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CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS


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CONTENTS 
Chapter-1   Policy, Values and Principles
1.1.      Policy Statement
1.2.      Core Values of NAB
1.3.      What principles guide the Code of Conduct?

1.4.      Main concepts of terminology in the Code of Conduct and Ethics

Chapter-2     Employment
2.1.      What does the employment in NAB require of its employees?
2.2.      What are your obligations regarding employment outside NAB?
2.3.      What are your obligations to NAB when you leave to work elsewhere?
Chapter-3     Conduct
3.1.      Personal and professional behaviour expected of NAB employees
3.2.      Additional requirements for NAB’s Leadership
3.3.      Conflict of interest and how to deal with it?
3.4.      Offers of gifts, benefits or bribes
3.5.      Obligations in using public resources
3.6.      Participation in political activities
3.7.      Indebtedness
Chpater-4     Information
4.1.      Obligations on the use of NAB’s information
4.2.      How should you respond if asked to publicly comment on NAB’s work?
Chapter-5     Accountability and Enforcement
5.1.      What if you become aware of or suspect corrupt conduct outside NAB?
5.2.      What if you become aware of or suspect corrupt conduct inside NAB?
5.3.      How will this Code of Conduct and Ethics be enforced?
Commitment

 


Chapter 1

Policy, Values and Principles


1.1.    Policy Statement

            National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been established to eradicate corruption from the country, under National Accountability Ordinance 1999, as amended from time to time.  

            The National Accountability Ordinance 1999 confers extra ordinary powers on the Bureau to eradicate corruption from the society. The immense responsibility so assigned makes it imperative that such powers must be exercised properly, fairly and maintaining very high standards of integrity.

The Bureau has three principal functions:

  • Awareness

  • Prevention

  • Enforcement

             This Code of Conduct and Ethics lays down the general provisions of conduct and interaction which must be followed by all employees of NAB, while performing their professional duties at work as well as operating outside their offices.

             The purpose of this code is also to create a professional and efficient work environment in NAB; develop mutual cooperation and trust of the employees towards their co-workers; enhance the esteem of NAB staff and make efforts to protect the individual, society and the state from corruption.

             As an employee of NAB, you hold a special position of trust and the image of NAB could seriously be damaged if such trust is betrayed in any form.

             The Code should not be read as a set of rules, or the words should not be interpreted for their legal meaning. It is intended to simply convey the obligations placed on and the behaviour expected of all the employees of NAB whether permanent, on contract, or engaged by virtue of any other terms and conditions.

             This Code of Conduct and Ethics will be reviewed periodically and updated to reflect the changes occurring both within and outside NAB.

1.2.    Core Values of NAB

  • Integrity

  • To do the right thing the right way and at the right time

  • Being honest and responsible

  • Focus on what is right for both the organization and the society

  • Honor

  • Self respect

  • Dignity

  • High moral and ethical standards

  • Dedication

  • Commitment to cause

  • Sincerity of purpose

  • Dependability

  • Reliable in performance of duty

  • Absolute trustworthiness

  • Responsible for the assigned job

  •  Judgment

  • Weighing facts for the right course of action

  • Sound decisions, without missing the details

  • Tact

  • Completion of task without generating hostility

  • Courtesy and respect to others

  • Discreet to avoid embarrassments or defamation

  • Courage

  • Ability to do what needs to be done regardless of fear or risk

  • Resolute and firm in dispensing one’s duty

  • Overcome difficulty with dignity

  •  Proactive

  • Ability to foresee the problem

  • Initiative to suggest the right action

  • Justice

  • Being impartial and consistent to apply reward and punishment

  • Fair in discharge of duties

  • Avoiding favoritism and nepotism

1.3.    What principles guide the Code of Conduct?

       The Code of Conduct and Ethics is guided by the following principles, which should also assist you in guiding your conduct and taking decisions in your day to day work:

  • At all times, you should be aware that your employment carries an obligation to have due regard to the impact of your professional and personal conduct on NAB’s standing and reputation.

  • At a minimum, you must meet the standards of ethical behaviour and accountability that NAB promotes in its dealings with other organizations and individuals.

  • You have an obligation to carry out your work professionally, impartially, with integrity and in the best interests of the society at large, keeping in view the constitutional principles of policy.

