POLICY on CONFLICT OF INTEREST
What is a Conflict of Interest?
A conflict of interest arises where you have a personal interest that directly conflicts or might conflict or may be perceived to conflict with the interests of the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS), and/or a conflict that directly conflicts or might conflict or may be perceived to conflict with your duties and responsibilities as a member of the Board of Directors of TAIS. However, as TAIS recognizes that the members and staff of an artist-run-centre may have interests as individual artists and/or involvements with other artist-run-centres and organizations, these multiple involvements are what create our community and do not necessarily represent a conflict of interest but may constitute a “benefit from interest” manageable by disclosure and arm’s length practices.
Scope of TAIS COI policy
This policy applies to all staff, committee members, and members of TAIS Board of Directors. All staff, committee members, and members of the board of TAIS have an obligation to carry out the functions and activities of their roles with the highest level of integrity, consistency and transparency, in a professional and ethical manner, ensuring adherence to the principles and ethics, outlined in TAIS Code of Conduct.
Actual or perceived COI should be declared at the earliest possible opportunity, and must be brought to the attention of TAIS board as a written or verbal declaration during a meeting of the Board of Directors. Declaring COI is a part of the agenda for all TAIS Board of Director meetings.
Where an actual or perceived COI is declared, the board member(s) and/or committee member(s) and/or staff(s) involved must recuse themselves from the meeting so that those remaining may discuss the matter and any proposed procedures arising. The members or staff may return to the meeting once the discussion has concluded.
Procedures pertaining to COI
Possible procedural consequences of an actual or perceived COI may include a requirement to: recuse from meetings in which the subject/issue/event in which the actual or perceived COI is being discussed or deliberated; abstain from further activity related to the COI; or dismissal or leave from the board or committee(s). For COI with staff, the Human Resources committee must consult on appropriate action.
Responsibilities pertaining to COI
Avoiding COI is the responsibility of staff and all members of TAIS committees and board of directors. To meet this obligation, staff, committee members, and members of the board of directors are expected to:
• Base decisions in the best interests of the organization.
• Ensure that board and committee members derive no financial benefit (whether direct or indirect – excluding reimbursement for eligible expenses) from their position, and avoid any situation that may create, or appear to create, a COI for the organization.
• Disclose all COI, and report the nature and extent of the COI in a timely and meaningful manner so as not to put the organization at risk.
Types of COI
A COI could arise in relation to a staff or committee/board member’s involvement in matters including but not limited to:
• Proposals/submissions to present an artistic work or project and/or present/teach a technical skills development workshop as part of TAIS programming, where the staff, committee member, or board member does not declare the COI and/or take steps to limit or avoid the (actual or perceived) COI thereby placing the organization at risk.
• Undisclosed professional or personal associations/relationships with other organizations/groups with whom TAIS is involved
• Undisclosed employment with organizations or individuals with whom TAIS is involved.
• Undisclosed personal associations or family relationships, obligations or commitments, relationships or interests that may conflict, or may be perceived to conflict with duties as staff, and/or as a committee member, and/or as a member of the Board of Directors.
* It is recognized that TAIS board/committee members and staff may have interests and involvements with other art centres and organizations. These multiple involvements are what constitute our artist-run community and do not necessarily represent a COI. TAIS board/committee members and staff are asked to disclose their involvements at the earliest possible date.
Approved by the Board of Director so f the Toronto Animated Image Society: February 11, 2017. Amended and approved by the Board of Directors of the Toronto Animated Image Society: October 4, 2017