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Code of Ethics of the State Audit Office

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE STATE AUDIT OFFICE 

Adopted pursuant to
Section 11, Clause 1 of
the State Audit Office Law

 In understanding the crucial role of the State Audit Office in promoting the effective use of public administration funds, it is important to understand its values and principles, which promote and facilitate the attainment of the goal of the State Audit Office. The daily actions of employees based on ethical attitude and activities have a crucial role in strengthening the values of the State Audit Office, i.e. Responsibility, Transparency and Development. The officials and employees of the State Audit Office (hereinafter jointly referred to as the “employee”) shall comply with the following principles of ethics in their professional activity:

1) integrity;

2) objectivity;

3) professional competence;

4) confidentiality;

5) professional behaviour.

The essence of this basic principles and the need for applying them are explained in the Code of Ethics.

The State Audit Office trusts to and relies on that its employees comply with the basic principles laid down in the Code of Ethics in good faith. The issues related to the situations in which the compliance with the basic principles determined in this Code of Ethics may be doubted shall be resolved by the Ethics Commission of the State Audit Office.

 

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ETHICS

 

  1. The employees of the State Audit Office shall be fair and honest in their professional activity.

The employee shall use his/her attitude and behaviour:

1.1. to promote and maintain trust to and respect for the State Audit Office as an independent collegial institution;

1.2. to promote the strengthening of awareness of the rule of law;

1.3. to maintain relations based on justice and equal attitude;

1.4. to act in good faith without causing any suspicions of amenability.

Integrity shall be the basis of professional activity of the employee of the State Audit Office. In fulfilling his/her work duties and cooperating with colleagues and audited units, the employee of the State Audit Office shall demonstrate fair and equal attitude, shall not support or hide unlawful actions and shall avoid any situations which might cause grounds for suspicions regarding dishonest behaviour or using the position for the purposes of obtaining personal benefits.

Honest daily behaviour helps the employee to maintain polite, correct and respectful relations, it promotes the attainment of set goals; therefore, it is crucial to avoid situations in which the integrity might be doubted — expressing unjustified favour or privileges to audited units, offering benefits and accepting them from persons who might affect the fulfilment of work duties, involvement in activities which might negatively affect the reputation of the State Audit Office, as well as showing authoritarian influence.

  1. The employees of the State Audit Office shall be independent and objective, as well as politically neutral in their professional activity.

 

The employee shall use his/her attitude and behaviour:

2.1. to strengthen the image of the State Audit Office as an independent institution;

2.2. to ensure confidence in the credibility of work results;

2.3. to listen to different opinions;

2.4. to allow only for the formulation of a reasoned and politically neutral opinion.

Independence shall be the basic conditions of the activity of the State Audit Office. In the event of threat, the State Audit Office will not be able to fulfil the tasks assigned thereto; therefore, the employee of the State Audit Office shall have the duty to show and maintain confidence about independence as a basic principle in its professional activity.

Objectivity and professionalism in fulfilling duties helps in strengthening independence. The result of work based on verified facts, in listening to and assessing other opinions as well, ensures a foundation for trust to the State Audit Office.

The preservation of an independent, objective and politically neutral position in the daily activities of the employee of the State Audit Office allows for timely noticing the influence which might pose a threat to the formulation of a reasoned opinion; therefore, it is crucial to carry out all the necessary activities to exclude the circumstances doubting objectivity — in establishing and maintaining relations with colleagues and audited units, as well as in performing daily work and presenting the results of his/her work.

  1. The employees of the State Audit Office shall have professional competence.

The employee shall use his/her attitude and behaviour:

3.1. to demonstrate conformity to professional standards — individually and at the level of the State Audit Office;

3.2. to maintain, develop and improve professional knowledge and skills;

3.3. to share knowledge and experience;

3.4. to undertake the performance of the work which corresponds to his/her professional competence.

A professionally competent employee allows for ensuring the attainment of goals set by the State Audit Office. The quality of the work of the State Audit Office depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities of the employee.

Professionalism ensures reliance upon the results of the work of the State Audit Office. Therefore, understanding the significance of his/her work, the preservation, improvement and exchange of knowledge, skills and abilities by both training new colleagues and exchanging experience with the representatives of audited units and professionals of the field is the everyday work of the employee of the State Audit Office.

Both colleagues and the representatives of audited units, as well as the public in general, rely on the professional competence of the employee; therefore, it is crucial to prevent the behaviour which would allow for doubting the professionalism of the employee of the State Audit Office and to undertake the performance of works correspondent to the professional competence only. In the event of insufficient knowledge, it is crucial to make the most appropriate decision — either to find a possibility of supplementing knowledge and performing the entrusted work at a professionally high level, or to entrust the performance of the work to a more professionally competent colleague or expert.

  1. The employees of the State Audit Office shall ensure confidentiality in their professional activity.

The employee shall use his/her attitude and behaviour:

4.1. to ensure confidence in relation to the State Audit Office as a reliable partner;

4.2. to understand the significance of the obtained information in ensuring the qualitative results of the work;

4.3. to ensure the protection of the obtained information, disclosing it only pursuant to the set procedures;

4.4. to use the obtained information only for the purposes intended for work.

 

The main result of the work of the State Audit Office, i.e. an audit report, shall be created based only on the information obtained during the working process; therefore, information protection shall be given priority. Information security cannot depend on the way of receipt or processing thereof; therefore, the employee of the State Audit Office, in receiving and processing information during the working process, shall foster confidence in audited units in relation to that the information provided is properly stored and will be disclosed only pursuant to the set procedures.

To ensure the quality of his/her work and prevent preconditions for doubting the reputation of the State Audit Office as a reliable partner, it is important for the employee of the State Audit Office to ensure the protection of the obtained information, preventing its disclosure, either deliberately or due to negligence, as well as preventing the use of the obtained information for any personal purposes.

  1. The employees of the State Audit Office shall act in a professional manner.

The employee shall use his/her attitude and behaviour:

5.1. to be loyal to the State Audit Office, suggest and support ideas which help in attaining the goals set by the State Audit Office;

5.2. to handle daily working situations timely, openly and meaningfully;

5.3. to admit and correct the mistakes made;

5.4. to assess and, if necessary, to use the knowledge and performance of colleagues and partners.

Professional behaviour and loyalty in everyday work helps the employees of the State Audit Office to maintain favourable attitude, collegial and client-oriented approach, as well as facilitates the attainment of goals set by the State Audit Office. The professionalism of the employee’s work manifests in different everyday situations, thus creating and maintaining the general image of the State Audit Office — responsibly fulfilling the duties entrusted, providing his/her own vision for resolving problem issues, if necessary, carrying out preventive activities, as well as promoting creative thinking and exchange of ideas.

By understanding the essence of the situation to be resolved, the employee shall make the most appropriate decision and act in a reasoned manner, timely foreseeing and adequately assessing the consequences of his/her behaviour. In situations when mistakes are made nonetheless, the employee shall honestly and openly admit them and endeavour to carry out all the necessary activities to correct them. The employee of the State Audit Office shall treat colleagues and partners with respect; therefore, the derogation of their knowledge and performance shall be inadmissible.

 

 

State Auditor                                                                                                  E. Krūmiņa