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UNDP is committed to the highest standards of integrity among its staff and other personnel as well as transparency and accountability in its programmes and management. Its core values include: integrity, transparency, mutual respect, professionalism, accountability and results orientation. The Administrator established the Ethics Office in December 2007 with an overall mandate of “cultivat(ing) and nurtur(ing) a culture of ethics, integrity and accountability, and thereby enhanc(ing) the trust in, and the credibility, of the United Nations, both internally and externally.”
The Ethics Office is operationally independent, while complementing the work of other UNDP offices that deal with professional conduct. Its mandate includes:
- Developing and communicating standards on ethics issues
- Providing training and education opportunities to staff
- Offering guidance and confidential advice to staff and management to prevent conflicts of interest
- Administering the financial disclosure programme
- Protecting staff against retaliation for reporting misconduct.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of key functions:
- Standard setting and policy support
- Prevention and outreach
- Ethics advice
- Financial disclosure
- Protection against retaliation for reporting wrongdoing
Standard Setting & Policy Support:
- The Director will be responsible for providing guidance on UN code of conduct (as outlined in the relevant staff regulations and rules, the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, and applicable administrative issuances.)
- He or she will be responsible for formulating, reviewing and disseminating conflicts-of-interest and ethics-related provisions in UNDP’s financial regulations and rules as well as human resources, procurement and other administrative policies.
- He or she will have an advocacy role in promoting high ethical standards with management and staff in coordination with relevant units such as human resources, legal, finance, procurement, internal audit and investigation, and ombudsman. Carrying out standard setting and policy support activities will also include participation in relevant inter-agency fora, such as the United Nations Ethics Committee and the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organizations, and facilitating, where practical, a harmonized approach with other UN bodies.
Prevention & Outreach:
- The Director will devise and implement a communication strategy for raising awareness on the core values, ethical standards and expected professional conduct within UNDP.
- He or she will also provide information to the public, in cooperation with the communications office, on UNDP’s commitment to its core values and reputational capital. Working with the human resources and other units, he or she is responsible for providing ethics training and learning opportunities for UNDP’s senior management, staff representatives as well as UNDP personnel through orientations, induction programs, specialized briefings and annual refresher sessions.
- He or she will contribute to institutional capacity for providing ethics training and learning opportunities through training-of-peer trainers
- The Director is expected to provide guidance to management on UNDP policies, procedures, and practices to reinforce and promote the ethical standards called for under the UN Charter. As an observer at the Organizational Performance Group, he or she can advise on preventing institutional conflicts of interest and mitigating reputational risks.
- The Director will also assist functional groups such as procurement and human resources professionals with conflicts of interest analyses in carrying out their duties. He or she will give advice to staff in confidence regarding corporate ethical standards, personal conflict of interest situations such as the receipt of benefits and outside activities, respectful workplace, and other ethical concerns.
- The Director will be responsible for facilitating the periodic review and update of UNDP’s financial disclosure policy and procedures, harmonized with those in the UN system. Working closely with the ICT office, he or she will oversee the annual financial disclosure exercises, induction filing and selective verification of statements.
- He or she will oversee the review of the filed statements and provide advice to filing staff on preventing or taking remedial action on conflicts of interest arising from financial interests and outside affiliations.
- The Director will provide communications to staff on the objectives of the financial disclosure policy to encourage full compliance. He or she will also work with the ICT office to improve the administration of the programme.
Protection against Retaliation for Reporting Wrongdoing:
- The Director will be responsible for facilitating the periodic review and update of UNDP’s protection against retaliation policy and procedures, harmonized with those in the UN system.
- The Director is responsible for receiving complaints of retaliation, conducting a preliminary assessment on whether the allegations warrant further review, refer prima facie cases for investigation, make recommendations for interim protection where appropriate, make the final determination based on the findings of the investigation, and make recommendations to the Administrator for any restitution measures in cases where retaliation is found. He or she is also responsible for remaining in communication with the complainant and for maintaining all relevant records.
- The Director will provide communications to staff on the corporate objectives of the protection against retaliation policy to encourage reporting of wrongdoing.
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