  • You are also required to deal with individuals and organizations fairly, recognizing their rights as citizens. Discrimination and partiality, either within NAB or in dealings with people and organizations outside NAB, constitutes violation of the constitutional fundamental rights of people.

  • The name and powers of NAB must be used with restraint, and with an awareness of their potential effect upon others. These must never be used to gain personal advantage or pursue personal issues.

  • The work of NAB must not be compromised or affected by any personal interest.

  • Public resources must be used efficiently and effectively.

  • The security of information about the persons working with or dealing with NAB must be considered.

  •  When confronted with an issue of ethics and conduct, you are obliged         to be mindful of the principles and guidance provided in this Code. If   still uncertain about what course of action to take, advice should be       sought from appropriate officer of NAB.

            When you are faced with an ethical dilemma, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it legal?

  • Is it consistent with NAB’s values, principles and policies?

  • Do I think it is the right thing to do?

  • What will be the consequences of my decisions and actions for my colleagues, NAB, other parties, and myself?

  • Can I justify my actions?

  • What would be the reaction of my family and friends if they were to find out?

  • What would happen if my conduct becomes front page news?

1.4.    Main concepts of terminology used in the Code of Conduct and Ethics

For the purpose of this “Code of Conduct and Ethics”, the following terms used in the code are to be construed to imply as under:

The NAB employees include all the personnel working in the NAB in any capacity or under any terms and conditions.

The NAB officer (BPS-17 and above) is a Govt Servant appointed to a certain position at the National Accountability Bureau to discharge the functions of the NAB, endowed with administrative powers appropriate to his or her position.

Public interest means the public’s rights and expectations with regard to impartial and just decision-making and relevant actions in public service.

Private interest means private economic or non-economic interest of persons in service or their close relatives or other associates, which may affect their decision making in the discharge of the official duties.

Conflict of interests is a situation in which an employee’s “private interests” interfere with the proper discharge of his official duties because of the divided loyalties.

Defamation is an intentional false communication, either published or publicly spoken, that injures another’s reputation or good name.

NAB leadership is the NAB officers BPS-17 and above.

Close relatives are parents, children (adopted children), natural brothers and sisters, grandchildren and spouse.

Advantage, refers to almost any thing which is of a value.

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Chapter 2

Employment


2.1.    What does the employment in NAB require of its employees?

Appointment as a NAB employee is made under the powers conferred by NAO 1999, with conditions of employment governed by the policies and practices issued from time to time.

The employment in NAB demands a commitment from the employees to practice certain values in the interactions with other public sector agencies, other organizations, individuals and the staff. These commitments include advancement of the public interest; acting ethically and with integrity; being fair, impartial and accountable; striving for excellence in our work, being tenacious and professional in our aims, respecting colleagues and working as a team.

      As an employee of NAB, you have an obligation to be aware of and comply with this Code of Conduct and Ethics. By accepting employment with NAB, you have undertaken:

  • Not to engage in personal or professional conduct that may bring NAB into disrepute.

  • To abide by the secrecy and confidentiality provisions of the NAO and policies of NAB.

  • To fully and openly disclose your personal particulars and your financial and other interests to NAB, and to apprise NAB of any significant changes in your personal or financial status.

            Members of staff who are seconded to NAB from other organizations/agencies, or who are engaged temporarily on contract of any form, have an equal responsibility to abide by the standards and behaviour outlined in the Code.

            Officers and staff members should be continually alert to their individual employment obligations to ensure they are acting ethically, responsibly and productively.

2.2.    What are your obligations regarding employment outside NAB? 

 There could be occasions, when an employee gets an opportunity of a secondary job or such other commitment. Engaging in outside or secondary employment can produce difficulties for NAB officers/officials. It may not always be immediately apparent to you how a second job or such activity might conflict with your duties. A second job with lucrative benefits has the potential to compromise your ability to be, and be seen to be, objective in your duties.

            The consequences would be unfortunate or worse if the secondary employer came to the attention of NAB in some adverse way. You might not know that a potential employer was of interest to NAB or to any other agency. Nor might you be aware of the full implications of being employed in a particular industry or organization.

            In order to ensure that NAB employees do not engage, unwittingly or otherwise, in an inappropriate outside employment, you must ensure that you do not engage in such employment, paid or unpaid, without the formal permission of NAB.

