Common Ethical Principles and Practices
NDIA members should aspire to the following ethical principles and make every effort to implement the following practices:
- Advance national security by promoting trust among the defense industry, our government customers, the U.S. public, and our men and women in uniform.
- Strengthen the integrity of a federal procurement system that encourages competition, rewards technical innovation, and ensures that American fighters have the decisive advantage both on the battlefield and wherever else our nation’s enemies may be found.
- Operate our businesses from a foundation of ethical readiness where economic pursuits do not overtake our responsibility to our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen while acknowledging that America's technological and military preeminence are sustained by promoting the financial health of the defense sector.
- Contribute to the common good of our industry and promote industry ethics whenever and wherever possible by sharing best practices in ethics and business conduct among NDIA members and including ethics training in NDIA sponsored events.
- Implement effective ethics programs for company activities at home or abroad. When contemplating any international sale to a governmental or quasi-governmental buyer, it is imperative that effective measures be undertaken to ensure full compliance not only with the letter but also the spirit of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as amended, and the FCPA’s bar against improper payments to foreign officials.
- Establish effective mechanisms of control over employees and agents operating overseas to promote ethical conduct based upon principles, not geographic location.
Protect U.S. national security when performing contracts with foreign parties by committing to compliance with U.S. export control licensing regimes, and with all anti-boycott and embargo requirements.
- Establish corporate integrity as a business asset rather than a requirement to satisfy regulators by making ethics integral to all aspects of corporate life and culture, creating an environment in which employees aspire to do the right thing.
- Recognize that self-governance is key to management’s commitment to abide by ethical standards. Accordingly, charge Corporate Boards with the responsibility of creating an environment in which ethical conduct is the order of the day, including the development and implementation of a corporate-level procedure/process to review company best practices, policies, and procedures that govern ethics.
- Demonstrate the company and its leadership’s commitment to ethics by making the Chief Executive the top ethics officer.
- Implement a formal company ethics program that includes a written code of conduct to communicate institutional values and expectations while guiding employees and management in their decisions and conduct.
- Organize training programs as an integral component of company ethics programs to commit employees to the company’s written code of conduct, encourage them to discern the difference between right and wrong, and act on that knowledge despite pressures to compromise standards.
- Establish and communicate procedures for employees to identify and report suspected violations of the code of ethics without fear of retribution, establish mechanisms to promptly and effectively communicate violations to the government, and promote full cooperation with government investigations.
- Establish written remedial measures for prompt and appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, where instances of unethical conduct are discovered.