CHECKLIST: CODE OF CONDUCT – ABILITY TO PROTECT AGAINST TOBACCO INDUSTRY INTERFERENCE

CODE OF CONDUCT READINESS CHECKLIST

Below is a set of assessment questions that will help in determining the extent of adjustments that need to be done to adopt codes of conduct based on the recommendations embodied in the Article 5.3 Guidelines.

ESSENTIAL POLICIES

Does your agency have the following:
A Code of Conduct that includes measures specifically prohibiting partnerships, contributions, and unnecessary transactions with the tobacco industry?
A Code of Conduct and Policies on Accountability and/or Declaration of Interests that include both high-level aspirational statements and statements about behavioral expectations that provide a benchmark for dealing with tobacco industry interference?
A hiring policy that ensures applicants are not associated with the tobacco industry or other entity that poses a conflict of interest?
A personnel policy that prohibits government employees from working with the tobacco industry within a period of time after leaving government service?

AWARENESS OF PROCESS RELATING TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Is there a Code of Conduct for all public officials? Are there separate ones for each agency or for different types of officials?
Is there a centralized national body in charge of the review and/or implementation of the Code of Conduct for all public officials?
Are there separate bodies for each agency?
Which agency or government sector is in charge of changes in the Code of Conduct? What type of administrative or legislative policies need to be drafted to effect changes or add details to the Code of Conduct?
If the country has ratified the UNCAC, which agency is mandated to ensure compliance with the treaty? Which agency/ies is/are in charge of:

  1. dissemination of revisions in the Code of Conduct?
  2. monitoring the implementation of the Code of Conduct?

If each government agency has the authority to issue its own Code of Conduct, to what extent is it authorized to implement it?
Is it also authorized to monitor, receive complaints, or adjudicate?
Does the Code of Conduct and/ or related administrative or legislative documents provide for mechanisms for implementation like sanctions, complaint procedure, and adjudication procedure?
What are the procedures involved in cases of violations of the Code of Conduct by public officials?
Which agency/ies is/are in charge of adjudicating such cases? To which agency can this be appealed?

ENFORCEMENT OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Has the competent authority in government identified which agencies or staff positions must be required to declare and divest their interests in the tobacco industry?
Does your agency provide for accountability measures and specify sanctions to government personnel for the act of giving incentives or awarding partnerships or contracts to the tobacco industry or to those representing its interests?
Does your agency ensure that the rationale behind tobacco industry interference is communicated to the staff and public regularly? Does your agency have an induction for new staff at all levels that addresses the importance of protecting public health policies from tobacco industry interests?
Are these values incorporated into other training programmes?

    1. Do the human resource processes of your agency (e.g., recruitment, promotion, and performance management, etc.) take into account regard for the Code of Conduct?
    2. Does your agency have a process for ensuring that all official communications (e.g., policies, guidelines, statements,
      publications, etc.) are in line with policies relating to conflicts of interest?
    3. Does your agency involve staff and key stakeholders in the development and review of related policies to ensure their continued relevance?

Is there an evaluation of how well your agency’s policies in relation to WHO FCTC Article 5.3 have been promoted, understood, and integrated into agency operations and decision-making? Does your agency measure the impact of the Article 5.3-related policies against agency reputation?
Are there firm reporting mechanisms, investigation procedures, and corresponding sanctions regime within the agency for breaches of codes of ethics or conduct? Are there clear and proportionate sanctions in case of violations, simple complaint and investigation procedure, whistle-blower provisions, and monitoring and reporting incentives?
Are these well disseminated?
Are there allocated funding and other resources for the promotion of transparency and accountability within the agency?
Is there a coordinating and monitoring body with a corresponding budget that is in charge of implementing and enforcing the said policies and codes of conduct?

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