Global Fund Board Approves TOR for Ethics Officer and Code of Conduct for Governance Officials

The Global Fund Legal Counsel has simultaneously served as Ethics Official for the organization.

At its previous meeting in November 2014, the Global Fund Board approved an Ethics and Integrity Framework and a proposal for the creation of a dedicated and independent ethics function led by an Ethics Officer (Decision Point GF/B32/DP09).

The Board requested that the Audit and Ethics Committee (AEC) develop 1) terms of reference (TOR), the reporting line, and resourcing for the Global Fund ethics function in consultation with the Finance and Operational Performance Committee (FOPC) and 2) a Code of Ethical Conduct for Governance.

At the second day of this meeting, the Board approved a reporting arrangement.  The original decision point had the Ethics Officer reporting solely to the Board through the AEC and located in the Office of Board Affairs.  Developing Country NGO Alternate Board Member Allan Maleche led and our constituency strongly supported an effort to institute a dual reporting arrangement to the Board and the Executive Director.  The Ethics Officer will report directly to the Board through the AEC on its activities.  The Ethics Officer will provide regular advice and support to the Executive Director on ethical matters pertaining to the activities of the Secretariat including issues related to:  grant recipients; Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs); third-party providers, e.g., Local Fund Agents (LFAs) and suppliers; and staff.  The Executive Director will determine and implement appropriate remedial actions based on the advice of the Ethics Officer.  The Ethics Officer will provide regular advice and support to the AEC on all other ethical matters not included above.  The AEC will determine appropriate remedial actions based on the advice of the Ethics Officer.  The Ethics Officer will be located within the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for administrative purposes only.

The Board approved in principle the TOR of the Ethics Officer.  The Board leadership and the AEC with the support of the OIG will further develop the TOR and submit them through the AEC to the Board for approval by June 2015.  The recruitment process will be launched after this approval.  The Ethics Officer will serve a three-year term that may be renewed once.  The Ethics Officer will be ineligible for future employment by the Global Fund.  The AEC will conduct the performance evaluation of the Ethics Officer with input from the Board leadership, the Executive Director, and the IG.

The Board also approved the Code of Ethical Conduct for Governance Officials.  The code defines a conflict of interest as follows:  “A conflict of interest occurs when a Governance Official has a competing interest, such as a personal or financial interest, which could have a real, perceived or potential effect on his/her ability to act with the best interests of the Global Fund.”  The Board leadership and the AEC will conduct a review of the code after the appointment of the Ethics Officer.  The Board will consider the findings of the review and potentially revise the code.