Our Code of Conduct at the Global Security-Sector-Reform Foundation gGmbH (hereinafter referred to as the “GS-Foundation”) establishes the framework and guidelines for how we conduct ourselves and our activities. The framework is characterized by integrity, which is expected not just from the management and staff, but also from the GS-Foundation’s contractual partners in Germany and overseas. The GS-Foundation is committed to contributing positively to the overall international security conditions particularly in the Middle East and Africa. However, we are not just concerned with the outcomes per se, rather also on how these outcomes are attained i.e., goals achieved through unlawful, or unethical, or unfair means are NOT accepted. The following principles describe exactly how the GS-Foundation ensures that its objectives are attained in the right manner. By agreeing to this Code of Conduct, employees, contributors, and partners commit to acting in accordance with the GS-Foundation’s common understanding and to observing the rules of conduct stated below.
- Adherence to the law
We comply with the German law, international law, and the laws of the countries where we plan our projects. Management, staff, and partners of the GS-Foundation must comply with these legal regulations wherever the activities or projects take place. In case of reported violations, whistleblowers are protected, and discrimination or hostility or retaliation against whistleblowers will not be tolerated.
- Do no harm
The GS-Foundation operates in a responsible way to preclude any actions, which may lead to undesirable negative effects during the implementation of projects. Prohibited acts include the following:
- Causing harm to the natural environment where the projects take place (air, water, soil, forests, biodiversity, etc.).
- Inadvertently causing a detrimental impact on the political, social, economic, and humanitarian conditions (at the local, national, or regional level).
- Sexual exploitation or abuse, including sexual harassment, gender-based violence, and prostitution.
- The possession, distribution and consumption of illegal substances, and/or the carrying of weapons.
- Fair competition
Competition for contracts of any kind (training programs, workshops, procurement, technical support, etc.) with partners and contributors is transparent and merit-based only i.e., funding is approved based on relevant experience and qualifications, as well as on the best value for money expected in the long term. Towards that end, the GS-Foundation regularly publishes its calls for tenders on its website. Management and staff of the GS-Foundation must prevent any form of unfair competition and/or conflict of interest throughout the process.
- Prohibition of Corruption
Any form of corruption or fraud is strictly prohibited, and that is why the GS-Foundation relies on an external and independent tax and accounting consulting firm to oversee its financial audits and ensures compliance with tax regulations in Germany. Beyond that, the management, staff, and partners of the GS-Foundation must not offer, demand, or accept any kind of personal gain, especially personal gifts and invitations from third parties that compromise or appear to compromise the ability to make fair and objective decisions. Lunch invitations, for instance, must be work-related and remain within the limits of customary business practice. In case of doubt, the management’s approval must always be obtained in advance.
- Anti-Terrorism and Crime Prevention Measures
Management, staff, and contracting partners must ensure that funds and resources of the GS-Foundation are neither directly nor indirectly channeled to serve terrorist or criminal individuals, organizations, and purposes.
The GS-Foundation adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination based on nationality, religion, age, gender, skin color, cultural background, etc. Employees and partners must therefore abstain from all kinds of discrimination. Directing inappropriate, violent or insulting language at others, whether spoken or written, is prohibited. This prohibition also applies on social media.
- Confidentiality and Data Protection
Any sensitive information and secrets obtained in the course of employment or contractual agreement with partners must be treated confidentially and must NOT be passed on to third parties. This obligation continues after termination of the contractual relationship with the GS-Foundation. All personal data about employees, management, contracting authorities, business partners and other third parties must be handled with care and in full compliance with German data protection regulations.
* This Code of Conduct shall be governed by the German law. It can be updated. Please make sure you have access to the latest version by regularly checking our website.
* Any violations of this Code of Conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.
* Employees and contracting partners of the GS-Foundation must confirm in writing that they have read and understood the Code of Conduct, and that they acknowledge that compliance with this Code of Conduct (as amended to date) is a condition for their employment, partnership, or contribution.
* This Code of Conduct is effective from June 1st, 2021.