2.3.    What are your obligations to NAB when you leave to work elsewhere?

            If you have been offered or intend to accept a position which may be having some interest with the sensitive links to the work you performed for NAB, you should apprise your supervisor as soon as possible so that any conflict or potential conflict of interests can be managed.

            If you leave the NAB to work elsewhere, you are obliged by the confidentiality rules to respect the confidentiality of information that you have come across during your work, and you should respect the NAB’s intellectual property rights over material produced by NAB or any information pertaining to the activities of NAB.

            Unless otherwise authorized, when you leave NAB, you cannot take away any in-house resources such as classified manuals, materials produced as official functions of NAB, or download information. These are the property of NAB, governed under security rules.

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Chapter 3

Conduct


3.1.    Personal and professional behaviour expected of NAB employees.

            When performing the professional duties, NAB employees shall be guided by the provisions of NAO, civil laws of the country, international treaties with other states and be reflective of the core values of NAB. The salient points are re-emphasized as under:-

You should ensure that your work habits, behaviour and personal and professional relationships at the workplace contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment.

You should perform your work honestly, diligently and with commitment.

You should appreciate that the nature of NAB’s business requires prudence and discretion about what we do, who we speak to and what we say.

You should make decisions in a fair and timely manner, giving due attention to relevant information and proper regard to relevant rules and NAB’s internal policies and procedures.

You should recognize and respect individual and cultural differences amongst staff, the rest of the public sector and the community, and not engage in discrimination or harassment.

You should value diversity of thought, experience and skills but maintain the overall unity. Avoid influencing others by expressing your political, religious or social beliefs.

You should observe common courtesies and etiquettes in terms of day-to-day relationship with other staff.

You should encourage and contribute to a safe and healthy work environment.

You must comply with lawful instructions given by an authorized colleague.

You should provide and accept supervision appropriate to individual situations.

By making decisions reach for the essence of the matter, avoid hastiness and superficiality.

You should be aware that the consumption of alcohol or use of drugs and narcotics can adversely affect the image of NAB.

3.2.    Additional requirements for NAB’s leadership

          NABs leadership is expected to:

  • Put their efforts at creating good and friendly working environment, forestall conflicts, eliminate causes of differences, treat their subordinates with respect.

  • Try to divide workload equally to have the optimum use of the potential and professional qualifications of each employee.

  • Reflect objectivity and faith for high standards of performance by employees.

  • Show proper appreciation of professional achievements of distinguished employees.

  • Observe procedures for the authorized release of confidential information if required, to avoid incidence of leakage or willful misuse.

3.3.    Conflict of interests, and how to deal with it?

            Conflict of interests, or the perception that may have arisen can do great damage to the reputation of both NAB and its employees. It could also interfere with your ability to do your job with detached objectivity. While you have to take responsibility for identifying and managing any conflict of interest, it needs to be done with the knowledge and advice of your superiors.

            The potential for development of conflict of interests arises when an individual with various interests in a matter has to take decisions concerning that matter. In the case of NAB employee, the situation is of concern when one is a public interest, his or her duty, and another is a private interest.

            When the public interest that you must serve, comes into conflict with a private interest that you may have, public interest must come first on all such occasions.

            Financial conflict of interests might arise out of association with business interests, ownership of shares or finding out information that could be of financial benefit.

            For NAB employees other private interests which might arise include those pertaining to a member of your family, a family member ’s business associates, a friend, a current or past work mate, a person who dislikes or is disliked by you and many other relationships.

            Our social system at times dictates that you or your close relatives are approached to gain favors from your position in NAB. In order to ensure that conflict of interests do not interfere with the work of NAB, and in order to ensure that public has confidence in the impartiality of NAB, such conflict of interests must be declared to NAB on occurrence.

            You should also apprise your superior if you become aware of any potential conflict of interests, or anything that may appear to be a conflict of interests, that arises in the course of your duties. If in doubt, seek advice from your superior, it is preferable to err on the side of caution and disclose any interest that you might consider could affect, or be seen to affect, the impartial and fair performance of your duties.

3.4.    Offers of gifts, benefits or bribes

            As a NAB employee you may be offered gifts, benefits like travel or hospitality during the course of your work. The acceptance of gifts and other benefits has the potential to compromise your position by creating a sense of obligation and so undermining your impartiality. It may also affect adversely the public perception of the integrity and independence of NAB and its employees. As a rule such offers should be declined.

