- Purpose of the Code of Ethics of the Central Statistical Bureau (hereinafter – CSB) is to prescribe conduct of employees to avoid risks of conflict of interest and corruption, as well as to strengthen the norms of professional ethics to ensure a high level of work culture and ethics in the institution.
- Civil servant and employee of the CSB (hereinafter – the employee) both during and outside the working hours follows the established in Cabinet Recommendation No. 1 of 21 November 2018. “Values of State Administration and Fundamental Principles of Ethics” (hereinafter – Cabinet Recommendations) and Code of Ethics, but in situations not mentioned in these documents, acts in accordance with other legislation in force and generally accepted rules of conduct.
- Code of Ethics and Cabinet Recommendations are binding on each employee of the CSB and is a part of work organisation of the CSB.
- Corruption and prevention of conflicts of interest are coordinated by the Personnel Management Division and Legal Division of the CSB in order established in the Code of Ethics.
In the course of duties the employee shall comply with the following fundamental principles of ethics:
Is loyal to independent and democratic Republic of Latvia, serves national and public interests. Upholds aims and tasks of the CSB activity.
Takes responsibility for own decisions and the results of the work. Is self-critical, admits and corrects own mistakes.
Is intolerant towards unethical behaviour, dishonesty and corruption. Uses rights related to the performance of the duties only in accordance with regulatory provisions in force.
- Openness and confidentiality.
Ensures availability of statistical data, simultaneously follows confidentiality principle (protection of individual data).
With its professional activity promotes implementation of aims and tasks of the CSB.
- Independence and neutrality.
The employee is independent and neutral in his or her conduct and decisions taken, follows Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and other external and internal CSB regulatory enactments and norms of Code of Ethics.
In his or her professional activity and decision-taking is independent, is not affected by the membership to parties, political movements and organizations, dissociates from personal interests and external impact (other natural and legal persons, political, religious or social groups, stakeholder associations). When taking decisions, the employee is basing only on objectively verified information, evidence and facts.
Observance of neutrality is a pre-condition for employee in building a positive image of the CSB among society.
- Carries out duties professionally, with sense of high quality and responsibility, using examples of good practice.
- Is fair, courteous and helpful to colleagues and respondents, users of statistical information of the CSB, representatives of other national institutions and bodies, private persons.
- Uses working time effectively.
- Treats the material values entrusted and other CSB property with care.
- Economically uses the material resources allocated for the work process.
- Does not use the material resources allocated for the work process and position for personal use.
- Constantly improves professional skills and knowledge.
- Shares work experience with colleagues.
- Within the framework of competence performs explanatory and consultative work among respondents and users of statistical information.
- In relationship with colleagues is honest, helpful, cooperative, reliable and supportive.
- Treats colleagues politely and with respect.
- In solution of labour matters listens and respects opinion of colleagues.
- Helps new employees of the structural unit to get into the team and labour environment.
- Promotes collegial relationship with employees of other structural units of the CSB and supports constructive cooperation.
- In case of conflict with colleagues, tries to resolve it in a timely manner. If there are problems, turns to the head of the structural unit.
- With his or her activity does not discredit himself or herself, institution and country both during the work in the CSB and outside it.
- Outside the working time chooses behavioural style that does not casts doubts on performance of objective and fair professional duties.
- When manifesting freedom of expression on social networks, respects fundamental principles of ethics and does not allow situations which may cause conflict of interest or harm the reputation of the CSB.
- Does not use confidential information obtained in the course of duties for their own or another person’s private interests.
- Prevents the possibility of corruption and avoids situations that could create such an opportunity.
- Does not abuse the lack of knowledge and mistakes of colleagues or others.
- Does not express public criticism on mistakes made by colleagues.
- Does not allow arrogance or authoritarian leadership style from his or her part.
- Does not allow and condemns insults to the honour or dignity of the colleagues.
- Does not create and support intrigues in employee relations.
- Does not abuse the rights associated with his or her position.
- Does not use the relationship between subordinate and manager for selfish purposes to solve privacy problems.
