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National Wildlife Refuge Association

Conflict Of Interest Policy

The integrity and best interests of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) require that NWRA’s resources be used in the most judicious manner and that NWRA’s goals are not compromised by misuse of these resources. Consequently, any potential conflict of interest involving a director, officer, employee or regional representative of NWRA must be disclosed fully, and on a timely basis, to the Board of Directors. 

Potential for conflict of interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an individual’s private interest interferes with the interests of NWRA. A conflict situation can arise when a director, officer, employee or regional representative takes actions or has interests that may compromise the objective and effective performance of his or her obligations to NWRA. Conflicts of interest also arise when a director, officer, employee or regional representative, or a member of his or her immediate family (spouse, ancestors and their spouses, descendants and their spouses), receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position with NWRA. Directors, officers, regional representatives and employees shall not have any financial or other relationships with suppliers, clients or competitors that would impair the independence of any judgment they may need to make on behalf of NWRA. In certain circumstances, NWRA may also be concerned about the appearance of a conflict of interest, even if no actual conflict has occurred. 

Reporting a potential conflict

When an undisclosed conflict of interest is suspected, the interested person shall call the potential conflict to the attention of the Chair of NWRA’s Conflict of Interest Committee (Chair). In addition, any Board member, officer, regional representative or employee who becomes aware of a potential conflict of interest involving another Board member, officer, regional representative or employee shall call it to the attention of the Chair. The interested person shall provide the Chair with any and all relevant information on the particular matter.

Response to a potential conflict

Within five business days of receipt of notice of a suspected conflict of interest, the Chair shall inform the other members of the Conflict of Interest Committee that a potential conflict of interest may exist. The Chair shall then undertake a timely and appropriate investigation, give his or her written opinion concerning the existence of a conflict, and make written recommendations for appropriate action to the entire Conflict of Interest Committee (Committee). The Committee shall then vote as to an appropriate action including dismissing the issue without further consideration or forwarding the appropriate action to the full Board of Directors if the issue regards a Board member or officer; or the President, if the issue regards a employee or regional representative. 

There shall be no adverse consequences to any person for adhering to the requirements of this Policy.

When the Committee votes to refer a potential conflict of interest to the Board, the matter shall be resolved by a vote of the Board, excluding the person concerned if a Board member. The interested person shall not be present during the discussion or decision on the matter. The Board shall be responsible for the ultimate disposition of potential conflict of interest. NWRA shall enter into no contract or financial arrangement or transaction in which a conflict of interest may exist without express approval of two-thirds of the Board members present and eligible to vote.

The minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors shall state that the potential conflict of interest was disclosed and state that the interested person, if a Board member, did not vote on the decision. The minutes will also state with specificity the decision reached by the Board and the basis for it.

Application of the policy

A copy of this conflict of interest statement shall be furnished to each Board member, officer, regional representative and employee who is currently serving NWRA and to those who hereafter become associated with it.  Each current Board member, officer, employee and regional representative shall sign the attached Acknowledgment and deliver the signed original to the President, who shall maintain a file of all such originals. Each new Board member, officer, employee and regional representative shall sign the Acknowledgment and deliver it to the President at the time of election or hiring, as applicable. 

This policy shall be reviewed by the Board annually and distributed to NWRA employees and regional representatives. Each Board member, officer, employee and regional representative shall provide the President with a signed Acknowledgement within a month of the beginning of each new fiscal year.

The failure of any employee or regional representative to strictly comply with the terms of this conflict of interest policy shall be deemed grounds for probation, suspension, or dismissal.  Any Board member failing to comply with this policy will be asked to resign from the Board of Directors.

This policy was approved by the Board of Directors on June 5, 2009, and reapproved on June 25, 2010.

National Wildlife Refuge Association

Conflict Of Interest Policy

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

I have received and reviewed the NWRA Conflict of Interest Policy.  I hereby agree to be bound by the terms of this Policy, and further affirm that during the past year no actions on my part have created a situation in which a conflict of interest has occurred.  Furthermore, I have set forth below any information regarding myself or members of my immediate family (spouse, ancestors and their spouses, descendants and their spouses) that may be required to be disclosed to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the year ahead. 

Dated: __________________ ____________________________________

Signature

____________________________________

Name (printed)

Information regarding potential conflict or appearance of conflict (if none, please state “none.”)

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Chair of NWRA’s Conflict of Interest Committee and contact information:

Please return your signed acknowledgment to:

President

National Wildlife Refuge Association

1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC  20036

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