Date for review: 01 Jan 2024

Reference:  ICYE UK – Conflict of Interest

Introduction and Aim

The aim of ICYE’s Conflict of Interest Policy is to identify the interests and activities of the Board of Trustees and staff which they consider may be interpreted as conflicting with the ethos and activities of ICYE or carry a risk of bias in the conduct of the individual’s duties on behalf of ICYE.

Conflicts of interest may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of ICYE and such conflicts may create problems.; they can:

  • inhibit free discussion
  • result in decisions or actions that are not in the best interests of ICYE
  • create the impression that ICYE has acted improperly.

The aim of this policy is to protect both ICYE and the individuals involved from any appearance of impropriety.

Who is covered by the Policy?

The policy applies to the following individuals:

1. All members of the Board of Trustees

2. All members of staff (both full time and part time)

Types of interests to be registered

The following are examples of interests which an individual should declare if the individual considers them to be relevant:

  • Current employment and any previous employment in which you continue to have a financial interest.
  • Appointments (voluntary or otherwise), e.g. trusteeships, directorships, local authority membership, tribunals, etc.
  • Membership of any professional bodies, trade or other association, special interest groups, external bodies or voluntary organisations.
  • A close family connection to a member of the Management Committee or member of staff of ICYE.
  • Investments in unlisted companies, partnerships and other forms of business, major shareholdings and beneficial interests. 
  • Gifts or hospitality offered to you by external bodies and whether this was declined or accepted in the last 12 months.
  • Any contractual relationship with the charity or its subsidiary.

This list is not exhaustive and individuals should declare any other conflicts that are not covered by the above. 

Declarations of interest

All individuals to whom this policy applies must compile a letter detailing said conflicts to the Chair of the Board of Trustees (or if the Chair themselves has a conflict, the Vice Chair(s)) and review its accuracy of the information on an annual basis and also when changes occur. 

Failure to declare a conflict of interest will result in an investigation by the Chair of the Board of Trustees (or if the Chair themselves has a conflict, the Vice Chair(s)) as appropriate and may result in action being taken against the individual concerned. 

Decision Making

ICYE-UK Trustees should not have any interests in conflict with those of the organisation, either in person or through family or business connections, nor any financial interest in a matter under discussion.

Where a conflict of interest exists or may exist, the individual is required to declare a conflict of interest by specifically notifying any such interest at any meeting where trustees are required to make a decision which affects or may affect their personal interest and by absenting themselves entirely from such decision-making/voting – usually by leaving the room (or virtual session), but always by taking no part in the discussion and/or vote. 

If the conflict is sufficiently serious or is likely to be prolonged, the trustee concerned may have to avoid attending Trustee Board meetings while the issue is resolved, or even resign her/his trusteeship. Such a decision will rest with the Board of Trustees based on a vote (with the member in question ineligible to vote in such matters).         

Situations where Interest may be unclear

If a trustee has an interest which does not, in the opinion of a clear majority of the rest of the trustees present at a meeting, create a real danger of bias but which might cause others to think that it could influence their decision, the trustee should still declare the nature of the interest, but may remain in the room and take part in the discussion and vote if s/he and other trustees feel this to be appropriate. 

It is recognised that there may be occasions on which correct procedure is harder to identify, and then trustees must remember their overriding duty to avoid conflict of interest and to act not in their own interests, but in the interests of ICYE as a whole and all its present and future beneficiaries.

If there is any doubt about any aspect of this Policy, trustees should consult the Chair at the earliest opportunity. If the Chair is unclear, advice should be taken from the Charity Commission.    

Recording of Interest

All declarations of dual interest or conflict of interest – real or potential – must be recorded in the minutes of Trustee Board meetings. 

Data Protection

The information provided will be processed in accordance with data protection principles as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018. Data will be processed only to ensure that the Board of Trustees and all staff follow this policy. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.