Standards of Conduct Policy 1
Last updated: June 2021
Standards of Conduct Policy
(incorporating: Anti-Bribery, Fraud & Corruption, Conflicts of Interest and Company
Policy Aims
This policy aims to:
ensure that matters of employee and board member conduct are managed in
a professional and lawful way
set out the procedures that the LEP will implement in relation to the
management of conduct in the workplace
protect both the LEP and the individuals involved from any appearance of
impropriety and demonstrate transparency to the public and other interested
The Nolan Principles
LEP staff and board members are expected to adhere to the highest standards of
governance and propriety.
New Anglia LEP has adopted the Nolan principles as the core of the code of conduct,
and board members are therefore expected to adhere these principles, in addition to
their responsibilities as company directors.
The seven principles were established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life
(CSPL), which provides independent advice to the prime minister on standards of
conduct of holders of all public office.
The seven principles are:
1. Selflessness
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They
should not do so in order to gain financial or material benefits for themselves,
their family, or their friends.
2. Integrity
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or
other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to
influence them in the performance of their official duties.
3. Objectivity
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments,
awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits,
holders of public office should make choices on merit.
4. Accountability
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the
public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their
5. Openness
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions
and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and
restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
6. Honesty
Holders of public office 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.
7. Leadership
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by
leadership and example.
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Standards of Conduct Policy Principles
The Leadership Team will seek to identify and minimise the risk of misconduct
(including bribery, corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and the like) at the earliest
possible opportunity.
The LEP will ensure that anyone with influence over decision making is properly
inducted into their roles and understand their obligations. It will also establish and
maintain registers of interests, and agree in advance how a range of different
situations and scenarios will be handled, rather than waiting until they arise.
Any breach of this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and is likely to result in
disciplinary action.
Data Protection
Any information provided within the terms of this policy will be processed in
accordance with data protection principles as set out in the General Data Protection
Regulation (2016/679) and Data Protection Act 2018. Data will be processed only to
ensure board members and employees act in the best interests of the LEP. The
information provided will not be used for any other purpose.
1. Anti-Bribery, Fraud & Corruption
This section explains the procedures through which the LEP will seek to maintain its
high ethical standards and protect its reputation against any allegations of bribery,
fraud or corruption. It is communicated to everyone involved in the business to
ensure their commitment to it and it applies to all employees and Board members.
Bribery is the offer, promise, giving, demanding or acceptance of an
advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a
breach of trust.
Fraud is a type of criminal activity, defined as 'abuse of position, or false
representation, or prejudicing someone's rights for personal gain'. Put simply,
fraud is an act of deception intended for personal gain or to cause a loss to
another party. The general criminal offence of fraud can include:
o deception whereby someone knowingly makes false representation
o or they fail to disclose information
o or they abuse a position.
Corruption is the misuse of public office or power for private gain; or misuse
of private power in relation to business outside the realm of government.
Our Policy
It is the LEP’s policy to conduct business in an honest way and without the use of
corrupt practices or acts to obtain an unfair advantage. The LEP is committed to
ensuring adherence to the highest legal and ethical standards. This is reflected in
every aspect of the way in which the LEP operates and the stated aim to bring
integrity to all dealings.
Bribery, fraud and corruption have the potential to expose the LEP and its employees
to the risk of prosecution, fines and imprisonment, as well as endangering the LEP’s
reputation. The LEP will apply a “zero tolerance” approach to acts of bribery, fraud
and corruption.
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All members of the leadership team take responsibility for detecting and investigating
fraud and in co-operating with any investigations, particularly the Chief Operating
Officer. To help prevent fraud, no financial commitments or decisions are made by a
single person acting alone. The commitments in this policy apply to all the LEPs
projects and programmes including the work of delivery partners and contractors. In
addition to the internal procedures for reporting a concern contained in the Employee
Handbook, and the whistleblowing procedures on the LEP website, the LEP will
report any suspected fraud to funders where relevant (e.g. ESF programmes) and
cooperate in their investigations. The ESF beneficiary will report to the Managing
Authority at the earliest opportunity any fraud, or suspected fraud, they identify in
their project.
Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality
Gifts, entertainment and hospitality include the receipt or offer of gifts, meals or
tokens of appreciation and gratitude, or invitations to events, functions, or other
social gatherings, in connection with matters related to the business. These activities
are acceptable provided they fall within reasonable bounds of value and occurrence.
In order to evaluate what is acceptable, the following process will be established:
what is the intention is it to build a relationship or is it something else?
how would this look if these details were on the front page of a newspaper?
what if the situation were to be reversed would there be a double standard?
If it is difficult to answer one of the above questions, there may a risk involved which
could potentially damage the LEP’s reputation and business. The action could well
be unlawful.
Circumstances which are never permissible include examples that involve:
a ‘quid pro quo’ (offered for something in return)
gifts in the form of cash/or cash equivalent vouchers
entertainment of a sexual or similarly inappropriate nature
gifts offered during the time of a major bid, tender or transaction.
As a rule, the LEP will not provide gifts to, or receive them from a government official.
Circumstances that are usually acceptable include:
modest/occasional meals with someone with whom the LEP does business
occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events
gifts of nominal value, such as pens, or small promotional items.
If an example does not fall under the above categories, it is necessary to seek
guidance from a manager.
How to Raise a Concern
Everyone working for the LEP has a responsibility to help detect, prevent and report
instances of bribery, fraud, corruption, or any other suspicious activity or wrongdoing.
The LEP is committed to ensuring that everyone has a safe, reliable, and confidential
way of reporting any suspicious activity. If anyone has a concern regarding a
suspected instance of bribery, fraud or corruption, they are encouraged to report the
issue/concern to a manager. If for some reason it is not possible to speak to a
manager, a report should be made to the CEO or HR.
If an incident of bribery, fraud, corruption, or other wrongdoing is reported, the LEP
will act as soon as possible to evaluate the situation and instigate appropriate action.
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Please refer to the Whistle Blowing Policy.
2. Conflicts of Interest
This section explains the procedures through which the LEP will seek to maintain its
high ethical standards and protect its reputation against any allegations of conflict of
interest. It is communicated to everyone involved in the business to ensure their
commitment to it and it applies to all employees and board members.
A conflict of interest is any situation in which an employee’s or a board member’s
personal interests, or interests that they owe to another body, may (or may appear to
owe) influence or affect their decision making.
Our Policy
It is inevitable that conflicts of interest can occur. The issue is not the integrity of the
person concerned, but the management of any potential to profit from a person’s
position as within the LEP, or for them to be influenced by conflicting loyalties. Even
the appearance of a conflict of interest can damage the LEP’s reputation, so conflicts
need to be managed carefully.
Everyone working for the LEP has a legal obligation to act in its best interests and to
avoid situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest.
Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests
and/or loyalties conflict with those of the LEP. Such conflicts may create problems;
they can:
inhibit free discussion
result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of the LEP and
risk the impression that the LEP has acted improperly.
Declaration of Interests
The LEP requires board members and members of the leadership team to declare
their interests, and any gifts or hospitality received in connection with their role in
within the LEP. A declaration of interests form is provided for this purpose, listing
the types of interest individuals should declare. The declaration of interests will be
updated at least annually and within 28 days of changes occurring.
If a person is not sure what to declare, or whether/when their declaration needs to be
updated, they should err on the side of caution and update their declaration.
This declaration of interests will also be used to record all hospitality and gifts of a
value over £50 (this is a single item limit, or a cumulative limit for items received from
the same person or organisation over a period of 6 months) received by or offered to
those working for the LEP.
Interests and gifts and offers of gifts must be recorded on the register of interests,
which will be maintained by HR. The register will be accessible by the Leadership
Team and board members together with anyone with a statutory entitlement to such
The LEP will seek to minimize the potential for conflicts of interest by considering the
actual or possible existence of issues when electing or selecting individuals to join
the Board, and excluding individuals from this if these issues are too great.
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Once recruited new LEP Board members will be required to complete a register of
interests form and keep this up to date.
Types of Conflict
Each individual should declare an interest in the following circumstances:
Direct Financial Interests
A direct conflict of interest arises when an individual involved in taking or influencing
the decisions of an organisation could receive a direct financial benefit as a result of
the decisions being taken. This may arise as a result of holding an office or shares in
a private company or business, or a charity or voluntary organisation that may do
business with the LEP.
