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Primary Function

Introduction to the African Development Bank Ethics Office

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank by resolution n° B/BD/2008/15 adopted on 15 July 2008, an Ethics function within the Bank structure. The overall objective of the Ethics Office within the Bank structure is to provide advisory functions that include analysing, reporting and giving advice as well as guidance to Staff and management on matters of ethics and conduct in the work place. 

The Ethics Office provides impartial services to inquire into alleged violations of the Code of Conduct and Bank’s Rules and Regulations, as well as unethical behaviour that may constitute misconduct, clarifies concerns about conflict of interest, and provides guidance on Bank policies and procedures. 

The principal aim is to provide assistance in resolving such matters in a manner that contributes to the good governance of the Bank, and helps to avoid reputational risks and ensures compliance with the Code of Ethics. The Ethics Office is responsible for developing the framework, guidelines as well as administration and interpretation of the Code of Ethics, which sets out acceptable standards of conduct. The Ethics Office advocates for and maintains a strong ethics culture in line with best practices in other organizations through training, seminars, learning events, etc.

Since 2009, the Office has developed and conducted training, sensitization and awareness-raising sessions for Staff and Management both at the Headquarters and in the Country Offices. A number of new and strategic programs have been developed, and they include Ethical Leadership program; Ethical Budgeting, Team Building and the Ethics Certification Program. All these programs are intended to promote an increased awareness of Bank values, standards of conduct and procedures. 

The Office has also been very active in the orientation and induction programs for newly recruited staff, as a means of ensuring that new Staff are made aware of the Bank values and ethical expectations of them in their behaviour and conduct at the work place.

The Primary Function of the African Development Bank Ethics Office

The primary function of the Ethics Office is to provide advice and guidance to Staff and management on matters of ethics and conduct of the Bank’s Staff in the work place. A commitment to integrity and the highest ethical standards is fundamental to the Bank. Thus, the Ethics Office is the anchor of a successful corporate ethics culture and ensures awareness and understanding of the Bank’s Core Values and ethical standards.

The Ethics Office acts independently of any official, department, office or other organizational units of the Bank. For administration purposes, the Ethics Office reports to the President’s Complex of the Bank. The scope of the functions of the Ethics Office shall be limited to staff members and not extend to elected officers who are covered by a separate framework. The Ethics Office provides impartial, confidential advice and guidance to Staff on ethical issues involving the Bank’s Code of Conduct, Rules and Regulations, as well as other behaviour that may reflect adversely on the Bank.

The Ethics Office’s duties include clarifying conflict of interest concerns and providing guidance on Bank policies and procedures. The principal aim is to provide assistance in resolving ethical matters in a manner that contributes to the good governance of the Bank and helps to maintain its reputation for probity, integrity, and impartiality.

The Ethics Office is responsible for advising and assisting in the development of specific framework and guidelines, which set out acceptable standards of conduct as well as the administration and interpretation of the Staff Code of Ethics. The Ethics Office advocates for and maintains a strong ethics culture in line with best practices in other organizations through training, seminars and learning events.