Ethics

IMPACT’s code of ethics

IMPACT’s code of ethics

As individuals and as a company established on the basis of ethics, Impact commits not to extend its services to the purveyors of tobacco or weapons, nor to enterprises that harm animals.

Introduction

Introduction

In Israeli democracy, there is lively discourse involving individuals, groups, and organizations. The Knesset is the beating heart of the democracy, wherein those elected by the public and their aids meet the citizenry, as well as representatives of companies and organizations.

Knesset Members and public servants regularly make important decisions that affect individuals, groups, organizations, and companies. The legislative process and setting policy are based on principles of professionalism, transparency, consultation, and public involvement. As part of these principles, the public has the right to express its opinion and influence the shaping of policy, while by the same token, legislators and public servants are obligated to make decisions for the public good and act with integrity.

Based thereon, lobbying is an integral part of the democratic process and public involvement in decision-making. Thus it is in the world’s leading democracies, and thus it is in Israel. The objective of lobbying is to ensure that public policy takes into account as wide a range as possible of considerations, that the voices of everyone who will be affected thereby get to be heard, and that the citizens are actives partner in shaping policy.

Lobbyists bring to the attention of decision-makers a spectrum of facts, stances, opinions, and interests of a range of companies and organizations in the Israeli economy and society. Lobbying is therefore intended to help the public to maintain constant communication with its elected officials, and to serve as a channel for conveying knowledge and expertise from a given sector to Knesset Members, within the provisions of the law and professional and ethical standards that rest on fairness, transparency, and openness.

In an effort to raise public trust in lobbying and in the democratic process, the Lobbyists’ Forum drafted its own code of ethics. The code is aimed at lobbyists who work for business entities, organizations, non-profits, and others. It contains new requirements that impose ethical obligations upon the lobbyists, who served in the past as Knesset Members or public servants, and that of course apply to all working lobbyists. The Lobbyists’ Forum encourages all lobbyists in Israel to act as per the code and to work toward its adoption by their colleagues so as to ensure the highest ethical standards of the profession.

The code of ethics is derived from such codes around the world, including the international code of the Association of Accredited Lobbyists to the European Union, who are guided by the International Code of Lobbying Ethics; and the American code of ethics of the American League of Lobbyists. In addition, it is based on recommendations of the 2006 committee that drafts the code of ethics for Knesset Members, headed by Judge Yitzhak Zamir; on a code formulated by the 2011 Knesset sub-committee for drafting an ethical code headed by Knesset Member Haim Oron; and existing codes in Israel’s lobbying sector.

The Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics

1

Obligations to the public

1.1

A lobbyist shall not act other than with a permit granted her by law.

1.2

A lobbyist shall act candidly, with integrity, respectfully, and mindfully toward others.

1.3

A lobbyist shall obey the laws, ordinances, and regulations that apply to her in full.

1.4

A lobbyist shall refrain from acting in any wise to compromise public trust in the democratic process.

1.5

A lobbyist shall refrain from any actions involving discrimination, bigotry, or intolerance.

1.6

A lobbyist shall act to advance the profession and the honor, respect, and integrity of all those engaged therein.

1.7

A lobbyist shall act to encourage transparency, candidness, and public trust in the lobbying profession.

1.8

A lobbyist shall reveal the name and identity of the client whose interests s/he is advancing.

1.9

A lobbyist shall not be a member of a political party’s central committee.

1.10

A lobbyist who in the past served as an elected official or as a public servant shall not make malevolent use of knowledge or ties forged in her capacity as a public servant. Specifically, such a lobbyist shall not advance any interest in which s/he was involved as a public servant, unless and until one year has passed since the completion of her last term as an elected official or public servant, whichever is later.

1.11

A lobbyist shall act to raise public awareness of what s/he does and her profession’s contribution to the democratic process.

1.12

In this spirit, and that of commitment to the public, the lobbyists of Israel view volunteering as a worthy aim, and theretoward, shall act to represent, pro bono [without recompense], entities and groups that lack the wherewithal to pay for their representation.

2

מחויבות לנבחרי ולפקידי הציבור

2.1

A lobbyist shall act with trustworthiness and shall supply credible, updated, and precise information at all times.

2.2

A lobbyist shall exhibit thorough knowledge of laws, ordinances, and regulations that apply to elected officials and public servants, including all are relevant to the funding of political parties; and shall not be involved – either directly or indirectly – in violating such laws.

2.3

A lobbyist shall not mislead an elected official or public servant regarding an essential fact that is relevant to a legislative process or governance activity.

2.4

A lobbyist shall not misrepresent an issue that s/he is advancing regarding the public good.

2.5

A lobbyist shall neither demand nor receive any commitment from an elected official or public servant that s/he shall vote or act in any specific way.

2.6

A lobbyist who provided information and then realizes an error, inaccuracy, or essential change therein shall provide updated and accurate information to the elected official or public servant who is meant to make use of the information.

2.7

A lobbyist shall not be employed – either directly or indirectly – by an elected official or public servant, whether the latter be in the Knesset, Cabinet, or otherwise.

2.8

A lobbyist shall neither offer nor confer recompense or benefit to an elected official or public servant.

2.9

A lobbyist shall not cause by any means an elected official or public servant to violate any law, ordinance, or regulation.

3

Obligations to clients

3.1

A lobbyist shall act professionally and honestly while defending the personal and professional honor and reputation of her clients or employers.

3.2

A lobbyist shall advance her client’s or employer’s interests trustworthily, perseveringly, and energetically, and in so doing shall devote time, attention, and resources to doing so as per the latter’s expectations and as per any agreement entered into between them.

3.3

A lobbyist shall be knowledgeable of the legislative process, governance, and any subject necessary for the purpose of representing her client or employer properly.

3.4

A lobbyist shall preserve and enhance the knowledge that s/he places at her client’s or employer’s disposal via continuing education, in-service training, and development of professional tools at her disposal. Specifically, a lobbyist shall constantly update herself regarding laws, ordinances, and regulations, as well as ethical norms that are relevant to her employers.

3.5

A lobbyist shall refrain from any professional representation or activity that contains conflict of interests. Specifically, a lobbyist shall reveal to her clients, either existing or prospective, all conflicts of interest known to her, and shall act to obtain their express agreement as far as necessary for the purpose of resolving conflicts of interest.

3.6

A lobbyist shall notify her clients or employer regarding the nature and character of her activity, including collaborations entered into with other parties acting either for pay or voluntarily, and to the extent possible, shall give the client the opportunity to choose between options for action.

3.7

A lobbyist shall draft a written agreement with her clients regarding conditions and circumstances of the service that s/he provides, including everything related to recompense and reimbursements that s/he takes on for the purpose of advancing the client’s interests only.

3.8

A lobbyist shall uphold client-lobbyist/employer privilege regarding information, and shall not reveal any such information without her client’s or employer’s express agreement for any purpose that does not derive from/not addressed by the agreement entered into between them.

3.9

A lobbyist whose engagement with a client or employer has reached its expiry shall act as far as s/he is able to protect the latter’s welfare, including returning documents or property to which the client or employer has a right, and giving them a reasonable time frame for entering into an agreement with another lobbyist.

3.10

A lobbyist who seeks to represent her client to a Knesset Member or a Knesset Committee shall update the client and obtain the client’s agreement to do so.

3.11

An employer shall bring to the attention of all of her employees the importance of refraining from arousing suspicion of conflict of interests between the client’s interests and the interests of another client that they are representing on the same matter; and shall guide her employees to act as stated above in clause 3.10.

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