Kinookimaw Resident’s Association (KRA)
Board of Directors
Conflict of Interest Policy
This policy is effective August 8, 2016 as approved the Board of Directors of the Kinookimaw Resident’s Association.
This policy applies to all elected Directors of the KRA Board.
Definition of conflict of interest
A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties as a Director of the KRA Board.
It is worth noting how broad the concept is. Conflict of interest is not just about money. It is about the presence of factors — any factors — that a reasonable person might think is likely to bias a decision-maker’s judgment. &
The definition includes three types of conflict of interest:
Real conflict of interest exists when the private interest of a Director adversely affects the interests or integrity of KRA, the residents’ trust and confidence in KRA, or when a Director uses his or her position to advance his or her private interest;
Perceived conflict of interest exists when a well-informed person might reasonably believe that a conflict of interest exists;
Potential conflict of interest exists when a Director’s private interest could result in a real conflict of interest in the future.
All three types of conflict of interest – real, perceived and potential – are covered by this definition. One type is not worse than another. All are considered to be conflicts and are subject to the policy. Appearance is just as important as reality.
For a conflict of interest to exist there does not need to have been any wrongdoing committed, harm caused or advantage realized. The existence of a conflict is independent of any actual adverse impact. Sound management is about disclosing the conflict and then removing or mitigating it before any adverse impact occurs.
Preventing conflicts of interest is always preferable to assessing and mitigating them after they occur. Err on the side of caution. Look at your private interests through the eyes of the residents, the general public, or the media. Would it look like a conflict of interest to them, even though you know that you have not done anything wrong?
Dealing with a conflict of interest
To determine if a conflict of interest exists, the KRA President will gather as much information as possible about the situation, the individual involved, and the history. The President will interview the person who disclosed the conflict of interest and anyone else who seems relevant, to determine the precise nature, extent and impact of the conflict, including the details of any financial or other benefit gained by the Director or a related person, or of any harm or wrongdoing.
This is not about whether harm has been done – it is about whether a conflict of interest exists.
To determine the level of risk, consider the seriousness of the harm, wrongdoing or advantage that could result from the conflict of interest if left unmitigated. Rate the risk as low, medium or high. This rating is not about whether the conflict of interest is real, perceived, or potential – but rather about its actual or possible impact - the level of harm, wrongdoing or unfair advantage that has or could result.
The recommended process for dealing with a conflict of interest is:
Individual Directors should recognize that a real, perceived, or potential conflict of interest may exist;
The Director should disclose it to the KRA President in advance of the meeting at which the relevant matter is being discussed. If the conflict is disclosed by the President, he or she will advise the Vice-President. The item will be added to the beginning of the agenda for the Board to assess the available information, discuss the matter, and determine if a conflict of interest exists; and,
If a majority vote of the Board determines that a conflict of interest exists, the affected Director will not participate in the discussion and remove himself/herself from the decision-making process. The Director may return to the meeting following deliberation of the relevant matter.
All matters discussed by the Board, including any matters relating to conflict of interest, should be kept confidential.
This policy should be reviewed on an annual basis, or more often if required, to ensure it remains relevant to the needs of the Kinookimaw Resident’s Association.