IBF Conflict of Interest Policy

     CONFLICT OF INTEREST

  1. INTRODUCTION

This document explains The Irish Bowls Federation Conflict of Interest Policy and the steps that must be taken when an interest is declared or discovered.  Each Executive Committee Member and employee must adhere to this policy. Any person who does not follow this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action

The Irish Bowls Federation aims to embrace a philosophy of disclosure and foster an attitude of openness and integrity (Nolan Principles). This document explains the Conflict of Interest Policy and attempts to deal with the issue in ways that are fair to Executive Committee Members and enable the organisation to function while protecting integrity and providing unbiased advice.

  • DEFINITIONS

The following provides a definition of words used throughout the document:

Conflict refers only to personal, established interest of the individuals covered by this policy and their immediate families, and not to philosophical or professional differences of opinion.

A Conflict of Interest would include, but not be limited to, direct or indirect interests of an Executive Committee Member or employee in:

  • A company, service or product that could be affected by a decision of

the Committee or other body;

  • A company or product that is in competition with a company, service or

product that could be affected by a decision of a Committee or other body;

  • Acceptance of any gift, entertainment, services, loans or promises of future benefits from any person or organisation that might benefit because of the individuals connection with The Irish Bowls Federation; and
  • Compensation in the form of fees or salaries if such payment results directly or indirectly from the Executive Committee Member or employee’s work with The Irish Bowls Federation.

Connected Person relates to significant others that may have an influence.

It may include the following:

  • Parents;
  • Spouse or partner;
  • Children and their spouse/partner;
  • Grandchildren and their spouse/partner;
  • Grandparents;
  • Brothers and their spouse/partner; and
  • Sisters and their spouse/partner.

3.  THE IRISH BOWLS FEDERATION POLICY

It is the policy of The Irish Bowls Federation that no Executive Committee Member/employee will take personal advantage of his or her role by allowing a situation to exist that may be construed as a conflict of interest. This includes while serving as a Committee Chair, Officer, Executive Committee Member or in another type of leadership capacity.

In addition, The Irish Bowls Federation intends to ensure with reasonable prudence that no Executive Committee Member creates the appearance of realising financial gain of any nature or amount from its actions.

It is also the intent to carry on activities in accordance with the highest ethical standards. Adoption of this Policy is, therefore, a reaffirmation of intent that those holding appointed leadership positions practice the highest ethical standards and give commitment to the organisation and its goals. Any activities which do not serve the Irish Bowls Federation best interest or which favour the personal advantage of another person or corporation are inconsistent with the duties and responsibilities owed to it.

The Irish Bowls Federation is committed to maintaining an honest, open and well-intentioned atmosphere within the organisation. It is therefore also committed to the elimination of any fraud and to the rigorous investigation of any such cases.

Executive Committee Members and employees should therefore not engage in any conduct or activity that might reasonably be interpreted by the general public as tending to adversely affect the performance of their duties. 

  • WHAT IS A RELEVANT INTEREST?

An interest should be declared if an individual considers it relevant to their duties and that there is therefore a risk of it being reasonably perceived as biasing their decisions while conducting their duties. The test is whether ‘an external observer, knowing the facts of the situation, would reasonably think that the person might be influenced by the interest’.

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive definition of circumstances, which necessarily give rise to a conflict of interest, but the following are examples of situations giving rise to perceived conflict of interest. The list is not exhaustive, and in any situation where an individual is uncertain as to the propriety of a given arrangement, advice may be sought from the Chair.

General Examples

  • A financial interest held by an individual (or by his or her immediate relative/s or household member/s) in an organisation; examples of such interests are paid consultancies, paid service on a board of directors or advisory board, equity holdings in or royalty income from an enterprise from which The Irish Bowls Federation buys a service. The existence of such an interest does not necessarily imply conflict, but is likely to give an appearance of conflict, and should be declared;
  • Any relationship with a named organisation with which The Irish Bowls Federation might do business. Such interests would include:
  • Ownership or part ownership;
    • Share-holdings;
    • Directorships;
    • Serving on a decision making local or national body;
    • Paid employment or previous employment with an organisation;
    • Trusteeship or governorship of or employment with, an organisation;
    • Memberships: membership of professional bodies, trade or other association, or external bodies; or
    • Family: specified close family interest in any of the above.

In all of the above, individuals are not expected to quantify the extent of a financial interest, merely the fact that one exists. The presumption is always in favour of declaring an interest.  If a person is in doubt whether to register an interest, they should declare it or consult with the Chairman.

  • REGISTERING AN INTEREST

The aim of creating a register is to identify those activities and interests, which individuals consider as carrying a risk of bias in the conduct of their duties.  The following process is therefore carried out in order to manage conflicts of interest:

Initial Registration

On joining The Irish Bowls Federation the following individuals are required to complete a Declaration of Interest form (Annex A) and submit the original to the Hon. Secreatry/Treasurer. (- person responsible for managing the register):

  • All Executive Committee Members;

Forms must be completed on an annual basis. In addition, as circumstances change, individuals must update their statements by informing the staff member responsible for managing the register within 28 days of becoming aware of the change.

