ETHICS AND BUSINESS PRACTICES
Our goal is to have an ethical work environment
that promotes and upholds the Mission of the agency.
This standard of conduct is
developed to guide staff, consultants, volunteers and representatives of
HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc. (HEAD START or the agency) as well as our
vendors as to how the agency will apply its business practices.
also clarify and summarize the virtues and principles that guide our actions
HEAD START of Greater Dallas aims to "set the
standard" for ethical business conduct. We will achieve this through six
virtues: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Trust, Responsibility and
truthful in all our endeavors, to be honest and forthright with one another, our
customers, communities, vendors and our funders.
In order to ensure that this Code of Ethics and
Business Practices permeates throughout the organization as well as the
communities we serve, we recognize that we must treat those to whom we have
obligations in an ethical manner. Thus, we make the following commitments:
For our Board of
Directors and Policy
committed to pursuing sound business practices and exercising
prudence in the use of our resources (both monetary and human).
Our Business Practices
We will conduct our business in accordance with all
applicable laws and regulations as promulgated by local, state and federal
governments. Compliance with the laws as enforced by the government does not
comprise our entire ethical responsibility. Rather, it is a minimum, absolutely
essential condition for performance of our duties.
Promote a Positive Work Environment
All employees want and deserve a work place where they
feel respected, satisfied, safe and appreciated. Harassment or discrimination
of any kind (especially involving race, color, religion, gender, age, national
origin, disability, veteran or marital status) is unacceptable in our work place
environment. Everyone who works for this agency must contribute to the creation
and maintenance of a positive work environment. Our executives and management
personnel assume special responsibility for fostering a context for work that
will bring out the best in all of us.
Promote a Safe Environment
We are committed to providing a drug free, safe and
healthy work environment. Each of us is responsible for compliance with
environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. Each employee, volunteer
and consultant has the responsibility of observing all posted warning and
regulations, as well as adhering to all directives and work place health
procedures. Employees, volunteers and consultants are to report immediately to
the appropriate management any accident or injury sustained on the job or any
environmental or safety concern they may have. HEAD START of Greater Dallas,
Inc. provides training for all staff in handling hazardous materials as well as
body fluids. The policies and practices provided to staff must be adhered to at
all times. This provides protection for our customers as well as our employees.
Display of violent behavior is not appropriate in a
professional setting. Violent and/or unprofessional behavior will not be
tolerated in any facility or property operated by this agency.
Staff, volunteers, consultants
and clients are prohibited from bringing weapons of any kind into a HEAD START
operated facility or property (such as the parking lots).
We must maintain accurate and complete records on all of
our clients as well as all of our business transactions. We must use generally
accepted accounting practices and principles when working with our fiscal
transactions. We must adhere to the confidentiality policy when working with
client records and information.
Employment with HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc.
carries with it a responsibility for honorable and ethical work. In the course
of performing your job duties, employees, volunteers and consultants may have
access to highly sensitive and confidential proprietary business information as
well as personal information. It is incumbent on each of us to protect this
information and maintain the confidentiality policy of this agency. Custodians
of information regarding the agency's operating systems, personnel, salaries,
wages or other payment for services, testing and evaluation techniques, research
marketing, promotions, advertising, training, procedures, products or materials
that have been developed are bound by this confidential policy. At no time will
an employee use or disclose, directly or indirectly, confidential information to
any person outside of this agency. Similarly, an employee who terminates his or
her employment with this agency may not subsequently use or disclose, directly
or indirectly, any such confidential information acquired during his or her
employment with HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc.
Political Contributions and Activities
HEAD START employees are governed by the Hatch Act.
Federal law prohibits this agency from donating funds, goods or services
(directly or indirectly) to candidates for local, state or federal offices.
This includes employee's work time.
Bid Procedures for Procurement of Goods and Services
We must comply with the laws and regulations that govern
the acquisition of goods and services utilized by this agency. We will compete
fairly and ethically for all business transactions. If you are involved in
proposals, bid preparations or contract negotiations, you must be certain that
all statements, communications and representations to prospective vendors or
service providers are accurate and truthful. Once awarded, all contracts must
be performed in compliance with specification, requirements and clauses as
If there are changes in the specifications or prices as
quoted, these changes must be approved in writing by the Chief Executive
Officer. If the changes represent a substantial deviation from the original
bid, these items or services must be bid again.
