9. Code of Conduct
9.1 The University is committed to the highest standards of openness, integrity and accountability. It seeks to conduct its affairs in a responsible manner, having regard to the principles established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (formerly known as the Nolan Committee), which members of staff at all levels are expected to observe and which are set out in Council’s Statement of Primary Responsibilities which may be accessed at Finance Department : Procurement Policy - Durham University
9.2 In addition, members of the Council, Statutory Officers and those staff with the ability to commit the University to a significant level of expenditure are required by Council Standing Orders and the University’s Procurement Policy (Finance Department : Procurement Policy - Durham University) to disclose interests in the University’s register of interests maintained by the Registrar. They will also be responsible for ensuring that entries in the register relating to them are kept up to date regularly and promptly.
9.3 In addition, University staff with equity holdings in spin-off businesses are required to make declaration of any such holdings.
9.4 In particular, no person shall be a signatory to a University contract where he or she also has an interest in the activities of the other party.
9.5 Receiving gifts or hospitality
9.5.1 It is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 to accept corruptly any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward for doing, or refraining from doing, anything in an official capacity or showing favour or disfavour to any person in an official capacity. The guiding principles to be followed by all members of staff must be:
- the conduct of individuals should not create suspicion of any conflict between their official duty and their private interest
- the action of individuals acting in an official capacity should not give the impression (to any member of the public, to any organisation with whom they deal or to their colleagues) that they have been (or may have been) influenced by a benefit to show favour or disfavour to any person or organisation.
9.5.2 Thus, members of staff should not accept any gifts, rewards or hospitality (or have them given to members of their families) from any organisation or individual with whom they have contact in the course of their work that would cause them to reach a position whereby they might be, or might be deemed by others to have been, influenced in making a business decision as a consequence of accepting such hospitality. The frequency and scale of hospitality accepted should not be significantly greater than the University would be likely to provide in return.
9.5.3 When it is not easy to decide between what is and what is not acceptable in terms of gifts or hospitality, the offer should be declined.. Guidance on acceptable hospitality is contained in Section 3 of the Procurement Policy on Ethics, available at Finance Department : Procurement Policy - Durham University. In the interests of transparency and for the protection of those involved, the Director of Procurement will maintain a register of gifts and hospitality received where the value is in excess of £30. Members of staff in receipt of such gifts or hospitality must notify the Director of Procurement (or other designated officer) promptly.
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