Guidelines or rules of conduct that govern our lives, work, behavior and
communication in both public and private undertaking
The way we carry ourselves, behave in the public eye, do things, respond
to situations, give instructions, obey rules and think of or perceive the
needs of the other human beings
A body of rules of conduct which people with common interest,
aspirations, objectives, goals, duties, activities and responsibilities have
to adhere to all the time so long as they continue to remain in the
profession, group or trade
The need for a code of ethics and conduct
A code of conduct is necessary for the following reasons:
• Our society, employers, peers and workmates are genuinely
concerned about our individual and organizational ethical behavior
• Our work performance and standards can only be of manifestly
acceptable quality and appreciable level if good rules of ethical
conduct are not only obeyed but also seen in practice
• Discipline can only be instilled in our behavior through a codified
procedure. The surest way of disciplining errant members of a
group is through a code of rules and conduct
• A group of profession can only stand the test of time, defend itself
and spread its influence if its members are ethically upright and
steadfast in doing the right things, at the right time, in the right
place, in the right way and at the right level of performance
• The overall need for a code of conduct is that it will bring respect
to, enhance recognition for, uphold discipline and harmony within
the profession.
Principles of ethical behavior
• In carrying out their duties and responsibilities appertaining to
work and the profession, members of KISM shall:
• Be loyal to the employing organization (i.e. the employer)
• Do justice to those with whom they deal with and interact
• Be faithful to their profession
• Abstain from temptations and acts that are harmful to themselves
and members of the society or community
• Do the right thing at the right time, in the right place, in the right
way and at the right level of Performance.
Standards of procurement practice
a) Personal conduct
• Avoid unethical behavior (intentions or actions) that may portray
you as unreliable or a person of questionable character in your
relationships and communication with others
• Appear respectable and professionally articulate in your approach
to issues, work ethics and dealings with others
• Avoid traps or situations from which you may find difficult to come
out should conditions change
b) Responsibilities to the Employers
• Be loyal to your employer; follow lawful instructions using
reasonable care and only the authority granted
• Refrain from soliciting or accepting money, loans, credits, or
personal percentages and the acceptance of gifts, entertainment,
favors, or services from present or prospective suppliers that might
influence procurement decisions
• Avoid any private business or professional activity that would
create a conflict of interest between personal interest and the
interests of the employer
• In meetings where the subject of discussion includes item or items
in which you have an interest you are under an obligation to
declare or disclose such interest and exclude yourself from
deliberations or voting in the meeting
• Handle all confidential information including trade secrets
belonging to the employer with due diligence and care and never
disclose such information to unauthorized personnel without
express permission or authority
c) Relationships with your colleagues at work
• Promote positive supplier relationships through courtesy and
impartiality in all phases of the purchasing cycle
• Avoid agreements or contracts that are protective and stifle
competition in the supply of goods and services
• Do not reveal confidential information of a supplier to another
when dealing with procurement issues; give suppliers equal
• Neither accepts gifts nor favors that will cause negative
discrimination in the award of business contracts, nor accept
advances that will compromise your professional integrity.
d) Respect for state laws:
• Know and obey state laws and regulations governing the
procurement activities in your country, local authority, company or
• Avoid activities that are criminal in the eyes of the law of the land
in the course of purchasing, handling and distribution of goods
and services even if it is an instruction from your employer
e) Responsibility to the environment:
• When buying practice ” green purchasing” i.e. Do not purchase
items or materials that you know are harmful to environment or
• Emphasize safe methods of packaging distribution and use of
purchased stores to prevent harming members of the community.
f) Responsibilities to the disadvantaged groups and small business:
• Give opportunities to the less fortunate members of the society so
that they can develop business and earn a living as a way of
alleviating poverty in the community
• Encourage small traders to grow by giving them an opportunity to
vie for business in your organization and thus encourage
competition and discourage monopoly tendencies in the supply
g) Responsibilities to the profession:
• Defend the supplies and procurement profession at all times
without fear, bias or favoring unethical behavior
• Enhance the proficiency and good standing of the procurement
profession by continuous acquisition of knowledge and the highest
standard of ethical behavior
• Encourage publicity of literature that promotes the improvement
and growth of the profession
h) International purchasing activities:
• Conduct international purchasing activities in accordance with the
laws, customs and practices of foreign land
• Obey international treaties, conventions, and rules of intentional
standards when entering supply contracts for goods and services
sourced abroad
Some clarifications and interpretation of the code
The code gives guidelines on the standards of behavior expected of a
procurement profession. It is not law on which an errant member can be
charged in the court of law
In exercising the provisions of the code every member will be judged in
accordance with the prevailing circumstances or situations
The code provides guidelines that may be used to discipline an errant
member from the Institute where it is felt that such a member has
breached the rules of good conduct
Some sections contain terms that need clarification:
Confidential information may include:
• Pricing and cost data
• Bid or quotation information
• Formularies and process information
• Design information
• Company plans, goals, strategies etc
• Customer lists, suppliers, material.
Examples of Gratuities or Gifts:
• Monies, credits, discounts, meals, clothing, equipment, household
goods, electrical appliances, tickets etc.
• Job opportunities for close relatives, trips to tourist resorts etc
Conflicting interests may be interpreted as follows:
The employee has a similar business in the same area of operation or
trade as his/her employer. The employee has an interest in the business
of the employer for example the employee wants to supply goods to the
employing organization. In all these personal interest will override the
employer’s interest and therefore a conflict.
Intentions and appearance of unethical behavior:
• Dining and drinking with suppliers regularly
• Fixing appointments with suppliers at odd hours in the office
• Drunkenness during office hours and in public
• Accepting lifts in suppliers cars
• Being dis-respective to colleagues, employer and members of the
Lawful instructions and authority granted:
• Instructions that are contained in manuals of purchasing etc as
formulated as per organization polices
• Instructions given in the course of performing lawful duty
• Authority granted by authorized or senior personnel
• Instructions and authority in conformity with the terms of
Supplier relationships may be enhanced by:
• Being truthful and honest to suppliers
• Processing suppliers claims and paying promptly
• Keeping suppliers’ information confident
• Treating all suppliers equally
• Being ready to assist the supplier when in difficulties
• Working in partnership in solving common problems
Keeping the environment safe:
This should be the responsibility of everyone including purchasing
managers. Most of the polluting systems and material wastes are those
resulting from some purchasing activities.
• Buy materials, industrial machinery and systems that are
considered environment friendly
• Think of methods that will be used to dispose wastes arising from
the materials and processing plants that you purchase.
• Suppliers should package materials and equipment for safe usage,
handling, disposal and reuse, if any
• Buy materials from sources that will not deplete natural resources
like forests


Courtesy of KISM

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