Code of ethics and good governance

Code of ethics and good governance

The CODE OF ETHICS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE of the Ministry of National Education (MEN, for its acronym in Spanish) is a tool which determines the set of policies regarding management, with criteria of Ethics, Integrity, Transparency and Efficiency, to ensure that public servants lead their actions at fulfilling of the mission of both the Ministry and the State. This document contains the provisions and guidelines given by the Political Constitution of Colombia, the Standard Internal Control Model (MECI: Modelo Estándar de Control Interno), the Single Disciplinary Code, the new Bylaw Anti-Corruption, as well as the Contracting Laws and the Integrated Management System of the MEN.

Ethical principles

1. General interest prevails over the individual interest.

2. Property and public resources are intended solely to matters of general interest.

3. The purpose of the Ministry of National Education is to ensure the right to education of all Colombians, through the fulfillment of its mission.

4. The primary role of the public servant is to serve the citizenry.

5. Anyone who manages public resources practices detailed accountability to society about their use and the results of the management.

6. Citizens have the right to participate in the public decisions that affect them.

Ethical values

• Service: We recognize the characteristics and requirements of internal and external customers to meet their needs with readiness, quality, timeliness, relevance and no discrimination.

• Transparency: We provide different stakeholders clear, complete, accurate and timely information about our management, and we practice public accountability on the implementation of the Ministry's mission and the execution of resources.

• Commitment: We recognize and assume as our own the strategic guidelines of the MEN, and we direct all our actions towards the continuous improvement of the processes in order to achieve the institutional goals.

• Respect: We recognize, accept and value the Human and Constitutional Rights of our colleagues and of citizens.

• Honesty: We are coherent between what is thought, is said and is done. We take care and we optimize public goods and resources, by employing them solely for the benefit of the general interest. We recognize the rights of authors and denounce any act of infringement of the rules (among others).

• Justice: We serve in full agreement with the Constitution, the laws and every other regulations, without favoritism or discrimination, and we manage the work of our teams equally, by considering the profiles and the institutional needs.

• Participation: We promote spaces for decision-making and implementation of joint actions. We participate and we generate participation, when, actively and responsibly, we take part in the development of proposals and decisions. We promote spaces for consultation and coordination of interests and needs with any different social actors.

• Responsibility: We develop our functions with competitiveness, relevance and diligence. We assume the consequences of our acts or omissions, and we take corrective measures in the pursuit of a continuous improvement.

• Collaboration: We propose common goals and we work together to achieve them. We support the work of our colleagues in contingency situations.

Ethical guidelines

• WITH CITIZENSHIP (Service, Participation, Transparency). The required service is given to the citizens timely, respectfully, efficiently, and with quality. We promote spaces of participation and agreement between the various actors for decision-making on educational service. We provide accurate, continuous and timely information on the development of processes and outcomes of governance, both through access mechanisms and through public accountability.

• WITH SECRETARIATS OF EDUCATION (Service, Participation, Collaboration and Respect). We establish clear, timely and reliable relations with the secretariats of education aiming to meet their needs with excellence, within the framework of our competence . We propitiate spaces for these institutions to dialogue and to participate in decision making, and for carrying out joint activities in a collaborative environment and mutual respect.

• WITH HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (Service, Respect, Fairness and Transparency). We respect the autonomy of higher education institutions according to the legal mandate. We direct our relations towards seeking the provision of educational services with excellence. We look after setting up policies that affect these institutions, and we make decisions based on criteria of justice. We deal with their requirements impartially, and we provide timely, clear and accurate information.

• WITH PUBLIC SERVANTS (Respect, Justice, Participation, Collaboration and Commitment). We strive to achieve the strategic objectives of the Ministry; we optimize resources and we make proper use of the institutional information; we prioritize teamwork to attain common goals; and we encourage to keep the good treatment and the respect in relationships between public servants. We guarantee a fair and respectful treatment of the rights to all public servants at the MEN; and, we promote participation spaces for public servants, and value their proposals for the planning and execution of tasks.

• WITH ATTACHED ENTITIES (Service, Participation and Collaboration). We support the implementation processes of the Quality Management Systems (QMS), which allow continuous improvement of member institutions, affiliated in order to strengthen their management; and, we propitiate spaces of interlocution for policy-making.

• WITH GUILDS (Transparency and Participation). We generate and keep spaces for the participation of economic and worker guilds, and teaching community, in articulating policies, as well as for getting their support in conducting educational activities.

• WITH THE COOPERATION AGENCIES (Collaboration, Respect and Transparency). We comply fully with the requirements and conditions of the sources of cooperation for the establishment of agreements and the projects implementation. We supply true information to the contributory community, about the support requirements. We fulfill agreements and we apply the cooperation resources for what they were requested. We report clearly, timely and reliably to the contributory community, about the results obtained in the projects as well as on the way the resources were used.

• WITH THE MEDIA (Service, Justice, Transparency and Participation). We accompany, we advise and direct the mass media in their information needs, and show them MEN`s management. We provide accurate, timely, accessible, complete and reliable information, and we promote open spaces to receive their suggestions, recommendations and contributions to facilitate improving the provision and dissemination of information. We assist the requests of every journalist, without distinction on the media he or she represents.

• WITH CONTRACTORS (Transparency, Service, Justice and Participation). We comply fully with the rule governing the State contracting processes to ensure an objective selection. We respond promptly to contractual commitments. Quickly and effectively, we serve the needs of contractors within the contract execution; and, we comply with the demands on quality and timeliness of goods and services contracted.

• WITH CONTROL BODIES (Transparency, Collaboration, Respect and Responsibility). We supply complete, clear, truthful, accurate and timely information, and resources necessary to enable the supervisory bodies developing their function. We use the channels and spaces defined in the application of in force regulations in the processes. We assume the consequences of the results obtained, and we implement, through improving plans, the recommendations they do.

• WITH THE ENVIRONMENT (Respect, Responsibility). We promote an organizational culture that contributes to sustainable development, and we actively join the global concern for the environment in pursuit of its protection and care. At the Ministry, we are currently focused on the promotion and consolidation of good practices on the use, correct and rational, of natural resources; on proper disposal of waste, and on full compliance with environmental standards.

Code of ethics and good governance