Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

DEFINITION
A conflict of interest exists where there is a potential or actual conflict between the personal interests of a Board or Committee member and that member’s obligation to uphold the interests and mission of the Society.

Members of the Board of Directors and Committee Members are expected to reveal any personal, family or business interests that they have, that, by creating a divided loyalty, could influence their judgment and hence the wisdom of decisions.  A conflict of interest exist wherever an individual could benefit, dis-proportionally from others, directly or indirectly,  from access to information or from a decision over which they might have influence, or, where some one might reasonably perceive there to be such a benefit and influence.

The potential for conflicts of interest should not prevent an individual from serving as a director or a committee member unless the extent of the individual’s interest(s) are such that a potential conflict (real or perceived) is likely to arise in a large number of circumstances. 

Examples of possible conflict of interest situations with respect to GVIAS include:

The Board Member or Committee Member has a relationship with the Society where they stand to gain a financial reward for service provided to the Society.

A Board Member or Committee Member is directly related (family member) to someone who stands to gain a financial reward for service provided to the society.

When a Board Member or Committee Member has applied for a grant from the Society or is directly related to a member who has applied for a grant, and is a voting member of the committee dispersing those grants.

A Board Member or Committee Member has a relationship with an outside party whose personal and financial gain is in conflict with the Societies purpose and mission.

A Board Member or Committee Member is directly related to a person being considered for an appointment of a position of responsibility.

Procedure for Handling A Conflict of Interest

Members of the Board and Committee Members have a duty to disclose any personal, family, or business interests that may, in the eyes of another person, influence their judgment.

An interested person may make a presentation at the Board or Committee
meeting, but after the presentation, he/she shall leave the meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the possible conflict of interest.

The Board as a whole has a duty to disclose specific conflicts of interests to Society members where that interest may, in their judgement, affect the reputation or credibility of the organization, and to disclose the Board’s procedure for operating in the presence of such conflicts.

Board members and Committee Members have a duty to exempt themselves from  participating in any discussion and voting on matters where they have, or may be perceived as having, a conflict of interest. Such exemptions should be recorded in minutes of meetings.

Any business relationship must be formalized in writing and approved by the Board when it is between a member of the society(or a company where the member is an owner or in a position of authority) and the Society.

Procedure by a member who is aware of a conflict of interest.

  1. Any member who is aware or has reasonable grounds to believe that an undisclosed conflict of interest exists shall first raise the matter with the member involved in the potential conflict and refer them to this Policy.
  2. If the person reasonably believes that this Policy is not being followed after the issue has been raised with them or that raising the issue with the member is inappropriate in the circumstances, shall report it to the Committee Chair or a Director involved in the alleged conflict of interest.
  3. The Chair of the committee or Director shall discuss the alleged undisclosed conflict of interest with the Board or Committee member and, if a conflict of interest exists, shall deal with it in accordance with this policy.
  4. In the event that a member still believes that this policy has not been followed after the above steps have been taken, they have the option of taking out a grievance.