THE CODE OF ETHICS AND THE STANDARDS OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR THE MERCEDES-BENZ CLUB OF KENYA
Message from the Chairman,
At the heart of every successful organization is a common understanding of the manner in which to conduct oneself as well as the harmony of many parts that contribute positively towards the whole. In seeking this harmony, we must set forth the standards that govern our conduct and demarcate the rules that guide our actions. We encourage our members to not only abide by the guidelines that are set out for our club, but to also introduce a spirit of positivity in the practice of these rules that will see the club rise to unprecedented heights within our local community and to the further reaches of the greater international automotive community.
1.STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR CLUB BUSINESS
The Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya is an enthusiast car club at its core. However, when conducting club-related business it is imperative that the standards practiced are informed and influenced from a professional and ethical standpoint.
In all aspects of relationships within and outside of club business, the highest degree of integrity is the only standard by which we, as the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya, will prescribe to, and anything less of which will be universally agreed upon as unacceptable. It is upon each member, whether in office or not, to govern their actions to this end, even though it has to be accepted that the list of do’s and dont’s cannot be exhausted.
Given the complex and multi-cultural society that we live in, it is prudent that we observe and respect the norms of our given society, making an effort to be culturally-sensitive, and endeavouring to create a harmonious environment for all that come in contact with our club.
The success of the club is interwoven within its membership and the relationships fostered with sponsors, suppliers, the automotive community locally and internationally as well as our relationship with Mercedes-Benz and Daimler AG. This can only be achieved by teamwork, and values resonant with our culture of “harambee”, or pulling together to achieve a common objective.
The opportunities that are availed to members of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya to enjoy their vehicles with like minded enthusiasts, as well as being a force of good to our community require that all dealings must be done with high ethical standards. All programs, events, activities, publications and individual members of the Club must be presented in a manner that will enhance the image of the Club and that of Mercedes-Benz, focusing on a standard of excellence that at the very least will be a credit to the image of those it represents.
All communication done by the members and officers of the club will be held to these same ethical standards. Any deviation from this ideal may lead to suspension or expulsion from the club of any group or individual that is deemed to breach the standards set forth.
Any form of communication that is derogatory, insulting or damaging, and any program, activity, or function that may be considered in poor taste or detrimental to the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya shall not be allowed. No persons shall produce or distribute any material (printed or online) that is derogatory, defamatory or libelous in nature. Any use of MBCK media, in all its forms must employ the highest applicable standards of journalistic integrity with an emphasis on fairness, transparency, accuracy, responsibility and respect toward members and all concerned.
Candidacy for office, or any departmental chair is to be handled with an atmosphere of respect and discretion. It is important that respect and dignity be maintained in such activities and that the image of the club is in no way harmed in these processes. The candidate will take the initiative in ensuring that supporters adhere to the established guidelines. Campaigning will be conducted in the manner outlined in the constitution of the club and with a strict adherence to the code of ethics.
All members of MBCK will observe and respect the rules of the locations and venues at which club activities are held. Any activities undertaken by members that would discredit or damage the image of the club will not be condoned and may lead to suspension, and or expulsion from the club, as well as subject to any other appropriate action that may be required.
Members shall refrain from supporting, inviting, aiding or facilitating any conduct by a former member or a non-member that may have the effect of interfering or hindering the programs, events and activities of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya.
It is the responsibility of the appointed event coordinator to ensure that club rules and regulations are observed whenever a club event is held. An attitude of cooperation and a willingness to help will ensure that these undertakings will be successful and advance the profile of the club and the level of service towards club members.
1.Our Sponsors are vital to the success of the club. However any discussions or negotiations should be conducted in a manner that reflects well on MBCK. The privacy of these sponsors will be respected with reference to their instructions as far as is ethically possible and within the established guidelines of the Club, especially in the public dissemination of information regarding the said parties. All negotiations will be held discreetly and with utmost integrity. Agreements between the club and representatives of these entities, including other business contacts, must always be signed on both ends, and any good faith commitments must be honoured.
– Any committee or board member that has an affiliation with a business, such as family members or relatives working for that said business will observe an attitude of propriety to ensure no appearance of favoritism is made, and will be held responsible in making it known to the club if any such relationship exists before any deals or contracts are drawn out.
2.Formal bidding of goods and services will be conducted in an open, formal and confidential manner. Information on bids shall not be relayed to other bidders while the process is ongoing, and good business practices and standards shall always be maintained.
3.The Relationship between MBCK and Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG and its dealer networks shall be conducted in a manner that shows the Club to be a real and valuable asset. Our duty is to promote the brand in a manner that is inviting to new customers, and enhances the image of Mercedes-Benz within our scope of influence.
