Rr. Perlat Rexhepi, Nd 19, H9
1019 Tiranë, Albania
*Code of Ethics*
This document represents the principal code of conducts established by, and for, the Martin and Mirash Ivanaj Foundations of New York and Tirana, the two non-profit sister organizations that share the same internal Vision, Mission and Governance, while abiding by the laws and rules of the respective states of New York, and Albania in which they are officially and legally registered. It is implied that the use of the singular form throughout this document reflects nevertheless the Code of Ethics can be applicable to both these organizations.
The Ivanaj Foundations were founded by Drita Ivanaj in the mid 1990’s in memory of the two Ivanaj brothers who fervently dedicated and spent their lives in the service of their newly independent state of Albania since it was created. For their deeds, patriotism, freedom and independence of thought and action, integrity, trustworthiness, commitment and leadership, especially in the fields of jurisprudence, public education, and culture, they are well remembered, generations later. Their intellectual contributions have survived them, and their values and qualities should continue to permeate Albanian life regardless of religion, politics, gender, or ethnic background. These are the purpose and goal of the Ivanaj Foundations.
The newly created premises and physical facilities that are headquartered since October 2017 on the grounds of the ‘Rezidenca Ivanaj’ in ‘Tirana e Re’, were founded on the belief that in order for a community to thrive, its residents must have a secure environment where they can be provided plenty of support and opportunities to network with each other, learn, create and give back to their communities. And this, in Albania, is represented by the M. & M. Ivanaj Foundation Institut, whose behavioral guidelines are detailed in this document.
The Ivanaj Foundation has a clearly stated purpose, approved by its Board of Directors to promote and advance the public interest in Albanian culture and education, within the country and abroad; encourage the dissemination of knowledge in Albania’s intellectual, juristic, and scientific traditions; nourish the education of the Albanian people about its valiant history, and aid in its documentation; and propagate knowledge for the advancement of Albania in the free world.
Its programs support that purpose and all who work for, or on behalf of the Foundation understand and promote that mission.
The Foundation has a governing Board of Directors that is responsible for setting its mission and strategic direction, as well as overseeing its policies, programs, finances and operations.
The Foundation’s Board is responsible for:
- Making sure that its Board Members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all Directors understand and fulfill their responsibilities for the benefit of the Foundation and its public purposes.
- Examining economic, financial and management issues and approving significant actions related to the Foundation’s budget and expenses for the coming year, including the Foundations employees’ salaries.
- Appointing and dismissing the Executive Director, determining his/ her compensation and controlling the implementation of his duties and activities.
- Appointing and dismissing members of the Board of Directors.
- Making sure that the Foundation promotes working relationships with Board Members, Staff, Donors, Grantees and constituents that are based on mutual respect, fairness and openness.
IV. Legal Compliance
The M&M Ivanaj Foundation Institut of Tirana is knowledgeable of all the laws, and complies with regulations and applicable international conventions, and understands and respects all of the consequences related to the infringement of the Albanian state’s legislation.
V. Responsible Stewardship
The Ivanaj Foundation manages its funds responsibly and prudently, by including the following considerations:
- Re: Terms for Giving and Accepting Gifts – the Foundation’s employees may not receive or give gifts of a significant value for the purpose of influencing the action of the Foundation or of its recipient. Gifts and entertainment (above 5000 lek) should be declined or shared with the Foundation, and, if acknowledgement is appropriate, acknowledge them on behalf of the Foundation. This rule does not apply to meetings over coffee or meals, or items and tokens given to conference or training participants as long as they are of nominal and reasonable value and promote the Foundation’s interests.
- A reasonable amount of money is spent on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, legal advice and support, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management.
- The organization ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the Foundation.
- All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
- Most of the organization’s annual budget should be spent on programs in pursuance of its original mission.
VI. Openness and Disclosure
The Ivanaj Foundation provides regular updates, with detailed information, to the public media regarding its work in progress. All this information is coherent with the policies and practices of and the organization and must reflect the importance of program beneficiaries.
VII. Program Evaluation
The organization, on a regular basis, reviews projects and programs, and their effectiveness and has developed mechanisms to filter and incorporate effective and long-term programs.
The success of the Foundation is hidden in its learning method, by which learning, from the experience on the field from past activities, establishes a flourishing environment of high achievement.
VIII. Inclusiveness and Diversity
The organization has a policy of promoting excellence, extended to its Staff, Board and Volunteers in order to create effective performance. Consequently, the organization tries to advocate comprehensiveness in procedures such as hiring, retention, promotion, and board recruitment.
The Board of the Ivanaj Foundation is committed to ensuring that fundraising activities are carried out in an ethical manner.
This policy applies to the Board, casual, permanent, and contracted Staff and Volunteers.
The organization adheres to the following standards:
- Fundraising activities carried out by Ivanaj Foundation will comply with all relevant laws.
- Any communication to the public made while carrying out a fundraising activity shall be truthful and non-deceptive.
- All monies raised via fundraising activities will be for the stated purpose of the appeal and will comply with the organization’s stated mission and purpose.
- All personal information collected by the Ivanaj Foundation is confidential and is not for sale, or to be given away, or disclosed to any third party without written consent.
- No one directly or indirectly employed by, or volunteering for the Ivanaj Foundation, shall accept commissions, bonuses, or payments for fundraising activities on behalf of the organization.
- No general solicitations shall be undertaken by telephone or door-to-door.