  • REGISTER OF INTERESTS

The Secretary must record all Declaration of Interest forms once completed on the register of interests. The information on the register should include the following for each person registering:

  • Name;
  • Position held;
  • Nature of the declaration and any possible conflict of interest; and
  • Date and signature of the registrant.

The register should be updated annually via the declaration of interest forms.

The Secretary should maintain a database of interests and provide a referral service in relation to Executive Committee Members.

  • LIMITATIONS ON INVOLVEMENT AT MEETINGS

The Chairperson of the meeting will be identified as a facilitator for conflict issues.  It shall be his or her responsibility for conducting the process detailed below. The Secretary will be identified as the alternate facilitator to act when the facilitator is unavailable or in a position of conflict his or her self.

At the beginning of every meeting, the facilitator will ask whether any individuals present perceive a possible conflict of interest on any of the agenda items for themselves or for any other individuals.

The facilitator will use his or her judgement and decide if the declaration actually constitutes an interest in the planned business of the meeting.

If viewed by the facilitator that a conflict exists, the individual will be precluded from participation in any discussion of the issue (whether oral or written) and in decision-making.  The individual will be excluded from the portion of the meeting for which there is conflict by being asked to leave the meeting when the item may then be discussed.

The facilitator should ensure all details of conflict raised are recorded in the minutes of the meeting. 

  • UNDECLARED CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

Any failure to declare a relevant interest will be investigated by the Executive Committee Chairperson and Secretary.

  • CONFIDENTIALITY

Executive Committee Members are always free to declare a conflict, withdraw from a discussion of an issue, or decline from being involved in decision-making when they feel a conflict exists or could be perceived to exist.

Personal information disclosed in the context of the management of conflicts of interest, will be kept confidential.

ANNEX A

The Irish Bowls Federation Declaration of Interest Form

Section A

This form is to be completed by all Executive Committee Members of The Irish Bowls Federation and returned to the Secretary.  Where no interests are to be disclosed, please state “Not Applicable”.

Full Name:            ____________________________     

Position Held:        _____________________________

This section relates solely to interests of the above named person. For their partners or close relatives, where the interest is deemed to be relevant, please complete Section B below.

Note: Individuals are not expected to quantify the extent of a financial interest, merely the fact that one exists.  The presumption is always in favour of declaring an interest.

Memberships

 Name and address of ClubType of MembershipPosition Held (if any)Dates
Details of memberships held (i.e. club or association membership) which may be significant to, or relevant to, or bear upon the activities of The Irish Bowls Federation           

Section B – Persons Connected

 Name and address of BusinessNature of BusinessPosition HeldDates 
Details of memberships, employment and/or self- employment held which may be significant to, or relevant to, or bear upon the activities of The Irish Bowls Federation            

General Declaration of Interests

Do you, or persons connected with you have any other interests that you should report e.g.; a significant financial interest in or a contract with any company providing services to the Sports Council for Northern Ireland or in a field relevant to your discipline?

(In cases of doubt as to whether you have a disclosable interest please make the disclosure).

Yes           No 

If yes, please give details below:

 

DECLARATION

I declare that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the information I have given in this form is truthful, accurate and complete.  I undertake to notify the (staff member responsible for the register) in writing of any changes to this information within 28 days of any such change.

I undertake to ensure that, subject to approval of this Declaration, the interests that I have disclosed will not detrimentally affect my ability to carry out my duties as an Executive Committee Member.

In making this declaration I consent to the information contained in it being available for inspection in the Register of Interests, as required by The Irish Bowls Federation business activities.

Print Name ………………………………………….

Signed ………………………………………………

Date ………………………………………………

ANNEX B

Actions Prohibited

Prohibited

No Executive Committee Member or employee shall:

  • Participate in the discussion, selection or award, or influence a decision or

vote, regarding grants/contracts in which the Executive Committee Member/employee is known to have a conflict of interest;

  • Accept anything of value (e.g. money, service, gift, travel, entertainment,

promise) from an awardee or a prospective awardee;

  • Use the organisation to sell goods or services;
  • Hire family members;
  • Represent his or her personal opinion as that of the organisation;
  • Use the organisation for purposes related to their election to public office; 

Any Executive Committee Member or employee of the organisation who has a conflict of interest must not:

  • Participate in the discussion, screening, or selection process for

grants/contracts;

  • Vote on funding decisions;
  • Participate in contract negotiations, administration or evaluation of

grants/contracts.

Exceptions

Agencies with which Executive Committee Members are associated are not prohibited from presenting to The Irish Bowls Federation, or applying for contracts from the organisation, so long as Executive Committee Members do not share in the profits or receive compensation from those agencies.

  • If an Executive Committee Member discloses a conflict of interest, but the organisation believes the services rendered are of such benefit to, and in the general interest of, the public, an exception may be granted by a majority vote of the Board.
  • An Executive Committee Member or employee who has a developmental disability or who has a relationship or association with someone with a developmental disability shall not be construed as having a conflict of interest because of that disability, relationship or association.
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