- Does not grant any privileges on any legal or natural person to perform the duties associated with the post.
A lobbyist is a natural person or a legal person governed by private law who is guided by his or her own or other legal person's interests lobbying whether or not for a consideration – deliberately and systematically communicates with public authorities in order to affect the decision-making process for implementation of interests of certain legal persons (hereinafter – lobbyist).
An employee is obliged to:
- To publish information on the lobbyist with whom consultations have been carried out or from whom information was received relating an issue, on which the employee has been responsible to prepare or take a decision, and to communicate the content of the proposal on request. At employee’s request, Information and Communication Department inserts information on the website of the CSB on the Internet. In cases when a specific draft of regulatory enactments are lobbied, the employee indicates that in annotation (explanatory article). The following data on the lobbyist shall be provided upon publication:
- Name, surname, name of the person the lobbyist is representing:
- The process of preparing a certain decision in connection with which the lobbying has taken place (if it is not indicated, the employee has to indicate area towards which the proposal has been targeted).
- The way communication has taken place with the lobbyist (meetings, correspondence, consultative council, task group or other way).
- If during the decision-making process it is found out that the decision may affect economic interest of the employee or his or her family members, this information should be made public by a written notice asking a higher-ranking civil servant or institution within the framework of competence to withdraw himself or herself from further participation in decision-making.
- To ensure that all lobbyists interested in taking decision on a particular issue have equal opportunities to meet decision-makers and draftsmen and to receive the information needed.
- To assess every invitation or offer of hospitality that is received in the course of duties, taking into account what benefits the CSB would gain from accepting such invitation, and whether it is not related to interest in gaining some favour for the tenderer in the decision-making process.
- When taking a decision, to take into account all interests of the local society, not only those that are defended by the lobbyist.
The employee is forbidden to:
- Notwithstanding the principle of equality, to give a lobbyist a special advantage unless specifically provided for by the law or contract, compared to other interested parties, of which by informing one of the lobbyists specifically about the range of issues of interest to them, by ensuring access for decision takers or other benefits.
- Accept gifts, offers of hospitality or other benefits from a lobbyist or organization employing a lobbyist for one's or family member's needs or for organization to which he or she is affiliated. Transport, accommodation, catering services and payment for drinks or any other kind of material benefits are considered as other benefits.
- Use benefits of own position and personal contacts to ensure some of the lobbyists access to senior staff members responsible for taking decision in the interests of the lobbyist.
- Mislead the lobbyist by creating the impression that employee may ensure lobbyist an access to members of the government or senior staff members or to affect the decision they are taking.
- Ask lobbyists or organizations employing a lobbyist to financially support events organized by institutions where the employee is employed or organization to which the employee is affiliated.
- To represent an individual, merchant or organization as a lobbyist in a state or local government institution, with or without remuneration.
The employee must not allow corruption:
- Depending on the circumstances, any financial or other kind of benefits may be considered a bribery if an employee, using his or her position, accepts it and thus allows legal or natural persons not to fulfil or partially fulfil the requirements specified in national regulatory enactments concerning the CSB.
- If an employee has had a bribery offer, he/she shall notify his/her immediate manager and Personnel Management Division about the fact.
- The employee is encouraged to report any issues relating to conflicts of interest, of which in case of potentially possible or ethical dilemmas, to his/her immediate manager.
- In the event of a conflict of interest, the employee shall notify his/her immediate manager and withdraw oneself from further participation in the decision-making process or other activities related to the official duties. In such a case immediate manager informs President of the CSB, who takes decision on the performance of functions of the withdrawn employee.
- In relation to corruption prevention the employee must comply with the Law “On prevention of conflict of interests in the activities of public officials” (restrictions and prohibitions provided by law).
- As an official an employee may accept flowers, a souvenir or a book, but must keep in mind that this gives an idea ofthe vulnerability of the official’s decisions.
- The employee shall not accept gifts, cash or services offers, invitation to participate in events or other benefits if they are related to performance of work duties, business trips and, if there are doubts regarding possible conflict of interests, or it negatively affects reputation of the CSB.