- Financial contributions will only be accepted from companies, organizations, and individuals the Board considers ethical.
X. Conflicts of interest
The Foundation's Conflict of Interest Policy requires that, in its work to provide crucial services through interaction with third parties, its employees are obligated to avoid and disclose ethical, legal, financial, or other conflicts of interest involving the foundation. In most instances, conflicts of interest can be avoided simply by continuing to exercise good judgment and, indeed, the Foundation relies on the sound judgment of its employees to prevent many such conflict situations.
An employee is considered to have a potential conflict of interest when:
- He or she, or any related family member, receives a financial or other significant benefit as result of the employee's position in the Foundation.
- The employee has the opportunity to influence the Foundation's granting, business, administrative or other material decisions in a manner that leads to personal gain or advantage.
- The employee has an existing, or potential financial or other significant interest which impairs, or might appear to impair, the individual's judgement in carrying out his/her responsibilities to the Foundation.
In case of potential conflict of interest, the employee is required to cooperate with his/her manager to achieve a solution in the best interest of the Foundation. This may include the employee being removed from a position of decision-making authority with respect to the conflict situation, or other more serious actions.
XI. Political activities
The Foundation is strictly prohibited to engage in electoral politics or lobbying activities. The employees are free to engage in these types of activities on a personal basis, provided their activities do not conflict with the ability to carry out their Foundation responsibilities, or create confusion between positions that are taken by them personally, versus those as a Foundation representative. Before an employee engages in political activities it is best to consult with management to avoid any impact of his/her actions being attributed to the Foundation. Political activities should only occur, in any case, outside of business hours, and at the employee’s expense, without using the Foundation’s name or the Foundation’s resources, facilities or equipment.
XII. Religious activities
While the employees are free to maintain their religion, thoughts or beliefs, the Foundation, however, does not allow them to influence with their religion, any of the activities on behalf of Foundation, inside, or outside the premises of the Foundation. The employees are welcome to engage in religious activities outside of work hours and must not include actions that can be attributed of being harmful if related to the Ivanaj Foundation. Decision making, and project acceptance must not be influenced by personal religious beliefs.
Staff and Board Members, including Volunteers, must maintain the moral and legal responsibilities in promoting the best interest of the Ivanaj Foundation whomever they are affiliated with.
XIII. Values, Codes of Conducts, Employees Principles and Standards:
1.Personal and professional Integrity: At the Ivanaj Foundation integrity is valued; its employees are expected to be honest, devoted to telling the truth, and faithful to high moral standards. Having a Code of Ethics and laying out each employee’s principles of behavior between each other and with third parties, is part of the Foundation’s effort to support and inspire a culture of better education in Albania. The Foundation is committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all its activities, and it requires its employees to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
2.Transparency and accountability: The Foundation provides comprehensive and timely information to the public, the media and all stakeholders and is responsive, in a timely manner, to reasonable requests for information. All information about the Foundation will thus fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of the Foundation.
3.Inclusiveness and fairness. Acknowledging that during work people of every background and experience may be encountered, the Foundation endeavors to create an inclusive environment and treat everyone with fairness, dignity, and respect. This principle of fairness extends to every part of its work, including hiring, promotions and working with grantees, partners, and others.
4.Intellectual property and moral rights: The Foundation retains the moral rights in, and ownership of, all intellectual property that it is created by it unless agreed otherwise in advance with its clients. In return, the Foundation respects the moral and intellectual copyright vested in its clients' intellectual property.
5.Respect and leadership: The Foundation treats others fairly and objectively. Ensuring freedom from discrimination, harassment and bullying is the key to a decent work experience that the Foundation promotes.
XIV. Unethical behavior, inappropriate or illegal.
1. Taking kickbacks or bribes. In case an employee is approached by a potential or actual partner with the intention of bribing him/her for the purpose of financial gain, the employee is required to report this occurrence immediately to the Foundation’s management.
2. Giving out confidential information. The Foundation is committed to maintaining the highest degree of integrity in all its dealings with potential, current and past partners or collaborators, both in terms of normal confidentiality, and the protection of all personal information received in the course of providing the services concerned. Confidentiality is valued and expected in any situation where sensitive information is accessed or shared. Breaking the rules of confidentiality by releasing private information to the wrong entity can cause discord, broken trust and even lawsuits between parties.
3. Falsifying documents. Altering changing or modifying a document with the purpose of deceiving another person such as passing along copies of documents that are known to be false or presenting false employment documents is strictly forbidden.
XV. Failure to Comply
No Code can address all specific situations. It is, therefore, each employee’s responsibility to apply the principles set forth in this document in a responsible fashion and by exercising good judgment and common sense. If something seems unethical or improper, it likely is. Always remember: If one is unsure of what to do in any situation, seek guidance before acting. A failure by any employee to comply with the laws or regulations governing the Foundation, this Code, or any other Company policy or requirement, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, and, if warranted, legal proceedings. All Staff, Board Members are expected to cooperate in any internal investigations of misconduct.
XVI. Reporting Illegal or Unethical Behavior; Compliance Procedures
As part of the Staff of the Ivanaj Foundation, all involved are expected to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their work environment and are also expected to be sensitive to, and respectful of the concerns, values and preferences of others. Whether one is an Employee, Board Member, or a Volunteer, all are encouraged to promptly report to management any practices or actions that are believed to be inappropriate.
This document is made available to all full and part time Staff, Board Members and Volunteers in the appropriate work folders they have access to.
Tirana – January 2020 -