6.4.4 Ethical Behaviour and Professionalism1 [ This reference to ethical behaviour and professionalism is not aimed at the substitution of the rules and application instructions included in the "Code of Ethics for Public Procurement", but is made in order to stress their importance in the formulation of the relationship of the Contracting Authority with the Contractor. ]

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The staff of Contracting Authorities participating in Contract Management, as well as all of the staff participating in the public procurement procedures is required to observe the "Code of Ethics" and apply in practice the rules and guidelines arising from it. The observance of the Code of Ethics sets the basis for an open, fair and efficient cooperation between Contracting Authority and Contractor, which leads eventually in the more successful execution of contracts and the achievement of better value for money.

In general, the behaviour towards the Contractor must be characterised as "strict but fair".

More specifically, the people involved in contract management must:


Table 6-4: Rules of Conduct during contract management

Be honest, fair and maintain their integrity in their dealings with the Contractor.
Refrain from discriminations based on nationality, race, sex or religion.
Serve the public interest and act scrupulously in using the money of the "tax payers." The payments must be made following the approval of the expenses by the Project Manager (or the Engineer in the case of public works). Final payments to the Contractor must be associated with the successful conduct of all the acceptance tests or with the acceptance of the deliverables, and the transactions must be properly monitored.
Work with a high level of professionalism, comply with the applicable legislation and apply the best practices.
Ensure the implementation of the Project based on the agreed time schedules and financial planning.
Monitor and evaluate regularly the execution of the contract in order to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness and realisation of best value for money.
Provide the Contractor immediately with any information or/ and documentation they have available that is related with the execution of the Contract.
Cooperate with the contractor for the resolution of problems and disputes as early and possible.
Keep confidential the information devolved to them during and on the occasion of the execution of the Contract and refer to technical or commercial issues or work or production methods of the Contractor and avoid using them to gain personal benefit.
Be fully informed by the Contracting Authority regarding the instructions or information that may be necessary or suitable to facilitate the prompt and effective execution of the Contractor's duties, before they proceed with any communication with him (either through a meeting, or by telephone or by written communication).
Take notes, minutes of meetings and proof of all the communications they have with the Contractor, thus enhancing transparency and facilitating any review by the Project Manager and his superiors.
Avoid any efforts on the part of the Contractor to establish an excessively friendly climate in their relationship intended to exploit this relationship in order to promote the interests of the Contractor. For example, they must avoid:

o being excessively generous during the Contractor's performance evaluation, especially when it is associated with his payments

o being elastic during the acceptance of the deliverables of the Contractor, by accepting deliverables that do not fully meet the predefined criteria.

o being excessively conciliatory during the negotiation of terms of the contract

o being less "diligent" when reviewing the actual expenses in relation with the Project budget, thus leaving the Contractor room to increase his revenues or profits from the execution of the specific contract

o being more favourable when dealing with the specific Contractor against the others, especially when the Contracting Authority has concluded a Framework Agreement with more than one Contractor.

Reject any offer by the Contractor of gifts, hospitality and any other material gains in order to proceed with the acceptance of a deliverable (project, service or procurement of goods) which fails to meet the quality targets defined in the contract.
Declare from the beginning any particular relationship of theirs (as this is described in the legislation and Code of Ethics) with the Contractor or/ and his staff which may lead to a conflict of interest and request to be replaced.
Avoid accepting from the Contractor any discounts with personal purchase of goods or services, if the offer is based on the business/ contractual relationship and is not a general offer available to the general public. In general, the name of the Contracting Authority must not be invoked for the private buying of any goods or services.


© 2007 Republic of Cyprus, Treasury of the Republic, Public Procurement Directorate
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