The Syrian Association is strictly committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and full compliance with governing laws & regulations that apply to the Association. All volunteers, officers and directors of The Syrian Association are expected to act ethically in all of their business & personal dealings on behalf of the Syrian Association as well as in their private affairs. The Syrian Association wants its team to do the right thing — every time & all the time – thus reflecting the fundamental values of fairness and integrity, which the association intends to maintain at all times.
The standards of the Syrian Association’s Code of Conduct (referred to in this document as “The Code”) apply to all of The Syrian Association’s team members, meaning every volunteer and member. This Code reflects the work culture of the Association and clarifies the basis on which the code is built on within the association. The main objective of this document is to encourage the members to further promote high standards of practice within the association, while persevering a fair and positive climate among individuals, in a way that contributes to promoting respect and welfare of all its stakeholders.
All members of The Syrian Association’s team are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical manner and to adhere to these values, and carry out their affairs flawlessly.
Even when there isn’t a specific rule, regulation, or law, one can never be wrong
when he/she does the right thing. Since this Code is not intended to be all-encompassing, whenever any member is unsure whether a certain action is acceptable under this Code, he/she should ask his/her head of department or contact the CEO in this regard.
B. Concepts & Standards of Ethics
The Syrian Association expects all its personnel to deal honestly, fairly, politely and respectfully at all times and with all Parties. Team members shall always remember that they are the representatives of the Association and their actions may be generalized to that of the Association.
The Syrian Association seeks to be an association with whom others want to cooperate. Hence, it requires a personal commitment of everyone to maintain its reputation as an ethical and responsible association. Each team member has a key role to play, and they should all understand and be aware that some of their acts and behaviors, even if unintentional, can violate the standards of ethics and the applicable laws and regulations such as:
- Offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, anything of value to influence a decision or an action is considered as a “corrupt practice”.
- Any intentional act or omission of information or intending to mislead a party to obtain a benefit or avoid an obligation is considered as a “fraudulent practice”.
- An arrangement with another party to achieve an improper purpose, including to influence improperly the actions of another party is considered as a “collusive practice”.
- Impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm a party to influence its actions is considered as a “coercive practice”.
- Destroying, falsifying, altering, or concealing facts, material or information is considered as an “obstructive practice”.
Understanding the above and maintaining at all moments an ethical behaviour, will help maintain the Syrian Association’s reputation for integrity and fair dealing.
1- Professional Behaviour
The Syrian Association’s team members represent the image of The Syrian Association and their behaviour reflects the culture of the Syrian Association and its level of professionalism.
The behaviour of any member can influence the general work environment and performance, and in order to best perform work assignments, respect colleagues and maintain a professional work environment, all members are expected to follow the rules below and report any violation to the responsible person to take the necessary action:
No team member may:
- behave in a manner that is insulting, disrespectful, aggressing, threatening or impolite to colleagues, administration, Beneficiaries, or anyone dealing with the Association.
- promote or distribute any kind of material or documents not related to work, unless authorized by the administration.
- engage in sexual behaviour or in any verbal or physical contact of sexual nature.
- Engage, as a member of the Association, in any conflictive discussions such as political, religious or racial discussions.
2- Protection of Syrian Association’s Information
Depending on every team member’s position, he/she has the right to access to information that the Syrian Association regards as confidential or proprietary. Team members shall always refer to their head of department whenever they have any doubt if a document or information is considered as being confidential or proprietary.
Given that the unauthorized release of confidential or proprietary data could harm the Syrian Association, the following rules apply:
No team member:
- may use, either for his or her own personal benefit or the benefit of others, any of the above-mentioned information.
- should disclose such information to any other member except on a “need to know” basis.
- may disclose information and/or reveal documents concerning the Syrian Association and its Beneficiaries, etc…) or its volunteers, whether it’s confidential or otherwise, whether protected or not, to any third party, including resigned volunteers, unless specifically authorized in writing to do so by someone empowered to make such authorization.
