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Code of Service Ethics


Core Management Team Message ….

We have made a commitment to conduct our activities with highest standards of excellence, quality and transparency, and for respect, honesty and fairness in our dealings with beneficiaries. Our continued success, reputation and creditability depend on the maintenance of these standards.

We insist on high standard of ethical behavior from all our trustees, executive members, advisors, nominees, partners, supporters, coordinators, employees and any other person related to Suvasam.

There is never a reason to compromise our principle or to conduct activity by other than lawful & ethical means
 Though we are a charitable trust, we committed ourselves to form Suvasam’s Code of Service Ethics, which sets forth the principles that continue to define us. These principles are at the heart of our strength and our identity as a responsible charitable trust.

Therefore, it is essential that we all continue to follow both the letter and the spirit of the Code. Your commitment to compliance with all of our Suvasam’s policies will help us to maintain our exemplary standards for integrity and transparency in all aspects of our activities.
Bring your sense of right & wrong and your ethical & moral principle to work with you.

Learn the Policies & Laws that are apply to our activities and to your specific responsibilities
Regards

Core Management Team         

CODE OF SERVICE ETHICS

Why do we need Code of Service Ethics

 The reason is to assure prospective grantees and the general public that no Trustee or any other persons are related to Suvasam including employees will benefit unfairly from the grant funds and no organization has an unfair advantage in obtaining grant funds because of Trustee or any other persons related to trust.  

The reputation and credibility of the trust rests on its ability to make highest standards of excellence, quality, transparency and impartial decisions in accordance with rules and regulations. At the same time, the trust recognizes that its Trustees have broad interests and participate in number of community, charitable and business activities. The principles of awareness, disclosure and disinterested decision making should guide the Executive Committee and General Body.

Definitions

Self-dealing

 A self-dealing situation is where the individual has a financial self-interest in a transaction with Suvasam. It includes a situation where the individual may profit or receive a monetary benefit from a transaction with trust that may lead to or suggest influence in the trust's decision.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest are those situations where the trust  has a reasonable possibility of entering into a financial transaction with the entity, organization or individuals, including situations where the entity, organization  or individuals will be considered for a grant or contribution or will be involved in the activities.  Or


Simply we can define as “conflict of interest is where the individual is in a position of divided or conflicting loyalties in a transaction with the trust”. An individual will be in a position of divided or conflicting loyalties where his or her relationship or affiliation with the entity or organization, or its officers or directors, involved in a financial transaction with the trust may significantly impact, or bias, the individual's decision regarding the transaction.

Disclosure

Disclosure of Involvement
Every beginning of the year, each coordinator, partner, supporter and employee shall also report any self-dealing or conflict of interest situation to coordination committee. The committees shall submit a brief report to the general body regarding those disclosures.

 Disclosure of Self-dealing and Conflict of Interest
Each Trustee, Executive Member, advisor and other persons related with grant making program duties, shall provide to the Executive Committee each year a list of all entities or organizations with which the individual may have a potential self-dealing or conflict of interest situation.

Further, Each Trustee, Executive Member, advisor and other persons related with grant making duties shall update the list at each grant making meeting of the Executive Committee. In addition, the list should include any public charitable organization that solicits grants from Trust with which the Trustee or Executive Members, or his or her spouse, is affiliated as officer, director, Trustee or employee.
The lists shall name the entity or organization the individual and the relationship or affiliation.

Meeting Policy
At the time when any grant application or other action or policy is under consideration in the executive committee all the member of executive committee shall make a disclosure of any self-dealing or conflict of interest situation has with the matter under consideration.
Any member of the committee who has such a self-dealing situation shall leave the meeting room during the discussion of and voting on any proposal with respect to which a self-dealing situation exists.

Any member of the committee who has such a conflict of interest situation shall abstain from voting on any proposal with respect to which a conflict of interest situation exists. The member may remain in the meeting room. The member may participate in discussion of the proposal but only at the request of the chairman of the executive committee.

 Grant Evaluation Process
Executive Committee in resolving self-dealing and conflict of interest questions, proposed grants should be evaluated by the disinterested members in Executive Committee in accordance with the following:

All grants and disbursements must comply with the laws and regulations governing the Trust. Where there is a doubt whether a grant or disbursement meets this compliance test, a legal opinion and/or advice from advisory board will be sought.

All grants must meet the Suvasam's grant making policies and procedures and clearly fall within established program area objectives and criteria.

The Members with a potential self-dealing or conflict of interest situation should not be involved in submitting, reviewing, recommending or approving the grant, or in the subsequent monitoring or evaluation.

As the grant is being processed, approved or ratified by the Executive Committee, any potential self-dealing or conflict of interest situations must be fully disclosed in accordance with this Code of Ethics.

 Recognition for Actions Taken by the Trust
Any Trustee or Member or any other related person shall not seek or accept personal recognition for actions taken by the Suvasam. Any acknowledgement or recognition of a grant must be accepted as collective responsibility or by the Chairman or Secretary on behalf of the Trust.

 Acceptance of Benefits from Grantees or Contractors and Individuals
Any person including Trustees, Executive Members, Advisors, Partners, Supporters, Coordinators and Employees may not knowingly accept any gift or thing of value from any person if the offer or acceptance of the gift or thing of value could reasonably be construed to be in connection with an actual or prospective grant from, or contract with, the Trust. “Thing of value” for example includes tickets to fundraisers, performances and events and meals and beverages. As a representative of the Trust, it is inappropriate to accept honorariums, gifts or similar means of payment for speaking or other engagements. The Trust will pay travel and related expenses in accordance with approved policies.

