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This policy applies to trustees, staff and volunteers

Why we have a policy

Trustees have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of, and in accordance with RAISE GAMBIA’s governing objectives and situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest.

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

inhibit free discussion

result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of RAISE GAMBIA

risk the impression that RAISE GAMBIA has acted improperly.

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

The declaration of interests

Accordingly, we are asking trustees, staff and volunteers to declare their interests, and any gifts or hospitality offered and received in connection with their role in RAISE GAMBIA. A declaration of interests form is provided for this purpose, listing the types of interest you should declare.

To be effective, the declaration of interests needs to be updated at least annually, and when any material changes occur.

If you are not sure what to declare, or whether/when your declaration needs to be updated, please err on the side of caution.

This register of interests shall be used to record all gifts of a value over £40 and hospitality over £40 received by the trustees and staff. Interests and gifts will be recorded on the charity’s register of interests.

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 trustees, staff and volunteers act in the best interests of RAISE GAMBIA. The information provided will not be used for any other purpose.

What to do if you face a conflict of interest

If you believe you have a perceived or real conflict of interest you should:

• declare the interest at the earliest opportunity
• withdraw from discussions and decisions relating to the conflict.

The charity secretary should take special care to ensure that minutes or other documents relating to the item presenting a conflict are appropriately redacted for the person facing the conflict. A balance needs to be made to ensure that the person still receives sufficient information about the activities of the charity generally without disclosing such sensitive information that could place the individual in an untenable position.

If you are a user of RAISE GAMBIA’s services, or the carer of someone who uses RAISE Gambia’s services, you should not be involved in decisions that directly affect the service that you, or the person you care for, receive(s). You should declare your interest at the earliest opportunity and withdraw from any subsequent discussion, unless expressly invited to remain in order to provide information. In this case you may not participate in, or influence, the decision or any vote on the matter. You will not be counted in the quorum for that part of the meeting and must withdraw from the meeting during any vote on the conflicted item.

If you fail to declare an interest that is known to the Treasurer and/or the Chair of Trustees the Treasurer or Chair will declare that interest.

Decisions taken where a trustee or member of staff has an interest

In the event of the board having to decide upon a question in which a trustee or member of staff has an interest, all decisions will be made by vote, with a simple majority required. A quorum must be present for the discussion and decision; interested parties will not be counted when deciding whether the meeting is quorate. Interested board members may not vote on matters affecting their own interests

All decisions under a conflict of interest will be recorded by the meeting secretary and reported in the minutes of the meeting. The report will record:

• the nature and extent of the conflict
• an outline of the discussion
• the actions taken to manage the conflict.

All payments or benefits in kind to trustees will be reported in the charity’s accounts and annual report, with amounts for each trustee listed for the year in question.

Where a member of RAISE GAMBIA’s staff are connected to a party involved in the supply of a service or product to the charity, this information will be fully disclosed in the annual report and accounts.

Independent external moderation will be used where conflicts cannot be resolved through the usual procedures.

Managing contracts

If you have a conflict of interest, you must not be involved in managing or monitoring a contract in which you have an interest. Monitoring arrangements for such contracts will include provisions for an independent challenge of bills and invoices, and termination of the contract if the relationship is unsatisfactory.

Trustee declaration of interests form (England & Wales)

I ......... as employee/trustee* [*delete as appropriate] of ...... [name of organisation] have set out below my interests in accordance with the organisation’s conflicts of interest policy.

To the best of my knowledge, the above information is complete and correct. I undertake to update as necessary the information provided, and to review the accuracy of the information on an annual basis. I give my consent for it to be used for the purposes described in the conflicts of interest policy and for no other purpose.