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Proposed Conflict of Interest Policy Available for Comment

A committee comprised of Harrison West Society members has been writing a conflict of interest policy and has submitted the following draft for comment. To publicly comment on this proposed policy, click on the “COMMENTS” link below the headline for this article. If you would prefer to comment privately to the committee, send an e-mail to policy@harrisonwest.org.

The society will host a policy debate on the policy in March. Watch this Website for the date. After the policy debate, a final version will be published here, and the society will vote at its April meeting to accept or reject the policy.

    1. Conflict of Interest
      • 5.1 The purpose of this policy is to establish a code of conduct and to promote the confidence of the Society’s members in their leaders.
        • 5.1.1 An Official is an Officer of the Society (elected or appointed), or a person chairing a committee of the Society.
        • 5.1.2 A Conflict of Interest is defined as an actual or perceived interest by an Official in an action that results in, or has the appearance of resulting in, personal, financial, or professional gain for the Official.
      • 5.2 Each Official has a duty to place the interest of the Society foremost in any dealing on behalf of the Society. Officials shall not use their position, or the knowledge gained from that position, in such a manner that a conflict arises between the interests of the Society and the Official’s personal interests. Specifically, a conflict of interest may arise:
        • 5.2.1 if an Official has an existing or potential direct or indirect financial or other interest that impairs, or might reasonably appear to impair, their independent judgment in the discharge if their responsibilities to the Society, or
        • 5.2.2 if an Official has an ownership or investment in any person or entity with which the Society has an arrangement, has entered into a transaction, or has begun negotiating an arrangement or transaction,
        • 5.2.3 if an Official serves as an officer, director, trustee, employee, or member in any entity with which the Society has an arrangement, has entered into a transaction, or has begun negotiating an arrangement or transaction, or
        • 5.2.4 if a member of the Official’s household meets any of the above criteria.
      • 5.3 Officials are required to disclose any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest at the earliest practical time. Such Officials shall provide written disclosure of any interests, relationships, and holdings that result, or could potentially result in a conflict of interest.
      • 5.4 Officials who are uncertain whether they have a conflict of interest shall request that the Executive Committee determine whether a conflict of interest exists. The Executive Committee shall make a determination by a majority vote (excluding the potentially conflicted Official) and report that decision to the membership.
      • 5.5 No Official shall preside over, vote on, discuss, or formally or informally advocate or participate in any deliberation of any matter in which such person has a conflict of interest. Officials who have a conflict of interest shall remove themselves from the meeting room while such matter is under discussion and also not represent the Society when such matter is discussed outside of Society meetings.
      • 5.6 If any member of the Society has reasonable cause to believe an Official has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, the member shall file a complaint with the Executive Committee.
        • 5.6.1The Executive Committee shall inform the person of the basis for such belief and afford the person an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose.
        • 5.6.2 After hearing the Official’s response and after making such further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the Executive Committee shall report its determination to the Society at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
        • 5.6.3 If the Executive Committee determines the Official has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest the Executive Committee shall recommend such disciplinary and corrective action as it deems appropriate. Such action may include, but not be limited to, the recommending of censure, suspension or removal.
        • 5.6.4 The Society shall determine the final disciplinary and corrective action by majority vote, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Society, and notice must be given with the notice of the meeting.
      • 5.7 If an Official discloses an actual conflict or possible conflict of interest, the Executive Committee may still recommend such disciplinary and corrective action as it deems appropriate. Such action may include, but not be limited to, the recommending of censure, suspension or removal due to the nature and severity of the conflict.
      • 5.8 Records.
        • 5.8.1 The names of each person who disclosed (or were otherwise were found to have) an actual or possible conflict of interest and the nature of each conflict of interest shall be recorded in the Society minutes.
        • 5.8.2 All other reports and all actions relating to actual or possible conflicts of interest and (including any votes on such actions) shall also be recorded in the Society minutes.

Proposed January 18, 2012.

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One Response to “Proposed Conflict of Interest Policy Available for Comment”

  1. My suggestions are two:

    1. The “executive committee” is not defined or codified elsewhere in the HSW docs. I think it should be defined elsewhere before it shows up in this policy.

    2. I know that 5.7 is under consideration for removal because it’s somewhat vague and redundant. I would second that recommendation; why would the EC discipline an official who discloses an actual or possible conflict?

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