Code of ethics
These are the values that inform our activity. They apply to all Civio staff, regardless of rank or office. These are not set in stone, on the contrary: they are regularly revised to allow us to continue tackling - both ethically and honestly - the new conflicts that arise in the course of our work.
Civio shall be governed by the current legislation governing foundations, by its statutes and by the provisions agreed on by its trustees and its team.
Civio shall be independent. It will have no political affiliation or organizational, financial or other dependence on any political organization, public entity or private company. Our work will be undertaken only within the framework of Civio’s mission and values.
Civio shall be transparent and open. All the knowledge we acquire and generate will be at the service of society, whether articles, methodologies, tools, recommendations or data.
Disclosure of interests
We shall be completely transparent in all actions, situations, interests or conditions which may compromise the carrying out of our work. In Our Team you can browse our affiliations and we always include a disclosure of interests in our articles, where an affiliation is relevant to public awareness.
Although we are an independent organization, this code does not disbar any member of Civio from playing an active role or participating personally in other civic, religious, social, trade union or political platforms. On the contrary, insofar as these are undertaken on a personal level, and do not breach any of the commitments in this code or imply a conflict of interests, present or future.
We shall publish our Annual Accounts explicitly and in a timely manner, in a format that is easy for any citizen to consult and understand. Further, we will strive to communicate the details of our financial management in a transparent way.
Our accounts will be subject to independent auditing at the end of each financial year. This measure was implemented in 2015 and the auditing reports are available on this website.
We will be completely transparent about who - both people and organizations, and through donations or institutional support - make our work possible. Civio does not accept anonymous donations under any circumstances.
We will be particularly transparent with regards to the support of our large donors, and strict in their selection: we will not accept funding from any entity whose mission or values clash with ours.
We view the information we generate as a service in the public’s interest and our main commitment is to the truth. We will act with the utmost honesty in the presentation of facts, precision in data and clarity in the exposure of sources used.
The data on which our information is based will be made open to the public. We will do so once our investigation is closed, and insofar as its publication complies with the applicable data protection regulations. However, we will at all times weigh up the consequences of posting information which may be subject to restrictions with the public interest of access to said data.
We will make our sources public at all times. We will stick with official and public sources as far as possible and these will always be trustworthy and proven. We will refrain from publishing opinions and speculation. We will only use an anonymous source in cases where this is necessary to protect the identity of a whistleblower.
We will publish the methodology that we have followed to prepare our reports, especially when this is complex, and we will do so in the most detailed way possible.
Any incorrect or erroneous data we publish will be rectified in a visible, clear and precise manner.
We will never refuse to publish a certain piece of information, or restrict its content, under criteria which are not strictly journalistic. To this end, we will set any limits and firewalls necessary in our awareness raising endeavours and other Civio activities - lobbying, services- to guarantee compliance with the strictest standards of professionalism, appropriately managing any possible conflicts, both internal and external.
Our relationship with public authorities will always be open and transparent. Any authority with a firm commitment to opening information to the public can count, if it so wishes, on our collaboration.
We will detail each and every one of the meetings that we have with public representatives to influence a regulation or public policy. We will do so including the date, names of attendees, the subjects covered and the documents shared therein.
Civio is a non-partisan organization that collaborates with all political groups with institutional representation. When we try to influence a regulation or a public policy, in general, we will not meet only with one party. Where possible, Civio will communicate its proposals to all relevant executive and legislative powers.
We are always open to dialogue and collaboration with any political party to push for improvements in questions concerning our fields of work. However, our credibility as an organization requires that we only attend those meetings or events at which our capacity to advocate is made clear from the outset - in the aims or agenda of the meeting or event. If these do not reflect a suitable framework to give voice to our proposals, or we feel that their purpose is to endorse a political power, ‘take their photos’ or give that impression, we will decline to participate.
Special care will be taken to ensure the strict separation of our fields of journalism and the provision of service to the public sector, to avoid conflicts of interest. Our collaboration with authorities will never impact our journalistic content, and vice versa.
We have already collaborated with public administrations and governments of all political persuasions. Independently of this, we will continue to assist any institution that requests our help in opening its data to the public.
In the provision of services to the public sector, our role will be one of support and technical development. We do not intervene in any sense in the policies or management of the institutions we collaborate with. Our technical support on a specific project - e.g. visualization of budget data - by no means implies that Civio endorses said entity’s management nor its level of transparency in general.
If you have any questions or complaints about any of these conduct guidelines, do not hesitate to write to us. You will be helping us to improve.