Circulation of the Reporting Concerns Mailbox within supplier organisations is an important requirement of the DFID Supplier Code of Conduct. Many of you will undoubtedly be aware of its existence and the purpose of this article is to remind those who are aware and inform those consultants who are not of the reasons behind it.
What is the Code of Conduct?
In brief (there will be a more in-depth article coming in the next issue), the Code of Conduct has been introduced into contractual terms and conditions to drive high standards of ethical and professional behaviour and more effective and efficient delivery. Many of you will already have compliance with the Code written into your contractual agreements.
Why is There a Reporting Concerns Mailbox?
DFID, as custodian of public money, is committed to ensuring the highest standards of conduct in the delivery of their projects and services as well as complying with all relevant UK and overseas legislation. They, therefore, pass that responsibility to their Suppliers and expect those standards to be similarly passed down delivery chains.
As custodians of public money, DFID and their Suppliers need to be held to account. Due to increasing scrutiny of the international aid budget, it is important that it is seen to be delivering value for money and abiding by relevant legislation and good ethical practice. The existence of the mailbox allows anyone involved in a contract, down to beneficiary level, to anonymously raise concerns to DFID.
What Can be Reported to the Mailbox?
The Mailbox can be found at the Counter Fraud and Whistleblowing Unit (CFWU) of DFID.
•+44 (0) 1355 843551
Reports can be made anonymously and without fear of recrimination. Anyone working on DFID funded project can report the existence of possible illegal, unethical or improper conduct when normal channels of communication may have proved ineffective or inappropriate. Reports can be made about suspected:
• Aid diversion
• Terrorism funding
• Money laundering
DFID and other aid awarding public bodies, such as the British Council, must work in line with relevant legislation including; International Development Act of 2002, the Fraud Act of 2006 and the Bribery Act of 2010.
DFID defines fraud as ‘an intentional act of dishonesty by one or more individuals internal or external to DFID with the intention of making a gain for themselves or anyone else or inflicting a loss (or risk of loss) on another’. DFID also uses the term ‘aid diversion’ to describe any activity that deliberately prevents aid from reaching its intended recipients.