Indirect Financial Interests
Indirect financial interest arises when a close relative of an employee, board member
or other key person benefits from a decision of the organisation. Individual
professionals working for the LEP (and their family members or business partners)
may have commercial interests in organisations that the LEP is already purchasing
from or that could potentially bid/offer to provide services that the LEP might procure
and fund.
Positions which may create real or perceived conflict due to financial interests
directorships, including non-executive directorships held in private companies
or PLCs (except for those of dormant companies)
ownership or part-ownership of private companies, businesses or
consultancies likely or possibly seeking to do business with the LEP
majority or controlling shareholdings in organisations likely or possibly
seeking to do business with the LEP
any connection with a voluntary or other organisation contracting for LEP
research funding/grants that may be received by an individual or their
interests in pooled funds that are under separate management.
Non-Financial or Personal Interests
These occur where employees, board members or other key persons receive no
financial benefit, but are influenced by external factors such as gaining some other
intangible benefit or kudos, for example, through awarding contracts to friends or
personal business contacts.
Even if the individuals leading the LEP do not have commercial or other direct
interests in particular services or providers, they may have long-standing professional
relationships with colleagues to whom they may have allegiances as peers, and with
whom they have developed particular ways of working over a period of time.
Conflicts of Loyalty
Decision-makers may have competing loyalties between the organisation to which
they owe a primary duty and some other person or entity. This could include loyalties
to a professional body, society or special interest group, and could involve an interest
in a particular sector or industry due to an individual’s own experience or that of a
family member.
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Decisions taken where an Employee has an Interest
In the event of the board having to decide upon a question in which an employee has
an interest, all decisions will be made by vote, with a simple majority required. A
quorum must be present for the discussion and decision; interested parties will not be
counted when deciding whether the meeting is quorate. Interested board members
may not vote on matters affecting their own interests.
All decisions under a conflict of interest will be recorded by the minute taker and
reported in the minutes of the meeting. The report will record:
the nature and extent of the conflict
an outline of the discussion
the actions taken to manage the conflict.
Where an employee benefits from the decision, this will be reported in the annual
report and accounts. All payments or benefits in kind to employees will be reported in
the company’s accounts and annual report, with amounts for each person listed for
the year in question.
Where an employee is connected to a party involved in the supply of a service or
product to the LEP, this information will also be fully disclosed in the annual report
and accounts. Independent external moderation will be used where conflicts cannot
be resolved through the usual procedures.
Managing Contracts
If an employee or board member has a conflict of interest, they must not be involved
in managing or monitoring a contract in which they have an interest. Monitoring
arrangements for such contracts will include provisions for an independent challenge
of bills and invoices, and termination of the contract if the relationship is
Notification of Conflicts of Interest
Where an employee identifies a possible conflict of interest, they should submit a
brief written memo to the CEO, setting out:
name and role
nature of possible conflict of interest
value of any material benefit involved
The CEO will request additional information if necessary.
Guidance for LEP Board Members
Board members may, in accordance with the requirements set out in this policy,
authorise any matter or situation proposed to them by any board member which
would, if not authorised, involve a board member breaching his/her duty under
section 175 of the Act to avoid conflicts of interest ("conflict").
1. Any authorisation under this policy will be effective only if:
1.1 the matter in question shall have been proposed by any board member
for consideration at a meeting of board members in the same way that
any other matter may be proposed to the board members under the
provisions of the Articles of Association or in such other manner as board
members may determine
1.2 any requirement as to the quorum at the meeting of the board members
at which the matter is considered is met without counting the board
member in question and
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1.3 the matter was agreed to without his/her voting or would have been
agreed to if his/her vote had not been counted.
2. Any authorisation of a conflict under this policy may (whether at the time of
giving the authorisation or subsequently):
2.1 extend to any actual or potential conflict of interest which may reasonably
be expected to arise out of the matter so authorised
2.2 be subject to such terms and for such duration, or impose such limits or
conditions as the board members may determine and
2.3 be terminated or varied by the board members at any time. This will not
affect anything done by the board member prior to such termination or
variation in accordance with the terms of the authorisation.
