At the recent GIPS(R) (Global Investment Performance Standards) Executive Committee meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the EC discussed the possibility of creating a “Code of Conduct” for GIPS service providers. I think this is an excellent idea, though at this point have zero knowledge of what is actually being considered.
In Tuesday’s post, I mentioned how The Spaulding Group will not take on a verification client who we believe has come by their historical performance records through some improper means, and recommended that other verifiers adopt this policy, too. I would think that this is an example of the code of conduct one would expect from service providers.
When the Performance Measurement Forum set off to develop a certification program for performance measurement professionals several years ago (which contributed to the creation of the CIPM program), ethics wasn’t a section we considered. The CIPM program wisely has included it, and more and more we can see how ethics is an important topic for our industry. It seems that almost daily we learn of infractions. Granted, the political world may be outpacing our industry in this regard, but it seems as if some would like to overtake them.
Performance measurement professionals can serve as a key gatekeeper to the delivery of fraudulent information. And while we haven’t yet heard of any PMPs who have allowed the presentation of information they knew was wrong, these individuals can still find themselves being pressured to do something they know would be wrong.
Verifiers can serve as yet another group to try to halt the spread of fictitious information, by holding firm when we learn of something unethical and to simply refuse to be a part of it. My feeling is that if a firm is willing to act improperly to obtain historical records, won’t they do the same when it comes to other situations that arise? It’s better to avoid even going down the path with someone who may not behave as we think they should.