Conflict of Interest Policy

This policy applies to Trustees and all volunteers.

 

Why we have a Policy

Trustees have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of PSC Support, and in accordance with PSC Support’s governing document, and to avoid situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest.

 

Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of PSC Support. Such conflicts may create problems; they can:

  • inhibit free discussion;
  • result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of PSC Support; and
  • risk the impression that PSC Support has acted improperly.
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The aim of this policy is to protect both PSC Support and the individuals involved from any appearance of impropriety. It is important that we are open and honest in all matters presented to the board of Trustees where a personal or business relationship may be perceived to impact adversely on (or simply influence) the work of PSC Support.

 

The Declaration of Interests

Accordingly, we are asking Trustees and volunteers to declare their interests, and any gifts or hospitality received in connection with their role in PSC Support. A declaration of interests form is provided for this purpose, listing the types of interest you should declare.

 

To be effective, the declaration of interests needs to be updated at least annually, and also when any changes occur. If you are not sure what to declare, or whether/when your declaration needs to be updated, please err on the side of caution. If you would like to discuss this issue, please contact the Chair for confidential guidance. This register of interests shall also be used to record all gifts received by the trustees and staff. Interests and gifts will be recorded on the charity’s register of interests, which will be maintained by PSC Support’s Secretary. The register will be accessible by the Trustees.

 

Data Protection

The information provided will be processed in accordance with data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Data will be processed only to ensure that Trustees and volunteers act in the best interests of PSC Support. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.

 

What to do if you face a Conflict of Interest

If you are a user of PSC Support’s services, or the carer of someone who uses PSC Support’s services, you should not be involved in decisions that directly affect the service that you, or the person you care for, receive(s). You should declare your interest at the earliest opportunity and withdraw from any subsequent discussion. The same applies if you face a conflict for any other reason.

 

You may, however, participate in discussions from which you may indirectly benefit, for example where the benefits are universal to all users, or where your benefit is minimal.

 

If you fail to declare an interest that is known to PSC Support’s secretary and/or PSC Support’s Chair, PSC Support’s secretary or Chair will declare that interest.

 

Decisions taken where a Trustee or Volunteer has an Interest

In the event of the board having to decide upon a question in which a trustee or member of staff has an interest, all decisions will be made by vote, with a simple majority required. A quorum must be present for the discussion and decision; interested parties will not be counted when deciding whether the meeting is quorate. Interested board members may not vote on matters affecting their own interests.

All decisions under a conflict of interest will be recorded by the charity secretary and reported in the minutes of the meeting. The report will record:

• the nature and extent of the conflict;

• an outline of the discussion;

• the actions taken to manage the conflict.

 

Where a trustee benefits from the decision, this will be reported in the annual report and accounts in accordance with the current Charities SORP.

 

All payments or benefits in kind to trustees will be reported in the charity’s accounts and annual report, with amounts for each trustee listed for the year in question.

 

Where a member of PSC Support’s volunteers is connected to a party involved in the supply of a service or product to the charity, this information will also be fully disclosed in the annual report and accounts.

 

Independent external moderation will be used where conflicts cannot be resolved through the usual procedures.

 

Managing Contracts

If you have a conflict of interest, you must not be involved in managing or monitoring a contract in which you have an interest. Monitoring arrangements for such contracts will include provisions for an independent challenge of bills and invoices, and termination of the contract if the relationship is unsatisfactory.

 

April 2012

 

Conflict of Interest Policy

Declaration Form

Conflict of Interest Declaration Form