Ethics in Procurement – Setting a up a code for conduct
As I was going through the comments and queries that readers post, I received a unique request from a reader. Here’s what he mentioned, “Sherna, what comprises of ethical procurement? How should one classify or categorize ethical procurement? Have any rules been pre-set? Do we have any governing body?”
This question did have me thinking, do a set ethics exist for procurement? What code of conduct should procurement professionals follow? Do ethics exist for suppliers as well?
What are ethics and what is ethical procurement?
Ethics are a set of moral principles that deem a person’s behavior as appropriate and fair. In terms of business or I would say procurement, an ethical procurement professional is a person who: practices his profession with transparency & impartiality and does not indulge in unfair activities.
Who governs the ethics?
As of today, any matters dealing to business ethics are dealt at an appropriate (senior management) level within one’s organization or within the established Procurement/Purchasing associations that the respective procurement professional is a part of.
Here’s a summary of a few chosen ethics that The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply specify for their certified members worldwide:
- Integrity: Maintain integrity of profession by rejecting any business practice which might reasonably be deemed improper, not using authority or position for own financial gain, ensuring that the information given in the course of work is accurate and not misleading, never breaching the confidentiality of information received in professional capacity, striving for genuine, fair and transparent competition, being truthful about skills, experience and qualifications.
- Compliance: Adhering to the laws of the countries in which a person practices, and fulfilling agreed contractual obligations. Zero tolerance to bribery/corruption
- Protection: Protecting the profession by not accepting inducements or gifts (other than any declared gifts of nominal value which have been sanctioned by the employer), not allowing offers of hospitality or those with vested interests to influence, or be perceived to influence, any business decisions, fostering awareness of unethical practices, responsibly managing any business relationships where unethical practices may come to light, and taking appropriate action to report and solve them
- Proficiency: Continually developing and applying knowledge to increase personal skills and for benefit of the working organization, fostering the highest standards of professional competence amongst those responsible, optimizing the responsible use of resources for the benefit of organization.
Insightful isn’t it? In our next post we shall have a look at a few examples where we can recognize breach of code.
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Hope you gained quite a few ideas reading this post. Have any comments?Share them below.