3. In authorising a conflict the board members may decide (whether at the time of
giving the authorisation or subsequently) that if a board member has obtained
any information through his/her involvement in the conflict, otherwise than as a
board member of the company and in respect of which s/he owes a duty of
confidentiality to another person, the board member is under no obligation to:
3.1 disclose such information to the board members or to any other officer or
employee of the company, or
3.2 use or apply any such information in performing his / her duties as a
board member, where to do so would amount to a breach of that
4. Where the board members authorise a conflict, they may (whether at the time of
giving the authorisation or subsequently) provide, without limitation, that the
board member:
4.1 is excluded from discussions (whether at meetings of board members or
otherwise) related to the conflict
4.2 is not given any documents or other information relating to the conflict;
4.3 may not vote (or may not be counted in the quorum) at any future
meeting of board members in relation to any resolution relating to the
5. Where the board members authorise a conflict:
5.1 the board member will be obliged to conduct themselves in accordance
with any terms imposed by the board members in relation to the conflict;
5.2 the board member will not infringe any duty s/he owes to the company by
virtue of sections 171 to 177 of the Act provided s/he acts in accordance
with such terms, limits and conditions (if any) as the board members
impose in respect of its authorisation.
6. A board member is not required, by reason of being a board member (or
because of the fiduciary relationship established by reason of being a board
member), to account to the company for any remuneration, profit or other benefit
which s/he derives from or in connection with a relationship involving a conflict
which has been authorised by the board members or by the company in general
meeting (subject in each case to any terms, limits or conditions attaching to that
authorisation) and no contract shall be liable to be avoided on such grounds.
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Company Standards
This section aims to ensure employees and board members are aware of the
standards of behaviour expected of them by the LEP. It is communicated to everyone
involved in the business to ensure their commitment to it and it applies to all
employees and board members.
It is not possible to establish requirements which cover all situations and
circumstances at work and so the contents of this section should be considered as
the basic principles to follow. Some types of work also have special rules applying to
them. Employees and board members are expected to know and to follow the rules
that apply to them.
Roles Outside the LEP
An employee’s or board member’s off duty hours are their own concern, but their
conduct must not in any way bring the organisation into disrepute.
Some employees cannot undertake outside work or take up any additional
appointment without the express consent of the CEO. If an employee is in any doubt
about their contractual obligations, they should seek the advice of HR. Board
members should seek the advice of the Board and the CEO.
Employees and board members may well have legitimate roles to carry out such as
Trade Union representatives, community action group representatives, tenant
committee members etc. These roles may involve employees and board members
taking part in public meetings, making statements to the press, or acting on behalf of
their group. Employees and board members should make clear the capacity in which
they are speaking or making statements etc. In this capacity, the employee/board
member should exercise great care in presenting the facts in order to avoid personal
opinions which may be damaging to the LEP or derogatory or defamatory remarks
about other employees or board members.
Refer to the Communications and Media Policy for more information.
Criminal Convictions
Employees are required to notify their manager or HR of any convictions incurred
while employed by LEP irrespective of whether the offence occurred on or off duty.
Board members are required to notify the Board and the CEO.
Political Neutrality
It is important that employees of the LEP maintain political neutrality. Where
employees are asked to advise political groups, they must do so in ways which do
not compromise their political neutrality. Employees must not allow their own
personal or political opinions to interfere with or influence their work, i.e. they must
stay politically neutral’.
Relationships at Work
Personal Relationships
Employees should avoid undue close, personal familiarity with colleagues, clients or
partnership organisations and it is important that they carefully consider how any
relationships they have may be perceived by others.
There will, however, be situations where such relationships arise between employees
or board members and colleagues, stakeholders, or partnership organisations, for
example, through marriage, direct family connection or a close and long-standing
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Such relationships must always be disclosed when relevant to LEP activities. Where
such a personal relationship does exist, the employee or board member should avoid
any professional contact with the other party concerned on any matter where the
personal relationship may be perceived by others to affect the conduct or judgement
of the person concerned. This avoidance should be clear to other colleagues and the
outside world. Furthermore, employees and board members should avoid discussing,
within the context of a personal relationship, any information of a private or personal
and confidential nature which they become aware of in the course of their LEP
Such an approach will avoid any personal relationships between employees and
colleagues, partnership organisations or stakeholders damaging the appropriate
professional relationship, embarrassing other employees, or giving the wrong
impression to third parties.
