The Evaluating Ethics-related Programs and Activities Practice Guide strives to put a firm structure around a subject that has traditionally been viewed as too soft, and thereby challenging, to evaluate. A strong ethical climate and an organization’s ability to maintain an ethical culture is the foundation for good governance. It sets expectations for acceptable behaviors in conducting business within the organization and with external parties. A robust ethics program includes effective board oversight, strong tone at the top, senior management involvement, organization-wide commitment, a customized code of conduct, timely follow-up and investigation of reported incidents, consistent disciplinary action for offenders, effective ethics training, communications, ongoing monitoring systems, and, where possible, an anonymous incident reporting system.
This guide has been developed to provide internal auditors with a framework for the evaluation of ethics-related programs and activities. It also includes a range of examples, definitions, and principles to provide a solid platform on which internal auditors can build their evaluations. The principles apply equally to the public and private sectors.