CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

A. Introduction

Personnel should avoid situations that create or appear to create conflicts between their personal interests and the interests of the YE. All Decisions made by Personnel in the course of their professional responsibilities to the YE are to be made solely on the basis of their desire to promote the best interests of the YE. If an individual's personal interests might lead an independent observer reasonably to question whether the individual's actions or decisions on behalf of the YE are influenced by those personal interests, the individual should recues himself or herself from the decision making process and notify the responsible YE officials, as described in more detail in this policy. In the event that Personnel have a significant financial, personal or professional interest that could potentially create a conflict of interest or the perception of one in any transaction involving the YE, such person shall, as soon as he or she has knowledge of the transaction, take the following actions:

  1. Disclosure. Disclose fully in writing (email is permissible) the precise nature of his or her interest in such transaction to those at the YE involved with the transaction, or to his or her Executive Director, Principal, Directors and Management committee and
  2. Non-Participation. Refrain from participation (including acting individually or as a member of a committee or other group) in the YE's consideration of the proposed transaction unless expressly permitted to do so by a responsible authority of the YE.

B. Definitions

For purposes of this policy:

"The YE" shall mean all of YOUTH EDUCARE. "Significant financial interest" shall mean any direct or indirect interest with monetary value, including but not limited to:

  1. salary, other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees or honoraria), royalties or other payments that, when aggregated for the individual and the individual's spouse over the next twelve months, are expected to exceed £2000.00;
  2. Intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights). Personnel’s intellectual property rights for work created at the YE or using YE resources.
  3.  The term "significant financial interest" does not include:
  • salary, royalties, or other remuneration from the YE; or
  • any other income

E. Compliance

All persons subject to this policy are expected to comply fully and promptly with it. Instances of deliberate breach of policy, including failure to file or knowingly filing incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure forms, violation of the guidelines, failure to comply with prescribed monitoring procedures, will be reported to the appropriate senior officer.

All known violations, disputes and other issues arising out of the application of this policy to employees shall be referred to the President for appropriate action.

V. Examples

  1. A friend of a YE employee asks for a favor. Her child is a student at the YE. The friend would like to know the student’s grades, but the student has not given the parent permission. The YE employee agrees to tell the friend her child’s grades. This violates the policy. The employee is responsible for keeping confidential YE information confidential.
  2. An administrator is purchasing computer software for the YE. The software company sends the administrator a contract to sign. The administrator does not understand everything in the contract, but signs it anyway because he needs the software immediately. This violates the policy. The administrator is responsible for understanding the requirements of the contracts he signs on behalf of the YE, and for consulting legal counsel when he does not understand the contract.
  3. A donor makes a significant gift to the YE on January 1. The YE officer agrees to date the gift receipt December 31, so that the donor can get the tax deduction in the previous year. This violates the policy. The officer must create accurate records on behalf of the YE.
  4. A general member supports a candidate for governor. She sends a letter to the ED explaining why she supports the candidate. This violates the policy. YE letterhead may only be used for YE business, and the faculty member’s expression of her personal opinion is not YE business. Furthermore, YE resources cannot be used to support or oppose a candidate for public office.
  5. A faculty member supports a candidate for governor. He invites the candidate to speak to his class. This may be permissible, depending on the circumstances. The faculty member should be sure that the candidate’s remarks are relevant to the subject of the class. The faculty member should insure that the candidate does not use the class to support her candidacy or oppose that of another. The faculty member should be sensitive to the YE’s reputation for fairness and integrity, perhaps by ensuring that candidates with opposing views are also invited to speak to the class.
  6. An employee sells Avon products in her free time. She uses her YE telephone to make a quick call confirming that evening’s appointment with a client. This may be permissible, depending on the circumstances. In general, employees may not make non-YE use of YE resources. However, occasional, de minimise use that has no financial or operational impact is permissible.
  7. An employee sells Avon products in her free time. She puts her YE email and telephone number on her marketing materials, spends about half an hour a day responding to client calls and emails, and occasionally invites clients to view new product lines in her department’s conference room. This violates the policy. The use is more than occasional and de minimis, and is likely to have an operational impact on the YE.
  8. An employee gets two cinema tickets from an old friend. This is permissible. It is not a “gift” within the meaning of the policy so long as the old friend is not seeking a decision by, or a relationship with, the YE.
  9. A faculty member who assists the admissions office in reviewing applicants’ creative work gets two cinema tickets from an old friend whose child has applied to the YE. This violates the policy. Employees may not accept a gift from someone who seeks a decision by, or a relationship with, the YE, unless the gift falls within a specific exception. There is no exception that covers Red Sox tickets under these circumstances.
  10. Under no circumstances may a YE employee accept a gift involving payment of travel or lodging expenses from someone who seeks a relationship with or a decision by the YE.
  11. Employees may accept food and beverages offered as a gesture of common courtesy even from those seeking a relationship with, or a decision by, the YE.
  12. The parents of a student send a faculty member a gold Cartier fountain pen just before final grades are due. This may not be permissible, depending on the circumstances. Employees may accept social or ceremonial gifts in connection with their YE duties in situations where it is awkward or impolite to decline. However, the YE expects employees to exercise restraint and good judgment in accepting social or ceremonial gifts, and to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. The timing of the gift and final grades may create the appearance of impropriety. Finally, where the value of the gift is estimated to be £50 or more, YE employees must either decline or return the gift, or accept it on behalf of the YE and give it to the ED so it may be properly acknowledged as a gift to the YE.
  13. The department timekeeper notices that his supervisor marks himself present on his time sheets when he is in fact absent. The timekeeper is uncomfortable and reports this to Human Resources. At the timekeeper’s annual review, the supervisor gives the timekeeper a low evaluation and withholds a pay raise. This may violate the policy if the supervisor’s actions are due to the timekeeper’s report, rather than his performance of his job. Employees are encouraged to make good faith reports of suspected violations of this policy, such as falsifying YE records, and employees may not retaliate against someone who makes a good faith report. If someone is absent, a colleague should not write present in his or her time sheet on behalf of the college.
  14. A YE employee needs a graphic designer for a YE project. She contracts with her friend’s son, who is trying to build his graphic design business. This may violate the policy. The employee must make contract decisions solely on the basis of what is best for the YE, not on the basis of aiding a friend’s son. Even if the friend’s son is a competent and cost-effective graphic desire, the YE employee should disclose the personal relationship, as the policy directs, to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.
  15. A YE employee must disclose the family relationship, as the policy directs, to avoid a conflict of interest.

 

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