Exceptionally, the existence of such a relationship may impact fundamentally on the
ability of an employee or board member to do their job effectively. In such cases
further consideration would need to be given as to the appropriate course of action to
handle the situation. This would necessarily depend upon the circumstances and
appropriate guidance would be provided to employees at the time by the CEO or HR
and to board members by the board and the CEO.
Appointments to posts in the organisation are made on merit and the ability of the
candidate to undertake the duties of the post. To avoid any accusation of bias
employees should ensure that they are not involved in an appointment procedure
where they are related to an applicant or have a close personal relationship with
them outside work.
If an employee is in a position where a family member or close personal friend is
working with them, they are prohibited from having any influence on or involvement in
any such things as recruitment processes, disciplinary proceedings, decisions
regarding pay, training, promotion or reimbursement of expenses involving that
In the event of an employee being in such a position they are required to disclose the
matter to the CEO. Failure to disclose any such relationship may be a disciplinary
offence. The CEO, will make such arrangements as are deemed necessary to ensure
that there is no conflict of interests arising from such a situation.
Use of Financial/Other Resources
Employees must ensure they use paid work time, resources (such equipment),
property and benefits honestly, responsibly, and efficiently at all times to ensure
value for money. Misuse of these will be considered a disciplinary matter.
Any resources or property issued to an employee by the organisation are for the
purposes of effectively carrying out the duties (e.g. mobile phones, diaries). It
follows, therefore, that any such items remain the property of the organisation and as
such can be withdrawn at any time.
SponsorshipGiving and Receiving
Where an outside organisation wishes to sponsor or is seeking to sponsor a LEP
activity, whether by invitation, tender, negotiation or voluntarily, the basic conventions
concerning acceptance of gifts or hospitality apply. Particular care must be taken
when dealing with contractors or potential contractors.
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Where the LEP wishes to sponsor an event or service, neither an employee, board
member nor any partner, spouse or relative benefit from such sponsorship in a direct
way without there being full disclosure to the appropriate manager of any such
interest. Similarly, where the LEP through sponsorship, grant aid, financial or other
means, give support in the community, employees and board members should
ensure that impartial advice is given and that there is no conflict of interest involved.
Conduct at Work
Employees and board members are expected to perform the duties of their posts
diligently and to the best of their ability. In doing so they must comply with
organisational policies, procedures and practices.
Equality and Mutual Respect of Opportunity
Employees must ensure that the dignity and rights of members of the local
community, stakeholders, clients, partnership organisations and colleagues are
recognised and protected at all times. They must be treated with fairness, equity, and
courtesy in accordance with both organisational policies and the law. Employees
must not allow prejudice or bias to influence them in carrying out your work.
Stakeholder Care
Employees must always remember their responsibility to ensure courteous, efficient
and impartial service delivery to all groups and individuals.
Personal Appearance
The issue of personal appearance is a sensitive one and the balance must be
between personal freedom, comfort, and the image of the organisation in the eyes of
its stakeholders and the nature of the work the employee does.
As a basic principle all employees are expected to demonstrate good standards of
personal hygiene and care of their appearance. It is expected that employees will
dress appropriately according to the nature of the work they are doing and in
accordance with the principles outlined in the Dress Code Policy.
Whistle Blowing
The LEP has a Whistle Blowing Policy which seeks to encourage and enable
employees to raise concerns so that the company can take prompt action. The policy
makes it clear that employees who raise legitimate concerns can do so without fear
of reprisal.
This guidance does not try to cover every situation. It tries to give an indication of the
standards of behaviour or conduct that the organisation expects. Anyone in doubt
about how these guidelines apply to them should ask their manager. Information is
also available from HR.
It is important to add, in conclusion, that there are agreed procedures for dealing with
any allegations of misconduct and that the organisation will ensure that these will be
handled in a way that is fair and consistent.