Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute
CODE OF ETHICS
(Approved by the Board of Directors on the 5th of March 2009)
I OUR VISION & MISSION
The vision of the Trinidad & Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) is of a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.
Our mission is to work towards a country and region that are free of corruption.
II CORE VALUES
The values that are conceived to be essential to the achievement of this vision and fulfillment of this mission are:
- Moral Courage
We recognise as having a stake in what we do all individuals, groups or organisations that stand either to benefit or lose by our activities. These include:
- Our members, volunteers and employees;
- Donors and funders;
- The State—understood here to include Parliament, the Executive, the Judiciary, the Public Service, statutory bodies and State enterprises;
- The Private Sector—including professional and business organisations;
- Labour and its umbrella bodies;
- Civil society (non-governmental) organisations;
- Those who stand either to gain or to lose if corruption is reduced or eliminated.
IV GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We are a civil society organisation committed to respecting the following principles:
- As coalition builders, we will work co-operatively with all individuals and groups, with for-profit andnot-for-profit corporations and organisations, and with governments and international bodies committed to the fight against corruption, subject only to the policies and priorities set by our governing bodies.
- We undertake to be open, honest and accountable in our relationships with everyone we work with and with each other.
- We will be democratic, politically non-partisan and non-sectarian in our work.
- We will condemn corruption in all its forms with vigour and fortitude wherever it has been reliablyidentified, although we ourselves do not seek to expose or pursue individual cases of corruption.
- The positions we take will be based on sound, objective and professional analysis and the higheststandards of research available to us.
- We will only accept funding that does not compromise our ability to address issues freely, thoroughlyand objectively.
- We will provide accurate and timely reports of our activities to our stakeholders.
- We will respect and encourage respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.
- We are committed to building, working with and working through national chapters worldwide to thegreatest degree practicable.
- We will strive for balanced and diverse representation on our governing bodies
- We stand ready and prepared at all times to make our findings and recommendations public and, subject to such legal or moral restraints as may be equitably imposed on us from time to time, will do so in a manner not intended to target, belittle or castigate specific organisations and/or individuals.
V MEMBERSHIP POLICY
- Membership of TTTI is open to any person, company or other organisation that supports and observes the Guiding Principles set out in Section IV and is deemed by the Board of Directors not to be engaged in any activity which may undermine the independence of TTTI.
- Membership is not open an individual or organisation that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, is publicly perceived to be identified with and/or an active supporter of a political party or other organisation that has political aims and objectives in whole or in part or in any of its decisions.
- Membership of TTTI should not be construed as an endorsement by TTTI of any member’s activities or stated opinions.
Appointment of Members
- Application for membership must be submitted to the Secretary of TTTI for submission to the Board of Directors for its approval.
Cessation of Membership
- As provided in Section VII of the By-Law, membership may be terminated by resignation. It may also be terminated as a result of failure to pay the annual subscription within a reasonable period, failure to comply with the provisions of the By–Law or conduct that is or may be injurious to TTTI.
VI CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY
1. Need for Policy
Our ability to raise the ethical standards of government officials and businessmen will be severely compromised by any serious ethical lapses on the part of individuals representing TTTI. It is essential that everyone associated with the Institute be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest.
2. Principles of Administration
2.1 Potential conflicts of interest should be identified and reported as early as possible. If problems are identified before commitments are made or questionable actions have occurred, embarrassment can be avoided and alternatives can be explored.
2.2 If there is serious doubt at any time whether a conflict of interest does or does not arise, the issue should be referred to a grouping of impartial advisors appointed by the Board.
2.3 Any person directly involved in a conflict of interest situation thus being determined should be given a fair hearing and advised of the outcome as soon as the issue has been determined.
3. Individuals with Other Affiliations
Much of TTTI’s work is done by individuals who are not employees of TTTI. This includes, among others, the members of the Board of Directors. Such individuals will in most cases have other business and professional affiliations. Companies or other organisations with which such individuals are affiliated should not be disqualified from working for TTTI or otherwise participating in projects in which TTTI is involved. However, such companies or organisations should not be given any advantageous or disadvantageous position with respect to such work. Such situations must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis so that equitable ground rules can be developed.
4. Gifts and Entertainment
No one connected with TTTI shall accept gifts, entertainment, loans or anything else of value from any organisation or individual, if a reasonable person might fairly perceive the offer of any of the foregoing as an attempt to influence TTTI.
5. Reporting Conflicts of Interest
Every person connected with TTTI has an obligation to report any actual or potential conflict of interest as soon as he/she becomes aware of any circumstances which may give rise to a conflict of interest. Such reports should be made to the Chairman of TTTI or to another senior disinterested officer or director.
VII ENSURING COMPLIANCE & CONFIDENTIALITY
The Board will treat any ethics questions referred to it as part of its normal duties.
The Board will treat information from Board members or anyone employed at TTTI with confidentiality, when the nature of such information requires it, or when confidentiality is explicitly requested, and will not use such information to further a private interest. This commitment by the Board continues after the person ceases to be a Board member or employee of TTTI.
The Board will be as open as possible in respect of all decisions and actions it takes, having due regard for the above-mentioned need for confidentiality.