Code of Ethics and Procedure for Filing and Processing Complaints
Members of the ASCDI/NATD and Subscribers to the NTTN/ATN agree to the following:
To maintain and enforce high standards of ethical professional conduct making Membership in the ASCDI/NATD a recognized mark of experience, integrity and competence.
To regard as confidential all information concerning the business and affairs of the customer.
To conduct business in a manner which brings credit to and enhances the reputation of the telecommunications/computer industry.
To publicize products and services in a professional manner, avoiding all conduct, practices and promotions likely to discredit the industry.
To broaden public understanding and enhance confidence in the telecommunications/computer industry so that users will be encouraged to use Member products and services as their primary resource.
In keeping with these principles, Members of the ASCDI/NATD and Subscribers to the NTTN/ATN make the following pledge:
To follow through and complete any agreement made verbally or otherwise to any ASCDI/NATD Member or non-member, prospect or customer.
To conclude a transaction in a competent and professional manner once the parties have agreed to complete a specific transaction.
To honor an offer that has been accepted as expeditiously as possible.
To fully disclose all limitations on the authority of an employee or agent representing a Member or Subscriber in a transaction.
To use only one name, identity or affiliation in all negotiations or in a competitive bidding environment.
To refrain from disparaging others by statement or innuendo.
To respond to any complaint alleging violation of the Code and participate in all proceedings prescribed by the ASCDI/NATD Board of Directors.
PROCEDURE FOR FILING AND PROCESSING COMPLAINTS
I. Filing a Complaint
Members or non-Members of the Association may file complaints against Members of the Association. By filing a complaint, a non-member agrees to be bound by the Code, follow the Complaint Procedure and participate in proceedings hereunder.
Members or non-members of the Association may file complaints against Subscribers to the NTTN/ATN. A complaint filed against a Subscriber, who is a non-member, is treated as a filing against a Member. By filing a complaint against a Subscriber, a non-member agrees to be bound by the Code, follow the Complaint Procedure and participate in proceedings hereunder.
The Association does not have jurisdiction over non-members. However, if a non-member is willing to abide by the Code and participate in these proceedings, the Ethics Committee, at its discretion, may process the complaint.
II. Complaint Procedure
Form of Complaint
All complaints must be in writing on an ASCDI/NATD Complaint Form and sent to the ASCDI/NATD Administrative Office. ASCDI/NATD Complaint Forms are available through the ASCDI/NATD Administrative Office or on the Internet at www.ASCDI.com & www.NATD.com.
The complaint must include the following:
(a) a brief summary of the facts;
(b) the party against whom the complaint is filed;
(c) the specific Articles of the Code alleged to have been violated;
(d) the act that constitutes the alleged violation; and
(e) copies of all relevant supporting documents.
Ethics Committee Procedures
Processing and Service of Complaint and Response
Upon receipt of the completed complaint form and all relevant documents, the case will be forwarded to the Chair of the Ethics Committee (the “Chair”) for processing.
The Chair will review the complaint and, assuming the facts to be true, make a threshold determination as to whether the facts, as alleged, constitute a violation of the Code.
After service of the response, the Chair will schedule a hearing involving the Complainant, Respondent and the Hearing Panel.
The Hearing Panel consists of three Members of the Ethics Committee (the “Hearing Panel”).
Copies of the complaint, response and all supporting documents will be forwarded to the Members of the Hearing Panel.
Both parties will be given an opportunity to participate, with counsel or without counsel, on a teleconference with the assigned Hearing Panel.
If a Complainant chooses not to participate in the hearing process, the complaint will be heard on the basis of complaint, together with evidence submitted by the Respondent.
Failure of the Respondent to participate, unless excused in advance by the Chair, shall result in a finding against the Respondent.
The hearing will last 30 minutes:
10 minutes for Complainant to present evidence;
10 minutes for Respondent to present evidence; and
10 minutes for Members of Hearing Panel to conduct a question/answer session.
Following the hearing, the matter will be taken under advisement by the Hearing Panel, and a written decision will be rendered accordingly.
Level 1 : - A finding of violation with notice given only to the Complainant, Respondent and the Ethics Committee.
Level 2 : - A finding of violation with notice given to the Membership and the Ethics Committee.
Level 3 : - A finding of violation with a recommendation to the Ethics Committee to suspend the Member’s privileges from the Association and/or the Subscriber’s access to the NTTN/ATN for a specified length of time not to exceed 12 months.
Level 4 : - A finding of violation with a recommendation to the Ethics Committee for expulsion from the Association and/or removal from the NTTN/ATN.
Three Complaints Against a Company
In the event three complaints resulting in sanctions have been filed against a party within any 12-month period, the Chair and President of the Association shall review and, if appropriate, notify the Membership of the following: