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Ethics and Integrity in the Workplace

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics and Integrity in the Workplace"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics and Integrity in the Workplace
Human Resources Unit – ENTR/R2

2 Objectives Raising awareness of potentially risky situations
Presenting key rules and concepts Presenting notions of how to deal with practical cases

3 Importance of Ethics and integrity
Ensuring a high standard of public service Continuous media and public scrutiny – potential reputational damage Setting the example for national and local administrations

4 Key concepts (*) Principles
Independence, impartiality, objectivity, loyalty Circumspection Sense of responsibility Own initiative – if you think there might be problems, talk to your superior Staff Regulations, Code of Good Administrative Behaviour (*) Valid for former officials as well

5 External activities Ms Bouwerij, from DG Enterprise’s Standardisation Unit, wants to join the board of the “copropriété” in her building. Is she allowed?

6 Staff Regulations: Article 12 (b)
An official wishing to engage in an outside activity, whether paid (*) or unpaid, or to carry out any assignment outside the Communities, shall first obtain the permission of the Appointing Authority. Permission shall be refused only if the activity or assignment in question is such as to interfere with the performance of the official's duties or is incompatible with the interests of the institution. * Maximum net annual remuneration is €

7 Paid hospitality or missions
A tourism sector consultancy is organising a dinner conference in a hotel in Brussels and asks you to make a speech. Although you do not receive remuneration for it, you do not need to pay for dinner either. The other participants, however, will be charged for their attendance. What do you do?

8 Staff Regulations Article 11
An official shall not without the permission of the appointing authority accept from any government or from any other source outside the institution to which he belongs any honour, decoration, favour, gift or payment of any kind whatever, except for services rendered either before his appointment or during special leave for military or other national service and in respect of such service. Partners/family members should not accompany the official. If they do so, they should assume all costs in full and the official should inform his hierarchy. Missions without costs are not accepted in general.

9 Gifts, payments, favours: Article 11
If gift value > 50€/same source/year -> you must request authorisation to receive it; If gift value > 250€/same source/year -> charity OR interest of the institution; Missions – if without cost, not accepted in principle

10 Publication and speeches
Mr Martínez, from Unit H1 (Space policy and Coordination), has written an article on the following subject: The European Space policy: Up and away! Does he need permission from the Commission to publish it?

11 Staff Regulations: Article 17 (a)
An official has the right to freedom of expression, with due respect to the principles of loyalty and impartiality. Without prejudice to Articles 12 and 17*, an official who intends to publish or cause to be published, whether alone or with others, any matter dealing with the work of the Communities shall inform the Appointing Authority in advance. *(concerning disclosure of information)

12 Staff Regulations: Article 17 (a)
Where the Appointing Authority is able to demonstrate that the matter is liable seriously to prejudice the legitimate interests of the Communities, the Appointing Authority shall inform the official of its decision in writing within 30 working days of receipt of the information. If no such decision is notified within the specified period, the Appointing Authority shall be deemed to have had no objections.

13 Journalists, media, lobbyists
Ms Schmitz, desk officer for “bananas” in DG AGRI, gets a phone call from a journalist at the Financial Times requesting non- confidential information. Can she reply to the questions?

14 Journalists, media, lobbyists
Stay « neutral » and courteous, direct journalists to relevant service, inform your HoU and Unit R/4; Duty of discretion and caution apply.

15 Code of Good Administrative Behaviour for Staff of the European Commission in their Relations with the Public – part 1 Where enquiries concern areas for which staff are directly responsible, they shall establish the identity of the caller and check whether the information has already been made public before giving it out. The Press and Communication Service is responsible for contacts with the media. However, when requests for information concern technical subjects falling within their specific areas of responsibility, staff may answer them. Advice in Enterprise DG: “It is nonetheless prudent for any official to consult Unit R/4, as the spokesman's interface with the Enterprise DG, before dealing with any request from the media, however "technical". R/4 should in any event be informed of any approaches that officials receive from the press.”

