EUR 10) and are considered customary or an act of politeness.
3. Definition of gifts and other advantages
Accepting or offering gifts and other advantages can constitute criminal advantage-taking or bribery. Even if not a criminal act in the individual case, it is essential to avoid any impression that an improper relationship may exist. Advantages not only include gifts, but all services to which Project Staff have no claim and which improve their economic, legal or personal circumstances. These include
- free or reduced-price (private) travel or the use of vehicles
- admission tickets and other discounts (to the extent that these are not expressly granted to all other Project Staff under contractual agreements)
- payment of travel expenses
- dinner invitations of significant value
- entry into consultancy agreements, etc.
Advantage-taking can also be said to exist where advantages are given to a ‘third party’ (spouse, children etc.), to the extent that Project Staff is aware of this.
Travel expenses incurred by Project Staff for official travel are exclusively borne by the local project partner out of an agreed and approved budget. It is not permissible for them to be assumed by a business partner. In exceptional cases, permission can be given to accept gifts and other advantages when acceptance constitutes an act of politeness or is standard business practice.
4. Loans and advances to personnel
Loans and advances to Project Staff out of project funds for private use are not permitted, as such funds may only be used for budgeted purposes. Specifically, loans from project funds are generally prohibited for the following purposes (examples):
- building a house
- purchasing a vehicle
- purchasing household goods.
5. Conflict of interest in awarding of contracts and procurement
Project Staff with connections of a personal nature that could lead to conflicts of interest, or persons who have connections of a family or financial nature to local suppliers or service providers, their competitors or their employees may not be involved in decisions on awarding contracts to such suppliers or service providers.
Project staff who have any connections of a personal, family or financial nature with local partners, competitors or their employees, must notify their manager. They may not place orders on behalf of local partners with relatives or companies in which they, or persons closely connected with them, are involved. Closely connected persons are fiancé(e)s, spouses, lifetime partners, children, direct in-laws and other close relatives.
People with personal or financial connections to local partners can be employed or awarded contracts provided that any conflict of interest resulting from the personal relationship is ruled out.
Project Staff are obliged to disclose to their respective managers all circumstances that could be deemed to constitute a conflict of interest as a result of a personal or financial connection.
6. Guiding principles for procurement
The following principles apply to all procurement:
- economic efficiency
- competitive tendering wherever possible
- equal treatment of bidders
- full transparency
- social and environmental compatibility
A complete contract or order file will be maintained by the unit entering into a contract or placing an order.
7. Project accounts, accounting standards, use of funds
Certain expenses cannot be treated as project expenses. These may not be entered in the project accounts. Fines for breaking the law must be paid by the person responsible and are not eligible for billing.
Private expenditures that cannot be billed to the project include leaving and other gifts to staff members and unapproved travel expense.
Reserves and provisions
No reserves or provisions for future payment obligations may be formed in the project accounts (e.g. at the end of the year). It should be noted that unofficial funds and hidden accounts where funds can be ‘parked’ for future payments are also prohibited.
Fictitious entries (entries that are not based on any genuine transaction) are also prohibited. Example: fictitious costs/expenditures and fictitious outflows of cash at the end of the year.
Other fictitious occurrences
It is accordingly also forbidden to create fictitious appraiser, consulting or local subsidy agreements, to fake orders and post disbursements (bank and cash fund payments to ‘black accounts’ or ‘black cash funds’, or to store cheques that have been made out but not distributed) to receivables or costs.
Project funds – as the name suggests – may be spend on project purposes only.