POLICY: Conflict of Interest
Applies to: Council & Team members, Paid Staff and Volunteers selected by the Moderator (hereinafter referred to as Volunteers)
Introduction: To take advantage of certain talents, skills, or interests of members, or non-members where permitted, those called to elected, paid or volunteer positions may sometimes have personal, political, business, or other interests, in real or perceived conflict with those of Our Congregation. While it is expected that persons in such positions will make decisions based on what is best for Our Congregation, adherence to the following should minimize any conflicts.
A) Withdraw: Out of sight and hearing of the applicable discussion and voting taking place;
B) Family: Spouse, parent (& in-law), child, sibling (& in-law), first cousin, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, betrothed, or significant other.
C) Friend: A non-family member, such as but not limited to, a close friend, coach, or co-worker for whom one has high esteem.
Annual Disclosure: Each member of the Council, Team, Paid Staff or Volunteer shall complete the Conflict of Interest Annual Disclosure Form at the first opportunity after the Annual Meeting. This will reveal:
A) Any known interests they or their family (see above) have in individuals, companies or organizations with which Our Congregation does business for which they may currently or someday receive compensation including, but not limited to, stock ownership, employment, or significant business dealings;
B) Any board memberships for other non-profit organizations;
C) All elected, paid and volunteer positions in which they or their family (see above) are serving;
Immediate Disclosure: As new situations occur between annual disclosures, each member shall reveal any additions to the above list as they become relevant without needing to redo the Annual Disclosure Form.
Determination of Conflict: To determine if there is potential real or perceivable conflict of interest:
A) The Council, Teams, and any Volunteer groups shall collectively review their individual member’s interests at the first opportunity after the Conflict of Interest Annual Disclosure Form is completed.
B) The Moderator shall review individual Volunteer’s (not in a group) and any paid staff’s interests. If the Moderator deems possible conflict, resolution shall be by the Council.
Resolution of Conflict: The Council, team or Volunteer group shall resolve the conflict by:
A) Noting the issue and any actions in their minutes;
B) Notify the individual Volunteer’s overseeing body to make note of it;
C) Directing the individual to withdraw (see above) from applicable discussion and voting;
D) Recommending, in extreme cases, that the individual resign.
Mandatory Withdrawal Conditions: Persons in elected, paid or volunteer positions shall withdraw (see above) when:
A) Issues pertaining to them or their family (see above) come before the Council, a Team or Volunteer group with the exception of performance appraisal presentations or hearings involving their dismissal. Example: Mary’s brother, who is paid to clean the church building, is having his hourly wage rate reviewed by the Property Team on which Mary serves. She should leave the discussion area until that matter is settled.
B) A friend (a person held in high esteem) or family member (see above) is one of the bidders under consideration to be awarded a business transaction from Our Congregation. This person may participate in exploration, recommend potential vendor(s), determine or help determine whether to pursue obtaining a contract or purchase but may not decide to whom the business is awarded.
Example: The Property Team wonders if the church building needs and can afford a new heating system. Joseph, a member of the Team, calls his long time friend, who is in the heating industry, to get some ideas and invites him to the next meeting. After the entire Team meets with Joseph’s friend they decide there are options that the church can afford. Because of the Purchasing Policy and because Joseph’s friend may be an interested party, the Property Team is required to seek bids for the project. The Team, Joseph included, writes up a “scope of services” document to give to the potential bidders; choose to whom the requests for a bid will go; and decides the criteria by which the decision will be made. At this point, if his friend submits a bid, Joseph shall withdraw (see above) from further discussion, including viewing the bids, and voting on this issue.
Paid Staff: Consideration is encouraged for Our Congregation’s members and attendees to fill paid positions for which they have the talent or skills necessary. Also;
A) Eligible Paid Staff individuals, except salaried pastors, may serve in other elected, volunteer or paid positions.
B) Individuals may hold multiple paid positions provided they do not exceed part time status.
Family Restriction: Only on the Council may there be as many as two from one family (see above) elected.