 Discussions with Prospective Grantees
As far as is reasonably possible, meetings or discussions of specific grants with prospective grantees should be in the presence of the Chairman/ Vice Chairman or Secretary or at least any member from Executive Committee. Potential grantees are informed of the policy against contacting Members regarding specific applications in the Trust's published "Grant making Policies and Procedures." When approached by prospective grantees, Member should inform them of this policy. At the time of voting on any grant or contract, a Trustee should disclose any discussions he may have had regarding prospective grants or contracts.

Compliance of Law:
All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust will comply with the relevant Indian laws and regulations which govern Suvasam’s operations. Anyone having any doubt should contact Chairman/Vice Chairman/Secretary/Executive Committee.

Honest & Ethical Conduct:
Suvasam is committed to ensure the honest and ethical at every aspect of activities and process. The every member related to Suvasam will follow seven principles of public life as mentioned below

Selflessness All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust should take decisions solely in terms of the common interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.

Integrity - All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity -In carrying out any activity, including making grants, selecting for mentoring program, or any other decision should make choices on merit.

Accountability - All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust are accountable for their decisions and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness - All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty - All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership - All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Fairness and Respect to Colleagues:
Each and every person related to Suvasam must know that his/her personal (as well as of course official) conduct is attributed to the Trust and that such conduct may affect the Trust’s reputation. The Trust thus expects each and every person related to Suvasam to be friendly, objective, and fair in his/her dealings with the colleagues and third parties.  

All the executive members/trustees/advisors/supporters/partners or any other person related to trust has the right to be protected from harassment conducted through words, gestures or in writing and shall be able to trust that other person related to Trust do not interfere with his/her natural sense of shame or impose contacts. In this regard, it is not decisive whether the harassing or the harassed person considers his/her own conduct to be usual or acceptable or whether the person affected by the harassment has the opportunity to seek refuge elsewhere. Decency and respect in the relations among ourselves have to be strictly observed. The Trust has the Coordination Committee to which any person affected on account of sexual harassment can approach.

Disciplinary Rules

 Key principles
Supporters, partners, coordinators and any other person related Suvasam is not a right but a privilege. Persons of Suvasam are required to comply with the Code of Conduct both in letter and in spirit.

In addition, the Suvasam rules and regulations specifies that any person, including Founding Secretary, can be expelled from Suvasam upon breach of trust, criminal acts, misbehavior/ misappropriation/ frauds or advocacy of positions contrary to the objectives of trust.  
Any person related to Suvasam can be subject to disciplinary proceedings which could lead to consequence including potential termination from Suvasam under breach of trust, criminal acts, mental disability, false declaration, or advocacy of positions contrary to the objectives of trust including misbehavior/ misappropriation/ frauds

Disciplinary Process
Any citizen of India (not Overseas Indian Citizen) and any member of the Suvasam can raise an issue with the Executive Committee by writing to: discipline@suvasam.org.  If a disciplinary matter in question relates to the action of a member of the Executive Committee, the complaint can be lodged with any other member of the committee.

If a disciplinary matter in question relates to the action of a member of the Executive Committee, a separate Committee would be established by the remaining members, who would then investigate the matter as they deem fit, following the principles of natural justice.
The Executive Committee will independently arrive at its own process and decisions in each case. The Committee may, if it so wishes, seek evidence as appropriate, always keeping the costs of investigation to the minimum necessary. Where substantial costs are likely to be incurred during an investigation, the Committee could outline its requirement of funds (without outlining the details of the case) to the General Body and obtain approval for the funds needed. In no case will the Committee create a financial liability for Suvasam without prior approval at least from the Suvasam Finance Committee.

It is critical that privacy and confidentiality, even the requisite secrecy, be maintained by the Committee at all times, and that no one’s reputation be risked through accidental or careless actions of the Committee. Casual treatment of disciplinary matters, including disclosure about the complaint or to whom the complaint refers to, could in turn be deemed by Suvasam (through a complaint lodged by any member) to be a matter for discipline. The Committee must therefore ensure at all times through its deliberations and actions that the reputation of Suvasam is enhanced, not harmed, through its disciplinary processes, and that no Suvasam member suffers any undue reputational harm through its actions.

Speed would need to be of the essence in disciplinary matters. It is therefore expected that the Committee would endeavor to resolve the matter as soon as possible. In any event, the Committee should not take more than three months for its investigations and final recommendation, following which a firm decision must be recommended. Either a person must be fully rehabilitated or expelled.

While the Committee would need to adhere to the principles of natural justice, the Committee would look at evidence with a slightly lower standard of evidence, given the need to protect the organisation’s reputation and to be quick in decision making. Perfect decision making of the standard of a court of law is not expected. Anyone who joins Suvasam implicitly agrees, through having read and agreed with these rules, to a lower standard of evidence than the comprehensive evidence needed to abide fully by natural justice. Thus, if corruption is alleged against a particular person related to Suvasam, the Executive Committee would view the facts based on whatever facts it can be readily and reasonably ascertained, including witnesses. It would not require proof beyond reasonable doubt.

A range of actions could be recommended by the Committee including but not limited to interim suspension, corrective action and termination of membership.