Code of Conduct and Ethics
The purpose of this document, the Khanya Code of Conduct (henceforth referred to as the "Code") is to define the expected and accepted behaviour of all Khanya contract staff, as well as all seconded staff members (henceforth referred to as "Staff Member(s))".
Because the principles described in this Code are non-exhaustive and general in nature, it should be read in conjunction with other Western Cape Provincial and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) staff documentation.
Khanya is committed to reviewing and updating its policies and procedures continuously. Therefore, this Code is subject to modification.
Staff Members are requested to sign the acknowledgment form at the end of this Code and return the form to the Project Support Office indicating that they have received and read, understand and agree to comply with the Code.
GENERAL STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
Khanya expects all Staff Members to exercise good judgment to maintain a co-operative, efficient, positive, harmonious and productive work environment. These standards apply while working at the head office, regional offices, schools, other places where Khanya activities take place, or where a Staff Member acts as a representative of the project. Staff Members must at all times display the following qualities:
- Respect: It is expected of Staff Members that they treat their colleagues with respect, regardless of the level of their appointment. Respect must also be shown to WCED officials, school staff, and all other stakeholders with whom they may come into contact.
- Reliability: Staff Members are expected to be reliable with regard to appointments and promises. Appointments for meetings must be scrupulously kept (this includes arriving punctually). Promises and other undertakings to stakeholders must only be made if there is a reasonable expectation that it can be kept. Care must then be taken to honour the commitments made or tender a sincere apology in the case of unavoidable circumstances.
- Punctuality: When required to do any form of reporting, this should be done promptly, honouring target dates. If circumstances beyond the control of a Staff Member make it impossible to provide the report by the expected date, the recipient(s) of the report should be notified immediately when it becomes apparent that the report will be late; in this case an alternative delivery date should be given.
- Accessibility: Staff Members who are not office based, and are working from a home office, must view this concession as a privilege. They must therefore be contactable at all times via cell phone and email. Email messages must be checked and acknowledged at least once a day. It is understood that cell phones will be switched off while Staff Members are in meetings, but it is expected that cell phone messages will be responded to promptly.
- Value: In all their interactions with schools and other stakeholders, Staff Members must always endeavour to add value to the Khanya process. All activities must be carefully considered to ensure that they will add value in one or other way, and that tasks do not become meaningless activities, simply done to satisfy the system.
- Service Commitment: Khanya has a Service Commitment Charter and it is expected that Staff Members should be well acquainted with this document and render service in accordance with the principles contained in the Charter.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Each Staff Member has a responsibility to Khanya, the WCED, all stakeholders and each other. Although this duty does not prevent one from engaging in personal transactions, investments and pursuits, it does demand that one avoids situations where a conflict of interest might occur or appear to occur. Khanya is subject to scrutiny from many different individuals and organizations and Staff Members should always strive to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
What constitutes a conflict of interest? A conflict of interest exists where the interests or benefits of one person or entity conflict with the interests or benefits of Khanya. The following situations should be noted:
- Outside Employment: In consideration of employment with Khanya, staff members are expected to devote their full attention to the interests of the project. Subject to the terms of employment, staff members are prohibited from engaging in any activity that interferes with their performance or responsibilities to Khanya. Staff Members are prohibited from accepting simultaneous employment with a supplier, school or any other institution unless negotiated in advance with the Khanya Programme Manager. Additionally, Staff Members must disclose to Khanya any business interest that may conflict with the activities of Khanya. Any questions in this regard must be referred to the Khanya Programme Manager.
- Business Interests: Any investments in companies that could possibly render a service to Khanya should be declared.
- Related Parties: As a general rule, Staff Members should avoid conducting business on behalf of Khanya with relatives or close friends. If such transactions are unavoidable, there must be a full disclosure to the Khanya Programme Manager.
- Gifts and Bribes: Staff Members may not accept any bribes from service providers and if such are offered, they should be reported to the Khanya Programme Manager immediately. Personal gifts should be accepted with discretion and should also be declared in writing to the Khanya Programme Manager.
- Other Situations: Because other conflicts of interest may arise, it would be impractical to attempt to list all possible situations. If a proposed transaction or situation raises any questions or doubts, the Staff Member should consult the Khanya Programme Manager.
USE OF ASSETS
Protecting Khanya's assets is a key responsibility of every Staff Member. Care should be taken to ensure that assets are not misappropriated, loaned to others, sold or donated, without appropriate authorization. All Staff Members are responsible for the proper use of assets placed under their care, and must safeguard such assets against loss, damage, misuse or theft. Khanya equipment and assets are to be used for Khanya purposes only. Such equipment is not for personal use, nor may Staff Members allow any other person to use these assets. Staff Members who have any questions regarding this policy should bring them to the attention of the Khanya Programme Manager.
The following points should be noted in particular:
- Travel, Subsistence and Telephone Claims: All agreed claims must be submitted for reimbursement within two calendar months of the time the expense was incurred. Staff Members must, at all times, endeavour to keep expenses as low as possible. Claims may only be made for actual expenses incurred by the Staff Member in the course of the execution of Khanya related duties. Reimbursement of claims is subject to current WCED policies. An acceptable limit for claims will be negotiated with each Staff Member, in accordance with anticipated expenses. Claims for amounts exceeding these limits will not be reimbursed.
- Equipment of schools: Such equipment should be handled in the same way as Khanya equipment, as described above.
- Privacy of School Information: Staff Members enter into a relationship of trust with schools and may be given access to confidential information, such as financial details, examination papers, personnel information, etc. This position of trust may never be abused.
This Code should not be seen as imposing unnecessary restriction on Khanya Staff members or adding a bureaucratic burden. Even though breach of the Code will necessitate disciplinary action, it should be seen as a protection against indiscretions and unwarranted external criticism.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF KHANYA CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS
I have received and read the Khanya Code of Conduct and Ethics and agree to comply with this Code. I understand the standards and policies contained in the Code and understand that there may be additional policies or laws specific to my job.
If I have questions concerning the meaning or application of the Code I know I should consult the Khanya Programme Manager, knowing that my questions or reports will be treated in confidence.
Staff Member Name
Please sign and return this form to the Project Support Office