Circulation of the Reporting Concerns Mailbox within supplier organisations is an important requirement of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Supplier Code of Conduct.
The purpose of this information is to inform and remind consultants, partners and suppliers of the reasons behind the Reporting Concerns Mailbox.
What is the Code of Conduct?
In brief, 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?
FCDO, 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, FCDO 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 FCDO.
When should reporting take place?
It should be noted that the normal British Council reporting routes should be considered and used as a first resort. As a reminder, if any issues of concern arise, they should be reported to contacts within British Council to undertake due process. Secondly, if agreed appropriate between parties, the case can be referred to Safecall which is an externally run, independent organisation who will investigate.
If these routes do not prove sufficient then the Reporting Concerns Mailbox can be used.
What can be reported to the Mailbox?
Staff or anyone involved in FCDO funded business can immediately report all suspicions or allegations of aid diversion, fraud, money laundering or counter terrorism finance to the Counter Fraud and Whistleblowing Unit (CFWU) at:
+44 (0)1355 843747
Reports can be made anonymously and without fear of recrimination. Anyone working on FCDO funded projects 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
FCDO 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.
FCDO defines fraud as ‘an intentional act of dishonesty by one or more individuals internal or external to FCDO with the intention of making a gain for themselves or anyone else or inflicting a loss (or risk of loss) on another’.
FCDO also uses the term ‘aid diversion’ to describe any activity that deliberately prevents aid from reaching its intended recipients.