[approved May 22, 2019]
The purpose of the Conflict of Interest policy is to clarify the Church’s decision making process when contemplating using its resources in a way that might benefit the private, personal, professional, or business interests of one or more of its members.
All decision makers must scrupulously avoid any conflict between their personal, professional, or business interests, and the interests of the Church. No decision maker may use or influence the use of the Church’s financial or other resources for personal benefit or for any other purpose than the achievement of goals in the best interest of the Church.
This policy applies to any Church staff, member, friend, or participant (“decision maker”) who participates directly or indirectly in a decision regarding use of Church resources, including, but not restricted to, financial resources. Such decisions include, but are not restricted to, decisions about: the sale, purchase, lease, rental, or use of any property or asset; employment or rendition of services; awarding of contracts; and investments of Church funds.
A “conflict of interest” (COI) exists when a decision maker, or a close associate or family member, will or could derive benefit of a personal, professional, or business nature, from the results of a decision about how to use Church resources. Such benefit is understood to be apart from any general benefit as a Church member, and includes, but is not restricted to: financial gain; furthering of business interests; or accrual of such benefits for family members or close associates.
In the context of any decision being contemplated, any decision maker having a COI, or the appearance thereof, with respect to that decision must:
1. Disclose the COI in writing to other decision makers, if any, and the Board of Trustees, and,
2.Remove themselves from all participation in, or influence on, the decision making process, including participating in or being present for, discussion about the decision, or, in the case of the appearance of a COI, provide a written justification to the other decision makers showing that a COI does not in fact exist.
If there are no other decision makers, the decision must not proceed and must be taken up with the Board of Trustees.
The disclosure statement in (1) must include at least: name, date, capacity in which the COI arises (e.g., committee chair), decision under contemplation, and description of the nature of the conflict.
E.Burden of Disclosure
The burden to identify and disclose the conflict lies with the decision maker who has the COI. It is specifically not the responsibility of any other decision maker, or any other body, to investigate or discover any COI.