Key policies

CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS

Ethical conduct For the organization to continue its successful activities and to pursue the implementation of its statutory objectives every staff member of EPIU SI must adhere to the below listed standards of ethical conduct in their activities: Honesty– All employees are expected to conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and professional diligence. Company resources should never be used for personal gain. Statement of expenditures, time sheets and other records must reflect actual costs and works and in any case shall not contain false or misleading information. Integrity – All employees shall be straightforward and impartial in all professional and business relationships. Professional behavior – All employees shall comply with relevant laws and regulations and shall avoid any action that may discredit the profession. Confidentiality – No officer or staff member shall use, for financial or other advantage, confidential or proprietary information accessed by virtue of his or her position with the organization. Gifts and benefits-The employees cannot accept gifts or benefits from suppliers, applicants, grantees, borrowers, customers, competitors. Zero Tolerance of Fraud and Corruption EPIU adheres to the zero tolerance principle to fraud and corruption and requires staff at all times to act honestly and with integrity and to safeguard the assets for which they are responsible. Fraud– All the employees shall not under any circumstances do the following activities: falsification of documents, theft, embezzlement, diversion of funds, bribery or fraud. Corruption: is defined as the act of offering, soliciting or accepting, in a direct or indirect manner, a compensation to improperly influence the action of a third party. The term «third party» indicates a public officer involved in a contract execution process, procurement or selection procedure. EPIU’s staff members as well as the employees of other organizations who are allowed to examine or take decisions regarding procurement should never accept or suggest any kind of compensation. *The term “public officer” includes both EPIU’s staff members as well as the employees of other organizations who are allowed to examine or take decisions regarding procurement. Collusion: this term indicates an illegal agreement between two or more parties to illegally influence the actions of a third party. Collusive practices equally include attempts to interfere with competitive bidding processes, such as artificially fixing or disclosing prices and /or fees. In the “EPIU”’s actions scope no collusive actions should be practiced. * The term «parties» refers to the individuals involved in a procurement or selection procedure, including public officials, acting on their own or on behalf of another party. Code of ethics All the employees of EPIU are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards and to always follow the requirements of the law. Any employee facing an ethical dilemma or possessing information on the improper actions of other employees must immediately report the matter to his/her superior officer. All reports of possible abuses shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. Failure to comply with the Code of Ethics by the employee of the EPIU may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment and even the possibility of filling criminal charges.

GENDER POLICY

EPIU’s Gender policy seeks to strengthen gender sensitivity and guide the organization toward an enabling environment within EPIU for men and women, boys and girls as well as among our various partner organizations, and the communities in which we work. The policy will be used by EPIU and partners to monitor and evaluate progress towards achievement of these intentions. EPIU policies and strategies are built around equality and fairness. These principles commit to treat all human beings (women, girls, men, boys and other disadvantaged groups or individuals) equally, enabling them to realize their full rights and potentials. Gender Equality All the proposed projects/programs will 1) ensure equal representation and contribution of men and women. 2) Foster the integration of gender equality and equity in all programs and projects and ensure equal benefits to men/women and boys/girls. Gender Equity All the proposed projects/programs will promote equity and equality between women and men, and ensure that interventions do not promote inequitable gender roles relations. As well as, mainstreaming gender functioning in the authoritative sectors Both men and women should a) have fully and equitably participation; b) receive comparable social and economic benefits; c) do not suffer disproportionate adverse effects

Environmental and social policies

EPIU’s environmental and social policies are designed to avoid, mitigate, or minimize adverse environmental and social impacts of projects supported by EPIU. Environmental and social policies are fundamental to ensuring that EPIU does not support projects/programmes that unnecessarily harm the environment, public health or vulnerable communities. Environmental and Social Principles All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented to meet the following environmental and social principles, although it is recognized that depending on the nature and scale of a project/programme all of the principles may not be relevant to every project/programme. Compliance with the Law All proposed projects/programmes shall be in compliance with all applicable domestic and international documents ratified by the Republic of Armenia. Access and Equity All proposed projects/programmes shall provide fair and equitable access to benefits in a manner that is inclusive and does not impede access to basic health services, clean water and sanitation, energy, education, housing, safe and decent working conditions, and land rights. Projects/programmes should not exacerbate existing inequities, particularly with respect to marginalized or vulnerable groups. Marginalized and Vulnerable Groups All proposed projects/programmes shall avoid imposing any disproportionate adverse impacts on marginalized and vulnerable groups including children, women and girls, the elderly, indigenous people, tribal groups, displaced people, refugees, people living with disabilities, and people living with HIV/AIDS. In screening any proposed project/programme, the implementing entities shall assess and consider particular impacts on marginalized and vulnerable groups. Human Rights All proposed projects/programmes shall respect and where applicable promote international human rights. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in such a way that both women and men (a) have equal opportunities to participate ; (b) receive comparable social and economic benefits; (b) receive comparable social and economic benefits; and (c) do not suffer disproportionate adverse effects during the development process. Core Labour Rights All proposed projects/programmes shall meet the core labour standards as identified by the domestic and international documents ratified by the Republic of Armenia. Indigenous Peoples EPIU shall not support projects/programmes that are inconsistent with the rights and responsibilities set forth in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other applicable international instruments relating to indigenous peoples. Involuntary Resettlement All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that avoids or minimizes the need for involuntary resettlement. When limited involuntary resettlement is unavoidable, due process should be observed so that displaced persons shall be informed of their rights, consulted on their options, and offered technically, economically, and socially feasible resettlement alternatives or fair and adequate compensation. Protection of Natural Habitats EPIU shall not support projects/programmes that would involve unjustified conversion or degradation of critical natural habitats, including those that are (a) legally protected; (b) officially proposed for protection; (c) recognized by authoritative sources for their high conservation value, including as critical habitat; or (d) recognized as protected by traditional or indigenous local communities. Conservation of Biological Diversity All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that avoids any significant or unjustified reduction or loss of biological diversity or the introduction of known invasive species. Climate Change All proposed projects/programmes shall not result in any significant or unjustified increase in greenhouse gas emissions or other drivers of climate change. Pollution Prevention and Resource Efficiency All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that meets applicable international standards for maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing material resource use, the production of wastes, and the release of pollutants. Public Health All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that avoids potentially significant negative impacts on public health. Physical and Cultural Heritage All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that avoids the alteration, damage, or removal of any physical cultural resources, cultural sites, and sites with unique natural values recognized as such at the community, national or international level. Projects/programmes should also not permanently interfere with existing access and use of such physical and cultural resources. Lands and Soil Conservation All proposed projects/programmes shall be designed and implemented in a way that promotes soil conservation and avoids degradation or conversion of productive lands or land that provides valuable ecosystem services.

EPIU Anti-Fraud Policy

1. The Policy applies to all activities and operations of EPIU, including: i) project implemented by EPIU and or cooperating partner. 2. The Policy applies to all EPIU staff members and other personnel, including but not limited to: i) consultants; ii) temporary assistance unit personnel; iii) service contract and special service agreement holders. 3. Contractual arrangements between EPIU and cooperating partners, suppliers or other parties shall prohibit fraudulent, corrupt, collusive, coercive and obstructive practices. https://www.epiu.am/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/EPIU_Anti-FraudPolicy_2018_Final-1.doc