CIWM Group Conflict of Interest Policy
Trustees of charities have a legal obligation under common law to act in the best interests of the charity they serve; and in accordance with the charity’s governing document, and to avoid situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest. Directors/trustees of charitable companies and Directors of a charity’s subsidiary companies are subject to the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 and have a legal duty to avoid conflicts of interest under s175 of the Companies Act 2006.
Trustees and Directors, generally, should not benefit from the legal entity within the CIWM Group to which they are appointed and should not be influenced by their wider interests when making decisions affecting that organisation.
Staff and volunteers have similar obligations.
Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of entities within the CIWM Group. Such conflicts may create problems; they can:
- inhibit free discussion;
- result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of the CIWM Group;
- risk the impression that the CIWM Group has acted improperly.
The purpose of this policy it to provide guidance to Trustees, directors, relevant staff and individuals on handling possible conflicts of interest and to protect both the Group and the individuals involved from any appearance of impropriety. Further information and guidance is also provided in Regulations Part V and Practice Direction 9 of the CIWM Constitution. Note that the provisions of the CIWM Constitution apply to “all Trustees, and to all other members of CIWM Group committees, panels, and boards of whatever constitution, including its subsidiary companies, whether they be members of the CIWM Group or non-members of the CIWM Group. This policy applies to all legal entities and organisations within the CIWM Group. It applies to the Trustees of CIWM (a charity); to Trustees of charitable companies; to Directors of subsidiary companies and to senior staff.
Under this policy, Trustees and senior staff declare their interests, and any gifts or hospitality offered and received in connection with their role in the CIWM Group. Where an individual believes they have a perceived or real conflict of interest they must:
- declare the interest at the earliest opportunity
- withdraw from discussions and decisions relating to the conflict.
The Chair of the meeting may expressly invite a person with a conflict of interest to remain in order to provide information. In this case then conflicted person may not participate in, or influence, the decision or any vote on the matter. They will not be counted in the quorum for that part of the meeting and must withdraw from the meeting during any vote on the conflicted item.
The full policy and its Annexes are available online.