Ethics in Purchasing

The following is an extract from the University of Lincoln Purchasing Policy:

6. Ethical Standards and Conflict of Interest

6.1 All staff who have purchasing authority must be aware of the standards of ethical behaviour that apply to their purchasing activities.

6.2 Any personal interest which may impinge or might reasonably be deemed by others to impinge upon impartiality in any matter relevant to purchasing duties should be declared to the Procurement Manager for recording and approval before conducting the business.

6.3 The confidentiality of information received in the course of duty should be respected and specific details of suppliers’ offers must not be divulged to competitors. Information given in the course of duty should be true and fair and never designed to mislead and should never be used for personal gain.

6.4 While bearing in mind the advantages to the University of maintaining a continuing relationship with a supplier, any arrangement, which might in the long term prevent the effective operation of fair competition, should be avoided.

6.5 Gifts, other than items of very small intrinsic value such as business diaries, calendars, telephone pads etc, should not be accepted. Items for personal use should be declined. However, modest hospitality is an accepted courtesy of a business relationship but the recipients should not allow a position to be reached 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 should not be significantly greater than the University would be likely to provide in return. When it is not easy to decide between what is and is not acceptable in terms of gifts or hospitality, the offer should be declined or advice sought from the Procurement Manager.

6.6 Personal inducements to employees in any form from suppliers of goods and services are forbidden. Any instances of such inducements being offered must be reported immediately to the Procurement Manager.

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