- Head of the Personnel Management Division and immediate manager of the employee immediately informs President of the CSB on misconduct for corrupt activities in the CSB and on position of employees in situation of conflict of interests.
- On the issues of conflict of interest, including potentially possible, or in the event of ethical dilemma, the employee may consult the Ethics Commission, Personnel Management Division, Legal Division or director of the Legal and Corporate Services Department of the CSB.
Personnel Management Division:
- ensures that, when starting work or service in the CSB, within five working days employees are introduced with the law “On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials” and Code of Ethics of the CSB;
- ensures that each year training seminar on prevention of conflicts of interest in the activities of public officials and prevention of risks of corruption violations takes place in the CSB.
- Heads of structural units ensure that employees under their authority take part in the seminar mentioned in point 15.2. of the Code of Ethics at least once in three years.
- Preparation and updating of the corruption action plan is carried out not less than once every three years by Legal Division of the CSB.
- By informing head of the structural unit an employee, according to external regulatory enactments, has a right to perform other work outside the CSB, if the respective job is not carried out during the working hours of the employee, no conflict of interests arises, and there are no possible violations of ethical norms that could harm the reputation and legal interests of the CSB.
- If public official wants to join work in the CSB with another job, he/she, basing on the law “On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials”, shall submit an application addressed to the President of the CSB with an appeal to allow joining positions (Annex). The application shall be attested by the head of the structural unit, department director, head of the Personnel Management Division, and deputy director of the Legal and Corporates Services Department.
- If legal and factual circumstances in force when the permission for joining positions was issued have changed, the employee informs Personnel Management Division immediately.
- Personnel Management Division periodically revises declarations of public officials and permissions for joining positions, assessing whether legal and factual circumstances in force when the permit was issued have not changed, joining certain position of the public official still does not cause conflict of interests and does not contradict the binding ethical norms as well as does not prejudice against performance of direct obligations of the public official.
4.1 President of the CSB, based on the application provided for in the Paragraph 2, decides on the refusal to allow joining positions or allows joining positions. The permission to join positions is drawn up as a resolution of the President of the CSB registered in the CSB Document Management System.
- The composition of the CSB Ethics Commission (hereinafter – the Commission), which deals with submissions on unethical behaviour of employees, shall be determined by the order of the President of the CSB. Commission meetings are convened when necessary, and it is done by the head of Personnel Management Division of the CSB, who also takes minutes of the meeting.
- If the employee considers that ethics have been breached in respect to him or her by another CSB employee, first of all, he or she turns to a senior staff member. If the member cannot resolve the problem risen objectively, the employee has right to turn to the Commission.
- The Commission shall assess the submission regarding the case of infringement of ethical principles by listening opinions of both parties, and within 10 working days takes a decision on whether ethics were breached, or not. On the decision taken the Commission informs parties involved and President of the CSB.
- If the submission on infringement of ethical principles was received from the person who is not employee of the CSB, the Commission is convened basing on the resolution of the President of the CSB. The Commission considers the case and within 10 working days submits information on the decision taken to the President of the CSB on whether the ethical principles were infringed, or not.
- On possible infringements of ethical principles in work of other employees the employee may report anonymously by placing the submission in the box of anonymous messages located at the elevator of the 2nd floor in the head office of the CSB. Once a week secretary of the President of the CSB checks the box of anonymous messages and, if there are submissions on infringements of ethical principles, hands them over to the Commission. The Commission reviews the submission and within 10 working days submits information on the decision taken to the President of the CSB on whether the ethical principles were infringed, or not.
- If action of the CSB employee contravenes rules determined in the Code of Ethics and generally accepted rules of conduct and there are signs of a disciplinary offence, the President of the CSB initiates an inspection against the respective employee in order determined in the Law On Disciplinary Liability of State Civil Servants or Labour Law.
To declare internal regulations of the CSB No. 160-NOR/2014 “Code of Ethics” of 7 February 2014 invalid.