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Code of Conduct - · PDF file Code of Conduct Annual Certification ... This Code of Conduct affirms our high ethical and professional conduct standards for all of our employees, officers,

Aug 26, 2020

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  • Code of Conduct 

    Updated December 2016 

  • A Message from the CEO

    Our mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is something we all believe in: to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. By becoming part of the BBBSA team, you are an important part of this mission. Your actions and conduct must be of high standards as you contribute to the betterment of the lives of the children we serve.

    Our core values at BBBSA reflect and support our mission. They are Integrity, Excellence, Teamwork, and Respect—and they are non-negotiable. We owe nothing less to our affiliates; to our donors; to our federal, corporate, and foundation partners; and to the children and volunteers we serve in every state across the country.

    Each of us must be focused on those core values and on making the right ethical decisions, every time, no matter what. While no document can address every ethical issue we may face, this Code of Conduct sets forth ethical guidelines for all of us at BBBSA. Each of us is responsible for understanding and following these guidelines and for making decisions that are consistent with our BBBSA values and commitment to maintaining high standards of ethical conduct. And each of us is responsible for reporting suspected or actual misconduct so we can promptly address it. If you have any questions or concerns, our managers have an open door policy, we have a dedicated Ethics Officer—our General Counsel, Alais Griffin—and we have a confidential Ethics Hotline. We value open communications and are committed to an environment where employees can raise work-related concerns without fear of intimidation or retaliation.

    We may be the oldest mentoring organization in the nation but—with our absolute commitment to transparency, accountability, integrity, and excellence—our best days are yet to come.

    Sincerely,

    Pam Iorio President & CEO

    December 2016

  • i

    Table of Contents

    Introduction ....................................................................................................................................1 

    Some Important History .............................................................................................................1 

    Purpose of the Code of Conduct ................................................................................................1 

    Our Values .................................................................................................................................2 

    Questions and Reporting ............................................................................................................3 

    Whistleblower Compliance ........................................................................................................3 

    Disciplinary Action for Violations.............................................................................................3 

    Financial Stewardship ...................................................................................................................4 

    Definitions and Examples of Misuse of Funds ..........................................................................4 

    Responsibility to Report Suspected Misuse of Funds ................................................................5 

    Use of Federal Grant Funds .......................................................................................................5 

    Disciplinary Procedures and Penalties for Misuse of Federal Grant Funds ....................... 6 

    Conflicts of Interest ........................................................................................................................6 

    Interested Parties ........................................................................................................................6 

    What is a Conflict of Interest? ...................................................................................................6 

    Financial Interests ............................................................................................................... 7 

    Other Potential Conflicts .................................................................................................... 7 

    Prohibition on Conflicts of Interest ............................................................................................7 

    Gifts from Vendors ....................................................................................................................8 

    Service with Other Organizations ..............................................................................................8 

    Employment or Association with Other Organizations .............................................................8 

    Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest ..............................................................................8 

    Procedures for Addressing Conflicts of Interest ........................................................................9 

    Violations of Conflict of Interest Policy ....................................................................................9 

    Fundraising .....................................................................................................................................9 

    Some Examples of Improper Fundraising Conduct .................................................................10 

    Confidential and Proprietary Information ................................................................................10 

    Some Ways to Protect Sensitive Information ..........................................................................10 

  • ii

    Political Activities and Contributions ........................................................................................11 

    Government Relations .................................................................................................................11 

    Condition of Employment ...........................................................................................................11 

    Ethical Commitment Pledge .......................................................................................................11 

    Executive, Supervisor, and Manager Pledge ...........................................................................12 

    Employee Pledge .....................................................................................................................12 

    Code of Conduct Annual Certification ......................................................................................13 

    Conflict of Interest Annual Affirmation of Compliance - Employees ....................................14 

    Conflict of Interest Annual Affirmation of Compliance - Board of Directors .......................15 

    Appendix 1 – Whistleblower Policy............................................................................................16 

    General .....................................................................................................................................16 

    Reporting Responsibility .........................................................................................................16 

    No Retaliation ..........................................................................................................................16 

    Reporting Violations ................................................................................................................16 

    Investigations and Compliance ................................................................................................17 

    Accounting and Auditing Matters ............................................................................................17 

    Acting in Good Faith ...............................................................................................................18 

    Confidentiality of Your Identity ..............................................................................................18 

  • 1

    Introduction

    Some Important History

    In August 2012, the Audit Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG), audited three federal grants that the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) had awarded to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) from 2009 to 2011. While DOJ OIG never questioned the quality of the work that BBBSA and its affiliates did for children across the country, the audit report found that BBBSA did not adhere to grant accounting guidelines during that three- year period. The audit had significant ramifications for BBBSA: OJP froze grant funds; the DOJ opened an investigation into BBBSA’s grant expenditures; and BBBSA’s fundraising, finances, and operations were severely impacted.

    In the wake of the government audit and investigation, our national board initiated an aggressive effort to make the organization the gold standard in accountability and excellence. BBBSA brought in new leadership, put in place comprehensive policies and procedures, risk assessment tools, training programs, and a grant compliance and quality assurance team, and hired an internal auditor. The government recognized the disciplined approach we took and, in September 2015, allowed BBBSA to