            It is important to avoid creating an impression that any person or body is securing or attempting to secure the influence or favor of NAB or any of its officers/officials.

            You should never accept any money or any offer of money. To do so may constitute a criminal offence of bribery, which could be elaborated as receiving or offering any undue reward by, or to, any person in public office in order to influence his or her behaviour in that office, and to incline that person to act contrary to the known rules of honesty and integrity. Such conduct is also deemed an offence under the Govt of Pakistan employee’s efficiency and discipline rules. 

            A key notion in the offence of bribery is that of “undue advantage.” That is, something intended to be of value to the public servant. An advantage can encompass anything of value and is not limited to money or tangible gains. The provision of services may also amount to such an advantage. Some examples are, any gift (in kind or cash), loan, employment, discount, service, favor etc, whether offered inside or outside the country.

            As regards the offer of gifts, government rules on the subject must be complied with by NAB employees. You must exercise sound judgment when deciding whether or not to accept a gift or other benefit. For example:-

  • You must decline any offer from an individual or organization you know to be the subject of an investigation by NAB, or the subject or originator of a complaint or report to NAB.

  • You must decline any offer which is individually targeted and not available to colleagues or associates who share a common task and purpose.

  • You may accept an item which relates to the work of NAB, such as a book on a relevant topic, from an acquaintance but refuse items which are unrelated to your work to avoid any kind of obligation particularly towards a casual relationship.

  • In an event of interaction with a foreign dignitary during the performance of your official duties. You may accept a gift, in exceptional circumstances when to refuse it would be unnecessarily rude and inappropriate according to the diplomatic norms. You must however notify receiving of such gift as per Government Servants (Conduct) Rules.

            There could be some occasions when an officer is invited to deliver a lecture. On such occasions, officers who have agreed to speak officially at functions, should where possible, notify their hosts in advance of the occasion that it is inappropriate to offer gifts or rewards. However, if an institution requests an officer to deliver lecture or a series of lectures on a specialized subject on payment of an agreed upon remunerations, he may do so after obtaining prior permission of the Chairman.

3.5.    Obligations in using public resources

            NAB’s resources which are mostly funded by public money can be generally categorized into three areas; equipment, people and finances. Because they are publicly funded, the use of those resources needs to be efficient and judicious.

            Whereas NAB employees are paid for the time spent in performing NAB’s work, it is recognized that they occasionally have unavoidable commitments of personal nature which require their attention. Although NAB’s policy will enable staff to deal with most private matters in their own time, staff are permitted to attend to pressing private business (like pick and drop of school children) during work time, so long as it is short, infrequent, and does not interfere with NAB’s work. It must however be ensured that the Officer Incharge has been informed accordingly.

            The expenditure of financial resources is subject to the provisions of the Government accounts and audit rules. Government rules are followed for purchasing policy and laid down procedure provides guidance to staff on this issue. Generally, staff requires prior approval to incur any expenditure.

3.6.    Participation in political activities

            Whereas casting your vote is a constitutional right, you must not participate in other political activities nor you should form a political association with a political party. You are also prohibited to participate in public demonstrations of any nature. You should also avoid such activity, the nature of which may cast doubt on your ability or willingness to implement NAB policies, objectives or allows NAB’s position to be misrepresented.

3.7.    Indebtedness

            NAB’s employees are strongly encouraged to be prudent in managing their personal finances. Activities like over spending and speculative investment beyond one’s financial means can land the employees in difficult financial situation. Problems under such conditions could lead to manifest behaviour like:-

  • Resorting to corruption or other misconduct in an attempt to pay off  debts.

  • Being subject to considerable pressure and stress, which may impair the standard of their performance in official duties.

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CHAPTER 4

Information


4.1.    Obligations on the use of NAB’s information

            NAB’s work often involves access to sensitive or confidential information during the course of an investigation. Such information may be relating to government departments, political leaders and other Govt officials or may pertain to personal or commercial information relating to individuals or companies. You must ensure that such information is dealt with appropriately and only used for the purposes of the NAB. NAB is often entrusted with sensitive information by other agencies for carrying out its investigative functions or to provide advice on corruption prevention. As a rule you must not disclose any information that you acquire during the course of your work except in exercise of NAB’s functions. It would be tantamount to breach of security rules.                                  