16 Code of Good Administrative Behaviour for Staff of the European Commission in their Relations with the Public – part 2 Access can be requested to any documents (including classified); However, access may be refused if disclosure undermines: public interest (security, defence, military, etc. ) or privacy of the individual commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property; court proceedings and legal advice; the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits the Commission’s internal decision-making process

17 For lobbyists: Basic rules – same as for contact with the public
Own initiative, sense of responsibility Talk to your hierarchy Awareness In practice – contacts with lobbyists should take place in the office, during normal working hours Don’t put yourself in vulnerable situations

18 Conflict of interest You are involved in the selection process for a big contract and you recently bought shares in a company that has serious chances of winning the deal. What do you do?

19 Staff Regulations Article 11a
1. An official shall not, in the performance of his duties and save as hereinafter provided, deal with a matter in which, directly or indirectly, he has any personal interest such as to impair his independence, and, in particular, family and financial interests. 2. Any official to whom it falls, in the performance of his duties, to deal with a matter referred to above shall immediately inform the Appointing Authority. The Appointing Authority shall take any appropriate measure, and may in particular relieve the official from responsibility in this matter. 3. An official may neither keep nor acquire, directly or indirectly, in undertakings which are subject to the authority of the institution to which he belongs or which have dealings with that institution, any interest of such kind or magnitude as might impair his independence in the performance of his duties.

20 Other situations... (1) Activities of spouse: your spouse is gainfully employed as a lawyer in Paris. Do you need to inform the AA? Staff Regulations Article 13: If the spouse of an official is in gainful employment, the official shall inform the appointing authority of his institution. Should the nature of the employment prove to be incompatible with that of the official and if the official is unable to give an undertaking that it will cease within a specified period, the appointing authority shall, after consulting the Joint Committee, decide whether the official shall continue in his post or be transferred to another post.

21 Other situations (2) When in doubt, contact the HR unit!
Local legislation vs. Privileges and immunities: you rush to a meeting but traffic delays you and you forget to pay for your parking in the street. You receive a ticket. Back home you write to the Brussels authorities pointing out that you were on official duty. Protocol on Privileges and Immunities: officials shall not be exempt from fulfilling their private obligations or from complying with the laws and police regulations in force. Running for public office : you feel you know enough about Belgian politics to actually start enjoying them, so you decide to run in the local elections. Is it allowed? Staff Regulations Article 15: An official who intends to stand for public office shall notify the Appointing Authority. When in doubt, contact the HR unit!

22 Citizens first! We are at the service of 500 million EU citizens
The Commission is determined to provide a high-quality public service. Public service in the EU requires a multitude of codes and regulation. … Where to start?

23 Conduct in the service Be a good colleague and a good official:
Teamwork – share information with your superiors and colleagues Courtesy and respect – multicultural work environment Commitment – proactive and responsible approach Do not condone abusive behaviour – there are procedures to deal with harassment and improper conduct You are shaping your work environment – positive and open attitude are important

24 Reporting improprieties
C (2002) 845 “raising concerns about serious wrongdoing” : Any official or servant of the Commission who becomes aware of evidence which gives rise to a presumption of the existence of possible cases of fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity (…) which may constitute a failure to comply with the obligations of officials or servants of the Communities liable to result in disciplinary or, in appropriate cases, criminal proceedings, (…), shall inform without delay his Head of Service or Director-General or, if he considers it useful, the Secretary-General of the Commission or the European Anti-Fraud Office direct.

25 Conduct outside of work
You are part of creating the Commission’s image for the media and public: Reflect on the possible consequences of your actions Act with propriety and moderation Remember you are bound to the values of discretion, circumspection and loyalty to the service.

26 First: Staff Regulations
Articles 11 to 26 (a) of the Staff Regulations: a general framework (see attachment) Also _fr and _de They deal with outside activities, personal interests, residence, responsibilities, privileges...

27 Second: Code of Administrative Behaviour
For Staff of the European Commission and their relations with the public Also _fr and _de Information on the rights of interested parties, dealing with enquiries, protection of personal data, complaints…

28 Third: financial management
In particular: Financial Regulation and Implementing Rules There is a whole body of rules dealing with financial management. These rules can be found here:

29 Where can I find all this information?
Intranet of DG ENTR: « Vade-mecum  » also available

30 Thank you for your attention!
Any questions?

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