Global Fund Board Approves Ethics and Integrity Framework

The Global Fund Board has approved an Ethics and Integrity Framework as well as a Proposal for Creation of a Dedicated Ethics Function and Principles for a Code of Ethical Conduct for Governance Officials (i.e., Board Members, Alternate Board Members, and Board delegation members).

  • by Jason Wright

Global Fund Board Chair Nafsiah Mboi and Vice Chair Mireille Guigaz committed in August 2013 to the development of the “full and comprehensive integration of ethical principles in the functioning of the Global Fund including the Board.”  The Board Char and Vice Chair see the Ethics and Integrity Initiative as a “core pillar of their term.

The Ethics and Integrity Initiative has a First Stage of establishing policy principles and a Second Stage of establishing organizational structures and (compliance and anti-corruption) systems.  The four ethical principles are 1) Integrity, 2) Duty of care; 3) Accountability, and 4) Dignity and respect.

The Board in the decision point requested the Audit and Ethics Committee (AEC) to develop before the next Board meeting in March 2015 1) terms of reference, reporting lines, and resourcing for the Global Fund Ethics Function and 2) the Code of Ethical Conduct for Governance Officials.

Developed Country NGO Alternate Board Member Annemarie Meyer made a forceful intervention on the Duty of Care under the Principles for a Code of Ethical Conduct for Governance Officials.  The Principles included that Governance Officials should:  1) Act in the best interests of the Global Fund when participating in decision-making; 2) Respect compromise, and not interfere with compromise to fulfill individual constituency views over the Global Fund’s interest; and 3) Only raise constituency interests through appropriate governance channels, and not exert undue pressure on Secretariat or Office of the Inspector General (OIG) staff to influence operational or administrative decisions.

She stated the following:

We agree that we should all act in the best interests of the Global Fund.  However, what is in its best interests is subjective.  We do not want these clauses to be used to squelch debate.  People should not question the integrity of others and accuse them of advocating for their individual constituency interests instead of the interests of the Global Fund when there is honest disagreement on what is best for the Global Fund.  Duty of care includes advocating/lobbying strongly for what a constituency believes is best for the Global Fund.

We would like to delete “Only raise constituency interests through appropriate governance channels.”  Many constituency members engage with the Secretariat and OIG staff outside of the Board in others roles including as implementers, CCM members, and technical support providers.  We agree that constituency members should not exert undue pressure on Secretariat and OIG staff.  However, constituency members should not be discouraged from continuing their productive engagement with Secretariat and OIG staff outside of the Board.

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