            Information may be disclosed only when authorized by Chairman/Dy Chairman if it is necessary in the public interest to do so.

You must not use information to gain a personal or commercial advantage for yourself or any other person.

            When handling sensitive information you should abide by NAB’s confidentiality policy. You should also exercise caution and sound judgment in discussing such information with outsiders. Normally information should be limited to “need to know basis”.

             NAB files and other confidential documents and information are not to be removed from the premises except in accordance with the NAB’s security policies and procedures. If in doubt as how to manage or secure sensitive material, contact the Intelligence Wing of NAB for appropriate advice.

4.2.    How should you respond if asked to publicly comment on NAB’s work?

            NAB’s work is often sensitive and requires confidentiality. The very sensitivity of the NAB’s activities makes it of interest to the community, and in particular, the media.

            The unauthorized or improper release of information to the media may have the effect of compromising an investigation, adversely and unnecessarily affecting the reputation of individuals, or undermining public confidence in NAB.

            It is therefore, important to ensure that information considered appropriate only for public comment is released. This is generally done in coordination with the authorized media officer of NAB. Media management is presently being supervised by COS under the directions of Chairman/Deputy Chairman. Accordingly Media Advisor, Addl Director (Media) and PRO (Media) are responsible for implementation of NAB’s media policy. 

            The Chairman NAB will authorize officers to make public comments on behalf of NAB. You must only make public comments with this authorization. If you receive any media inquiries, these should be referred to the concerned media officer who is the official spokesperson of NAB. Even if you do not provide any information to a journalist, inform the media officer of any approaches from the media for information or comments.

            Except when making authorized comment, discussions about NAB’s work should be confined to material that is already in the public domain. Public domain material includes published reports and discussion papers, annual reports, public relations material, transcripts of public hearings, media releases, and public addresses. If you are uncertain as to whether information is in the public domain you must consult the media officer.

            No comment should be made about any other material relating to NAB’s work unless the Chairman/Deputy Chairman/COS has given specific permission.

            You should also ensure that your personal views are not presented or interpreted as official comment.

            If you become aware that comments you have made socially or inadvertently may be used to harm NAB’s reputation or compromise its work, you should notify your superior or the media officer immediately.

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CHAPTER 5

Accountability and Enforcement


5.1.    What if you become aware of or suspect corrupt conduct    outside NAB?

            There could be an instance when you become aware of suspected corrupt conduct, which has not been otherwise reported. For example, you may personally observe a public official engaged in a suspect act; you may overhear a conversation at a conference or seminar; a friend may report something to you because you are a NAB employee; or it may be that a public official seeks to enlist you into an improper arrangement during the course of conducting government business. You may disclose such information to the appropriate officer provided you could justify the credibility of such information in the light of relevant rules.

It is also important that any act of suspected corrupt conduct encountered by staff in the course of their official duties is promptly reported. This should be done in writing and addressed to your supervisor or to the Chairman NAB.

5.2.    What if you become aware of or suspect corrupt conduct inside NAB?

            If NAB is to be successful at improving public sector integrity, it is critical that it should practice the conduct it expects of others. It therefore follows that, if any of NAB employees engages in conduct that is unlawful, unethical or unfair, NAB’s integrity and public image could be seriously compromised. To this end, it is important that any such conduct is promptly disclosed.

            The report can be made direct to your superior, or alternatively to the COS or the Chairman depending on sensitivity and level of persons involved. 

5.3.    How will this Code of Conduct and Ethics be enforced?

            Observance of the code of conduct and ethics shall be the honourable duty of every NAB employee.

            NAB’s employee that are unsure of any aspect of this Code or who want to seek clarification in respect of any issue are encouraged to consult their superior.

            A breach of this Code may lead to corrective or disciplinary action by NAB under the relevant service rules and other laws. Such action may include counseling, official notification of unsatisfactory performance, dismissal or prosecution.

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COMMITMENT

            I__________________________________________________________ ,  

                                                                        (name)

 

an employee of National Accountability Bureau, Islamabad have read the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the employees of NAB and concur to abide by its provisions and am COMMITTED to act in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct and Ethics and be held responsible for its violation.

 

  

 

Date: _____________

 

            (Signature)

 

 

NOTE:- This COMMITMENT shall be placed in the personal file of the NAB employee.


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