4.Expenses relating to Club Travel should be budgeted and pre-approved by the relevant departments. We must avoid giving an impression of club related travel being for our own personal benefit or gain. Major expenses should be budgeted for before-hand, and an emergency fund can be set up by club officers for any unforeseen eventuality. These principles extend to board and committee members as well.
5.Financial Accounting on behalf of the club shall be conducted to the highest standards of business accounting practices. Budgets should be based upon the expected income from member’s dues. Any and all other sources of income should be considered as a benefit and placed in reserves or used for charitable purposes. All income and expenses need to be accounted for by the elected officers, and need to be reported regularly as is the standard business accounting practice. The club is a not for profit enterprise and all other events and activities that may bring income to the club must be properly accounted for with transparency and in accordance with the law, ensuring our status is not compromised.
Any gifts or entertainment offered should be accepted with great caution and consultation. If anything is offered by a prospective supplier or contractor and could in any way be construed as a bribe, kickback or payoff, it should be avoided at all costs. If the assessment of a potential venue or facility is undertaken by a member of the club, a “gift” may only be received if there is a definite plan outlined by the relevant committee to work with the party that is offering it. A member will consult with the legal department of the club if there is any doubt as to the propriety of a particular plan or gesture.
The same principle applies if a member of the club is in a position to offer a gift to a sponsor or a non-member of the Club. Any such offer must not be construed as a bribe or a payoff or a kickback, and when in doubt, a consultation with our legal department is highly advised.
6.Handling of records for MBCK will be done in accordance with the relevant laws of the Republic of Kenya and all pertinent documents will be submitted to the club secretary to be stored for the length of time legally required.
7.In the event a member or an officer of the club is involved in a legal matter or any proceedings that concern the club, they will at the earliest opportunity notify the club Chairman and legal department of any such proceedings.
8.A conflict of interest waiver form shall be provided for members of the committee to sign detailing specific instances in which a signed copy shall be required of an officer or member of the club. The Chairman will be held responsible for obtaining these signatures and keeping them in record.
9.All assets of MBCK must be protected from unauthorized use. Any member in custody of club assets or property must ensure their security and that they are used only to serve the needs of member and pre-approved club activities. The business office must keep a record of any transfers of property, any loaning, as well as a record stating who requested the transfer/loan, and the manner in which the process was implemented. The manner in which assets are shipped, the person who receives, and the date of return and condition of assets will also be taken into record. The use of these assets will also be monitored to ensure that they are used in a manner that is not contradictory with the laws of the Republic of Kenya
2.STANDARDS OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Membership in the Mercedes Benz Club of Kenya (MBCK) is voluntary. By accepting membership, a member assumes an obligation to adhere to the following code of Professional conduct. The code expresses professional recognition of a member’s responsibility to the public, to clients and to colleagues (other members).It is intended to provide specific standards to cover most situations encountered by MBCK Members and calls for an unswerving commitment to honorable behavior, even at the sacrifice of personal advantage.
MBCK shall operate on the basic universal logic of ‘common sense’ and the practical knowledge that defines functional and healthy inter-personal relationships. An attitude of accountability for one’s actions and words should prevail in all manner of meetings and interactions. In addition, we encourage all members to “be their brothers and sisters keeper”, as such an attitude will ensure that we are not only mindful of the feelings of others, but also conscious to their welfare and general well-being. It is worth noting that the way we treat others will affect the way they treat and perceive us.
MBCK Code of professional conducts will be guided by the principles discussed below.
It is the duty of every MBCK member to take ownership for the actions and decisions we make or fail to make and the consequences that result thereafter .
1.MBCK Management, Committee Members and Members will adhere to make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of the club, society, safety, and the environment.
2.Assignment tasks to the club must be consistent with MBCK background and constitution
3.Management, Committee Members, and Members are expected to fulfill the commitments that are undertaken – we do what we say we will do.
4.When Club members make errors or omissions, we should take ownership and make corrections promptly. When we discover errors or omissions caused by others, we communicate them to the MBCK Management as soon they are discovered and therefore accept accountability for any issues resulting from our errors or omissions and any resulting consequences.
5. We protect proprietary or confidential information that has been entrusted to us.
6. We uphold this Code and hold each other accountable to it.
2. Integrity and Respect
It is the duty of every MBCK member to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources.
An environment of respect engenders trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation—an environment where diverse perspectives and views are encouraged and valued.
MBCK Members are required to
1. Inform ourselves about the norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behaviors they might consider disrespectful.
