Preventative measures against corruption and unethical conduct
The University is aiming to prevent corruption and unethical behaviour. As a means of support for all staff members, the University has developed a policy for guidance in regard to questions that may emerge in our daily work. Among other areas, the policy covers questions dealing with bribes, conflict of interest, undue influence as well as the execution of public authority matters, representation, secondary employment, procurement, purchasing, and unethical behaviour. The policy highlights problems and incidents that may arise as well as how to act in various situations. In the policy there are also references pertaining to documents, literature and information pages on the internet where additional information may be found.
“…it is important that we all at the University of Skövde maintain a continuous discussion regarding what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and unacceptable and what is ethical and unethical.”
University of Skövde
Examples of situations
The quandaries mentioned below are examples of difficult situations you as an employee may end up in and the answers are not always as clear as they may seem. In the document Code of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Policy, you can receive guidance on how these situations may be handled.
A main supplier invites me to a demonstration of new products and in relation to the demonstration I am also invited to attend a Christmas buffet. This annual arrangement is much appreciated. Several employees from my department usually attend and naturally I sign up for the event.
In relation to the autumn arrival of foreign students, I am paid a visit prior to the course start. A student about to attend my class brings several nice gifts from her country. In order not to seem impolite and thereby offend her, I reluctantly accept the gifts and put them on my shelf.
Private individual or researcher
I am a researcher but also the part-owner of a company. In the role of the latter, I am invited to attend a conference for which the organiser pays for everything. At the conference, I will hold a lecture on a subject that is also within my area of research. As I am invited as a private individual, I accept the invitation and attend the conference.
Dinner and evening activity
In the capacity of team leader/head of department or the like, I have been invited by a supplier to a dinner including an evening activity, as a sign of gratitude. The supplier pays for the tickets to a hand ball match prior to dining at a restaurant.
Dealing with family applications
I am handling the late course application my sister has submitted. She does not have the same family name and nobody knows that we are related. As I consider her qualified and her application in order, I enrol her on the course.
I am teaching a commissioned course for the University of Skövde. After a while, the companies contact me directly and since my scheduled hours at the University are fully booked, I find it reasonable to hold the lectures in my free time. As I already have access to the teaching material from the University, I ask to be paid directly not via the University.
Each Christmas, the supplier comes by with a large box of chocolates. The box is for me as a sign of gratitude due to the successful cooperation during the past year, she says. Gratefully, I accept it and bring it with me home to my family's delight.
A student has failed his third examination and I perceive him to be on the verge of being hostile. His parents are upset and the student visits me several times at my office. I decide to reconsider his results as he is very close to being approved.
The University is in the middle of a large procurement process, purchasing equipment. Several parties have submitted their tenders. As the manager of the procurement process, I ask myself whether it matters if I play golf on Saturday with one of the bidders. We hardly ever talk business so I consider it OK.
I am about to attend a two-day conference. In relation to the conference, I am planning to have a few days of vacation after the conference. I am planning to stay another four days at the hotel and obviously, I pay for those extra four days. Since I am making the trip anyway I deem it reasonable that the University pays for the travelling expenses to the conference and back home.
I am sitting at home surfing on the Internet when I notice a somewhat mocking post written by one of my colleagues in a social forum. The post refers to the students of a course she is currently responsible for. She describes the students as rather lazy and uninterested but she does it in a light-hearted way. However, I hesitate whether I ought to like her post or not.
Report irregularities and anomalies
The University's employees and other persons who come into contact with the activities in various ways has the opportunity to report irregularities and deviations from the policy. The following persons has a special responsibility to receive and investigate tips that are received by the University.