The Canadian Association of Research Administrators – Conflict of Interest Policy

  
1.0 Purpose

The intent of this policy is to support conduct that aligns with, and maintains our members’ and stakeholders’ confidence and trust while advancing the goals of our association. This policy is also intended to protect members and stakeholders by providing guidelines and processes to identify, preclude and/or resolve situations that could otherwise place them in ethically questionable positions or reflect negatively on their integrity. By reflecting on and declaring potential or perceived conflicts of interest, members and stakeholders protect themselves and CARA.

Definitions

A “Conflict of Interest” is any situation in which a CARA volunteer, including Board members, by virtue of his/her position, has or may be perceived to have, (by a reasonable person in all circumstances), a private or personal interest that results in the following:

• The possibility of objectivity in his/her exercise of CARA duties being influenced to the detriment of CARA or its stakeholders and/or;

• A gain or advantage or preferential treatment to the CARA volunteer or his/her family members or close friends to the detriment of CARA or those having dealings with CARA.

A "stakeholder" includes CARA members, partners, sponsors, collaborators, suppliers, customers, and other members of the community.

 

2.0 Declaring and Resolving Conflicts of Interest

2.1 

Preamble: Possible duality of interest is intrinsic to any situation in which individuals in decision-making roles are chosen for their expertise, leadership in their profession or, their specialized representation of specific community or institutional interests such as occurs with ex-officio appointments.  This duality of interest may be beneficial to and supportive of CARA's objectives.

2.2 

Board Members and Members of Committees of the Board

Board members and members of committees of the board who believe themselves to be in conflict with respect to issues before the Board or any of its committees must declare the conflict before the issue is discussed. Each meeting of the board or any of its committees will contain a standing provision for such declarations. Where the board member or member of a committee of the board has declared a conflict, that member may, at the discretion of the Board, be permitted to participate in the discussion or, instructed to be absent during the discussion. In either case, the person will not vote on the matter under consideration and, for purposes of that matter, not be included in the count for a quorum.

Recognizing that conflicts of interest may be subtle, board members are encouraged to alert fellow board members and members of committees of the board of their potential or perceived conflicts. The board or committee member who has been advised of a potential conflict will self-declare to the President or the Chair of any relevant board committees he/she interacts with, to rule on the possible conflict. Conflicts resolved at the committee level will be reported to the full Board.

If the board determines that a board or committee member has not declared and/or satisfactorily resolved a conflict of interest situation, the board will assess the extent to which the duty of honest, loyal and faithful service has been breached in its consideration of the need for redress. Breaches that are deemed by the board to be severe may result in the removal of the member from the Board or the respective committee.

A "stakeholder" includes CARA members, partners, sponsors, collaborators, suppliers, customers, and other members of the community.

 

3.0 Other Volunteers

3.1

Volunteers are responsible for declaring potential conflicts to the immediate supervisor (a committee chair, staff member or President).  It is the responsibility of the supervisor, in consultation with the most appropriate level of authority, to determine whether a conflict exists and take steps to resolve it.

Recognizing that conflicts of interest may be subtle, board members are encouraged to alert fellow board members and members of committees of the board of potential conflicts. The volunteer who has been advised of a potential conflict will declare the possible conflict to the supervisor who will proceed as noted above.

If the board determines that a volunteer has failed to declare and/or satisfactorily resolved a conflict of interest situation, the board will assess the extent to which the obligation of transparent and faithful service has been breached in its consideration of the need for redress. Breaches deemed by the board to be severe could result in the termination of the volunteer's role.

  

Approved by the CARA Executive Board: 14 March 2016