1. Rationale or background to policy:
Conflicts of interest may arise from time to time in the affairs of Thunder Bay Nordic Trails (TBNT) where the private interests of individuals interfere with their official duties and responsibilities. The conflicts may be real or they may simply be perceived. In either case, TBNT must endeavour to protect itself, its volunteers and its employees from potential legal difficulties and from poor public relations by observing an open and transparent policy that is widely circulated.
The following paragraphs outline principles and examples that should provide sound guidance for avoiding or resolving potential conflicts. Good judgement will also be required in the application of the principles.
2. Policy Statement:
The aim of the policy is to enhance public confidence in the integrity of TBNT, its volunteers and employees, and to afford legal protection to the Association, its volunteers and employees by establishing clear rules of conduct respecting conflict of interest.
The basic principle is that neither benefits received nor the private interests of individuals should influence or be perceived to influence the objectivity and impartiality of their judgements in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Supporting and amplifying principles are as follows:
- Volunteers and employees shall perform their official duties in a manner that will conserve and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of TBNT.
- Volunteers and employees should not have private interests that would be affected by TBNT actions in which they participate.
- Volunteers and employees shall not solicit or accept transfers of economic benefit, other than incidental gifts, customary hospitality, or other benefits of nominal value, from persons or organizations having dealings with TBNT unless the transfer is pursuant to an enforceable contract or property right of the volunteer or employee. Such benefits may be accepted with the written consent of TBNT.
- Volunteers and employees must take care to avoid placing TBNT or themselves under obligation to any person or organization that might profit from special consideration on the part of TBNT, its volunteers and employees.
Volunteers and employees can comply with the policy by:
- avoiding activities or situations that would place them in a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest relative to their official duties and responsibilities;
- providing to TBNT a written statement indicating ownership of an asset, or receipt of a gift, hospitality or other benefit where conflict of interest may or may not be perceived to be an issue; and
- where continued ownership would constitute a conflict of interest, divesting themselves of an asset or placing it in trust.
Volunteers and employees should not participate in decisions from which they or their immediate family may derive a benefit, either directly or indirectly. Where discussions related to such decisions take place, volunteers and employees must identify their potential conflict(s) of interest and refrain from participating in the discussion and decision. A record of the nature and extent of the conflict of interest and the participation or abstention of the concerned individual in the discussion should be entered into the record of the meeting.
In the situation where a conflict of interest is likely to arise due to the supply of goods or services by a volunteer or employee to TBNT, proper and open tendering procedures must be followed. In such instances, negotiation of contracts for goods, services or employment should be reviewed by the Board of Directors to ensure that all potential conflicts are identified and resolved. A volunteer or employee may still receive a contract as long as all those making the decision are aware of the potential conflict and the decision is impartial.