2. Listen to others’ points of view, seeking to understand them.
3. Approach directly those persons with whom we have a conflict or disagreement.
4. Conduct ourselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated.
5. Negotiate in good faith.
6. Not exercise the power of their expertise or position to influence the decisions or actions of others in order to benefit personally at their expense.
7. Not act in an abusive manner toward others.
8. Respect the property rights of others.
9. Avoid the use of slurs and derogatory statements, name calling, belittling, inappropriate comments, demeaning statements about a person’s relationships, opinions, ethnicity and ancestry etc. (Verbal Harassment)
10. Avoid explicit, derogatory and demeaning gestures, illustrations, computer graphics, and the dissemination of e-mails containing such material in content and intent. (Visual and Written Harassment)
11. Assault, physically blocking and impeding others, grabbing or holding inappropriately will not be tolerated and will lead to disciplinary action. (Physical Harassment)
It is the duty of every MBCK member to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice, and favoritism.
MBCK Members are required to
1. Demonstrate transparency in decision-making process.
2. Constantly reexamine our impartiality and objectivity, taking corrective action as appropriate.
3. Provide equal access to information to those who are authorized to have that information.
4. Make opportunities equally available to qualified candidates
5. Proactively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the MBCK management.
6. When MBCK Members realize or identify real or potential conflict of interest, we refrain from engaging in the decision-making process or otherwise attempting to influence outcomes, unless or until: we have made full disclosure to the affected members; we have an approved mitigation plan; and we have obtained the consent of the members to proceed
7. Not hire or fire, reward or punish, or award or deny contracts based on personal considerations, including but not limited to, favoritism, nepotism, or bribery.
8. Not discriminate against others based on, but not limited to, gender, race, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation.
9. We apply the rules of the club without favoritism or prejudice.
4. Conflict of Interest
Description: A conflict of interest occurs when we are in a position to influence decisions or other outcomes on behalf of one party when such decisions or outcomes could affect one or more other parties with which we have competing loyalties.
1. We proactively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the MBCK management.
2. When we realize that we have a real or potential conflict of interest, we refrain from engaging in the decision-making process or otherwise attempting to influence outcomes, unless or until: we have made full disclosure to the affected members; we have an approved mitigation plan; and we have obtained the consent of the management to proceed.
Description: It is the duty of every member to act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct.
As MBCK Members:
1. We earnestly seek to understand the truth.
2. We are truthful in our communications and in our conduct.
3. We provide accurate information in a timely manner.
4. We make commitments and promises, implied or explicit, in good faith.
5. We do not engage in or condone behavior that is designed to deceive others, including but not limited to, making misleading or false statements, stating half-truths, providing information out of context or withholding information that, if known, would render our statements as misleading or incomplete.
6. We do not engage in dishonest behavior with the intention of personal gain or at the expense of another.
7. We strive to create an environment in which others feel safe to tell the truth.
6. Social Media
Description: Social media in this case would include and limited to Facebook (Group and Page) , WhatsApp groups ( A-E , Classics <79 ) , Website, Instagram and Twitter.
Information shared within the MBCK social media should adhere to the professional ethics: responsibility, integrity, respect, fairness, honest and minimize conflict of interest.
1. All social media content is to be Mercedes-Benz related.
2. All social media content is monitored by MBCK-Administrators
3. Social media violators are subject to disciplinary action as highlighted below.
All MBCK MEMBERS ARE REQUIRED TO:
1. Uphold the policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern the club and its activities.
2. Report unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate management and, if necessary, to those affected by the conduct.
These standards define the expectations of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya towards their board members, leadership and general members. They are a representation of our commitment to our club members, sponsors, other clubs and organizations as well as Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz.
Any behavior that is counter to these standards may result in immediate action by the MBCK officers the committee. Depending on the nature of the unacceptable behaviour, the officers and the board may choose to:
- Coach the person[s] privately in order to enable them to attain the acceptable behaviour that will meet our standards for business and professional conduct.
- Reprimand the person[s] privately, especially for a subsequent demonstration of unacceptable behaviour.
- Require a performance agreement form filled with acceptable standards of behaviour outlined, and a detail on the course of action to be taken if the undesired behaviour continues to be practiced.
- Censure the person by means of a vote by the committee.
- Expel the person from the club, if necessary by means outline in the Constitution of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya.
If there are any aspects of the Code of Ethics and the specific guidelines that govern the conduct and practices of the Mercedes-Benz Club of Kenya that are not clear, please feel free to contact any Club officer and anyone within the Communications and Legal department.