Code of Ethics

"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."
— Thomas B. Macaulay

EMS's ethics are the basic principles that guide business relationships with our colleagues within the company and with our clients and other business partners. Our ethical standards are based on integrity and openness. We strive at all times to maintain the personal and corporate strength of character needed to provide only our best professional judgment, even at the expense of profit.

EMS's business ethics and conduct are built on trust. It takes a long time to earn the trust of our partners, clients, and vendors. We understand that how we conduct ourselves day-to-day is integral to gaining that trust and that it can be lost quickly and irretrievably through negligence, greed, or by failing to deliver on our commitments. We want our customers to come back to us time and again, because they know we are reliable and straightforward. EMS is justifiably proud of our reputation for integrity in business relationships, and every employee is equally responsible for maintaining that reputation. We strive to be the kind of corporation for which we all want to work and with which others want to do business.

The elements of EMS's code of business ethics and conduct are (click each to expand):

1. Setting the Tone

  • We will recruit and retain the best possible people we can find who share our values, ethics, and commitment.
  • Individually and collectively, all EMS employees will conduct the company's business in accordance with highest ethical standards. They will not engage in or tolerate conduct that would bring discredit upon themselves or upon the company.
  • We will not appropriate someone else's ideas, opportunities, or accomplishments.
  • We will make business decisions that reflect the best interests of our clients, vendors, and the reputation of our company.
  • We will avoid any practice that could give the appearance of a real or potential conflict of interest, or private financial gain.
  • EMS's project leaders, managers, and supervisors will model the behavior they expect from their staff. Every EMS employee is to be respected equally, regardless of their tenure, salary, or position.
  • EMS will set reasonable and achievable budget expectations and other financial targets. EMS project managers accept the responsibility for defending achievable goals for their teams, not only with their clients, but also with their own EMS supervisors.
  • EMS will deliver products and services of the highest possible quality and reflective of our best professional judgment and abilities.
  • EMS will not drop an existing project in favor of a later one that may be more interesting or profitable. Not meeting commitments destroys trust.
  • EMS's policies on business principles, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, intellectual property, sexual harassment, and fraud are clearly explained in the company's Employee Manual and written policies.

2. Creating a Positive Workplace Environment

  • EMS employees are encouraged to provide input in the development and updating of our policies, practices, communication, and environment in order to foster loyalty and ownership.
  • EMS encourages team-oriented, collaborative decision-making.
  • EMS employees are encouraged to take responsibility, rather than wait for it to be given. Staff members who believe that they are capable and ready to assume additional responsibility are encouraged to take it as part of their professional growth.
  • EMS encourages staff members to develop professionally through planned training, participation in professional organizations, and in-house opportunities for advancement.
  • Ethical performance is a factor in EMS's system of recognition and rewards.
  • EMS employees appreciate diversity in the workplace and enjoy an environment free from discrimination of any kind.

3. Dealing Ethically with Clients

  • EMS honors the public trust and responsibility that comes with each contract.
  • Our relationships with our clients will be open, honest, and grounded in mutual respect.
  • We will manage and use the client's money and time effectively, efficiently, and appropriately according to the contract and sound business practices.
  • When we receive an assignment, we will develop an independent budget based on our approach and our estimate of the amount of hours it will require and a client-specified schedule of deliverable dates.
  • We will always consider what is possible and realistic in terms of approach, schedule, and budget when responding to clients' expectations. It is far better to tell the client the basis for our estimate and negotiate on differences in approach, schedule, or cost than to get the business under false expectations.
  • We will not promise what we know we cannot deliver.
  • EMS's proposals always reflect true and accurate information. EMS will never intentionally "low-ball" a proposal estimate—submitting an unrealistically low bid with the hopes of raising the price after award, when the client has fewer options.
  • We believe that it is far better to lose business than to accept it at the expense of our own judgment, ethics, policies, or self-respect.

4. Dealing Ethically with Vendors and Subcontractors

  • EMS's relationships with vendors and subcontractors are open, honest, fair, and grounded in mutual trust.
  • We will make all necessary introductions of subcontractors to our clients and provide justifications, as needed, to ensure they are properly treated by our prime customers.
  • To the extent possible, we will protect our subcontractors and vendors from unreasonable demands, and will provide them with the business they were promised or led to expect they would receive. We will not usurp the work legitimately marketed by our subcontractors.
  • EMS will safeguard the confidentiality of proprietary information entrusted to us by our subcontractors.
  • EMS will tell our business partners as soon as we realize a prior commitment or budget may be in jeopardy.
  • EMS employees will not criticize or demean a subcontractor or colleague to a client or another vendor. Such behavior makes EMS look mean-spirited, harms the company's relationships, and calls into question our judgment in having made this company or person part of our team.
  • EMS will provide appropriate feedback to subcontractors and vendors, whether their performance is above or below expectations.
  • EMS will pay vendors and subcontractors promptly, within the terms of our written agreements or established business practices.

5. Ethics Awareness and Internal Control

  • All EMS employees receive mandatory annual training on conflicts of interest and business ethics, which ensures continuity of the company's culture of integrity and openness. All employees must sign annual commitments to confidentiality, ethical practices, and avoidance of conflicts of interest.
  • EMS will not ignore violations of our policies on ethical business conduct. EMS employees with cause to believe that they or any colleagues, vendors, or subcontractors are potentially jeopardizing our business relationships because of ethical lapses must report them to company management. This may be done personally (privately), or anonymously, but should contain sufficient evidence that can be investigated.
  • If EMS employees genuinely fear reprisal for reporting ethical or policy violations, or are concerned that corporate management may disregard warnings, employees are encouraged to contact EMS's outside corporate accountants or outside counsel, who will honor their anonymity and will initiate independent review. The names and numbers of EMS's outside corporate accountants and counsel are on the office phone system's speed-dial and are provided to all employees during annual training.
  • In cases where waste, fraud, or abuse of a federal contract is alleged and all other avenues of complaint are precluded, EMS employees are encouraged to contact the federal Inspector General. Contact information for the Inspectors General is posted in the kitchen of EMS's offices and is distributed to all employees during annual training.
  • Failure to come forward with information that may have prevented a serious violation will be viewed as a serious lapse and violation of our code of ethical behavior.
  • Inadvertent mistakes, without the intent to violate our code of ethics, will be addressed individually and reinforced in subsequent annual ethics training.
  • Serious violations or intentional breaches of faith will be considered cause for separation and may result in legal action.

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