Canadian Council for International Co-operation

The Council is a coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Dear Ms Ethics is a communication vehicle to disseminate the answers to questions about organizational ethical dilemmas that relate to the CCIC Code of Ethics and Operational Standards.

1. Board Members' Travel
What, if any, ethical issues are involved if our organization’s resources are used to send Board members to visit overseas programs?

2. Black Market
I have just started to work for our field office in a country with a very fragile economy. The rate of exchange on the local currency fluctuates substantially each day. We get a much better rate of exchange on the black market. Apparently some organizations have exchanged money on that market, but used the official lower Bank rate on their project financial reports. The extra funds have been used to do additional project work to help more people in the community. Is this unethical?

3. Salary Transparency
Articles S5.1 and S6.2 of the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards both state that member organizations must manage their finances in a manner that ensures efficient use of funds and accountability to donors. Therefore, every donor has a right to know where each dollar goes. For the purpose of transparency, each donor could know the salary expenses within the organization, and the salary distribution -i.e. the highest salary with the corresponding duties, as well as the lowest in the organization. I know that many European organizations have no objection to disseminating this type of information, which also shows a salary policy in keeping with humanitarian ideals. What does Ms Ethics think?

4. Changing Auditors
For many years now, we have had our annual audits conducted by the same respected firm. Because of our long association they know our programs and particular needs very well. Recently a new Board member said that we should change our auditor every few years. We think that hiring a new firm would take a lot of our already limited time helping them to understand our programs. Is there any ethical problem with continuing to use the same firm?

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