- Can consider that his/her contribution to the product and services development and implementation is his/her property. The Syrian Association’s programs and services are its property and remain the Syrian Association’s property even if the individual resigns or his or her employment is otherwise terminated.
- may acquire confidential or proprietary information, including information-technology related data about the Association or partner organizations, through improper means, since such actions are unlawful and subject to legal actions; nor may he/she misuse, alter, or release any of this information without the prior written approval of the CEO.
- may misappropriate patents or misuse trademarks of the Syrian Association or others, whether patented or not. As of copyrights, members may not make unauthorized copies of any copyrighted materials, including software, documentation, and publications, data, accounts and other information of various kinds.
- may retain any data or documents of any kind under his/her custody following the termination of his/her employment contract, for whatsoever reason.
3- Conflict of Interest
All team members are expected to do their job for the benefit of The Syrian Association and its beneficiaries. A conflict of interest occurs when private interests of team member interfere in any way, or when it appears to interfere with the interests of the association as a whole.
All team members have a duty to avoid financial, business, or other relationships that are, or may appear to be, at odds with the interests of the Association or that might conflict with the performance of their assigned duties.
All team members are expected to prevent conflicts or potential conflicts of interest, by following here below rules:
No team member may:
- Work or volunteer with any institution that has the same concept or projects without coordinating with the Association.
- conduct business on behalf of the Association with a firm owned or controlled or run by a volunteer or a family member of a volunteer, unless pre-approved by CEO and always based on the guiding principle of “First Refusal Option”.
If any team member feels that he/she may be placed in a situation of personal conflict, actual or potential, he/she should seek guidance from his/her head of department. Team members are however encouraged to participate in social welfare activities, charity organizations, public awareness campaigns and activities related to environment protection, health care, social protection, etc. that reflect positively on the image of the individuals and the association.
4- Non-Discrimination and Harassment
The Syrian Association provides equal opportunities and does not accept any kind of discrimination. As such, the association applies the non-discrimination policy for employment and promotion at every level of employment (i.e. training, retention, promotion) irrespective of race, colour, gender, religion, pregnancy, ancestry, age, nationality, disability, marital status, etc.
All team members have the right to work in an environment free from harassment. The association will not tolerate any verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct by any person working at the association which harasses, disrupts or interferes with another’s work performance or creates an intimidating, offensive, abusive or hostile work environment. This includes any and all incidents of harassment that may involve volunteers, subordinates, supervisors and even non-members who are collaborating with the association to conduct business.
5- Media Communication
All media communication by The Syrian Association is released in a truthful and understandable manner and requires the prior consent of the CEO. No team member may appear in the media (TV, magazine, or else) on behalf of the association without prior clearance from the CEO.
6- Accepting & Offering Business Courtesies
The purpose of presents in a workplace is to create goodwill and sound working relationships, not to gain unfair advantage with beneficiaries or other parties.
No gifts, entertainment, favors, hospitality or other types of benefits should ever be offered, given, provided or accepted by any association volunteer or family member of a volunteer. Gifts may be accepted under the following rules:
- The gift is not a cash money gift.
- Offering the gift is consistent with customary practices and does not violate laws, regulations or applicable policies of the recipient or his/her employer.
- The value of the gift is reasonable.
- Offering or receiving the gift cannot be interpreted as a bribe or payoff.
- The cost of the gift is approved
All team members should discuss with their supervisors any gifts or proposed gifts which they are not certain to be appropriate.
D. Acknowledgement & Signature
I confirm that I have received The Syrian Association’s Code of Conduct, have read it and have understood its importance and its relation with my function.
As a team member, I must:
- Respect the Code of Conduct.
- Refer to my direct supervisor/head of department or to the Human Resources department for any clarification regarding this Code.
Refer to my direct supervisor/head of department or to the Human Resources department in case I am aware of any violation of the present Code.
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