Avoid Illegal and Questionable Gifts or Favors
It is the policy of this agency to prohibit its employees
from giving all federal employees things of value. Permissible exceptions are
HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc. promotional items of nominal value, such as
coffee mugs, calendars or similar items displaying the agency logo, and
providing modest refreshments on an occasional basis in connection with business
HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc. employees may accept
meals, refreshments or entertainment of nominal value in connection with
business discussions. While it may be difficult to define "nominal" by means of
a specific dollar amount, a common sense determination should dictate what would
be considered lavish, extravagant or frequent. It is the personal
responsibility of each employee to ensure that his or her acceptance of such
meals, refreshments or entertainment is proper and could not reasonably be
construed in any way as an attempt by the offering party to secure favorable
treatment. Employees are not permitted to accept funds in any form or amount,
or any gift that has a retail or exchange value of $20 or more from individuals,
companies or representatives of companies having or seeking business
relationships with this agency.
Conflicts of Interest
Playing favorites or having
conflicts of interest — in practice or in appearance — runs
counter to the fair treatment to which we are all entitled. Avoid any
relationship, influence or activity that might impair, or even appear to impair,
your ability to make an objective and fair decision when performing your job.
Outside relationships with our customers should not result in more favorable
treatment than others receive. All rules and regulations must be administered
to all customers and employees in the same manner.
Former employees of the agency may not contact current
employees, our clients or our vendors for the purpose of soliciting their
employment or business.
Employees will not accept employment with any of the
vendors that the agency currently has a business relationship with. Employment
outside of the agency must not result in fatigue, which affects the employee's
ability to satisfactorily perform his or her primary job.
Obtain and Use Agency Assets Wisely
Proper use of agency property, facilities and equipment
is your responsibility. Use and maintain these assets with the utmost care and
respect, guarding against waste and abuse.
The use of agency time, material
or facilities for purposes not directly related to agency business, or the
removal or borrowing of agency property without permission, is prohibited.
Employees are not to work on personal projects on agency time utilizing agency
equipment. Equipment, material or agency property purchased or leased by agency
funds or donated to the agency cannot be used by employees in their outside
All employees are responsible for complying with the
requirements of software copyright laws and licenses related to software
packages used in fulfilling job requirements. Software installed on agency
computers must be approved prior to installation. The installation of software
must be performed by authorized personnel only.
Ownership of Intellectual Property
When employees are asked to create material as a part of
their job (and this is included as a part of your job duties, responsibilities
and evaluation), HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc. becomes the owner of the
copyright or other intellectual property for the created material. The owner of
the copyright or other intellectual property controls the use of the materials,
including the publication rights, regardless of whether the document is
published internally or externally.
When an independent contractor or a consultant is engaged
to create materials, or an employee is asked to create materials outside the
duties and responsibilities of his/her employment, HEAD START of Greater Dallas,
Inc. shall enter into a written agreement with the person to assign copyrights
and other intellectual property to HEAD START in most cases.
HEAD START of Greater Dallas, Inc. prohibits dating or
cohabitation involving employees in a power-differentiated relationship, such as
between supervisors and subordinates. If this situation is found to exist,
options will include transfer (if available), decision by employees of who will
continue to work and who will resign, or the supervisory employee will accept
the option of a demotion.
Breach of Ethics Warning Signs
"Well, maybe just this once…"
You can probably think of many
"No one will ever know…"
more phrases that raise warning flags.
"It doesn't matter how it gets done, If
you find yourself using any of these,
as long as it gets
done." take the Quick Quiz on the following
"It sounds too good to be true."
and make sure you are on solid ethical
"Shred that document."
"We can hide it."
"No one will get hurt."
"We didn't have this conversation."
1. Are my actions legal?
2. Am I being fair and honest?
3. Will my action stand the test of time?
4. How will I feel about myself afterwards?
5. How will it look in the newspaper?
6. Will I sleep soundly tonight?
7. What would I tell my child to do?
Resources used to develop this Code of Ethics and
Lockheed Martin Code of Ethics
The Child Care Group Confidentiality/Business Ethics and
Ownership of Intellectual Property, and
Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. 10th Annual Labor and
Employment Law Update Conference.
After completing this instrument, provide your Staff ID number, click you work
"content area" and "job location". Forward to the Training Department. Your name
is verification that you have read and understood the content of this module
and have completed this learning program in good faith, and are
willing to practice the principles outlined.