WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

White's Residential & Family Services is Indiana's largest social services agency offering accredited and comprehensive residential, foster care, independent living, adoption, and home-based services.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Ulysses Arteaga, L.C.S.W.

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; EPPA; Marine Reviewer; Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

The Consuelo Foundation 2012 Peer Reviewer of the Year, Mr. Arteaga conducts two to three site visits a year, often volunteering for visits that require a Spanish speaking peer.
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Purpose 

The organization earns and sustains the public trust through honest, truthful, and responsible transactions, partnerships, and relationships with individuals, communities, providers, businesses, donors, and government entities.

FOC
ETH 2: Conflict of Interest

The organization prevents the enrichment of insiders and other abuses through the adoption and enforcement of a conflict of interest policy consistent with state laws and regulations.

Interpretation: COA does not provide a definition of “conflict of interest,” and expects an organization’s policy to do so.

Note: The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, Interim Report, Section 4, Conflict of Interest Policy Disclosure contains a useful description of the Conflict of Interest issue. References to the Internal Revenue Code note that the Code defines a conflict of interest and that: “All states mandate that directors and officers owe a duty of loyalty to the organization, and improperly benefiting from a transaction involving a conflict of interest more than likely involves a violation of the duty of loyalty. Some state statutes specifically penalize participation in transactions involving conflicts of interests unless the organization follows certain prescribed procedures.”

Note: Please see Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure Template - Private, Public, Canadian, Network for additional assistance with this standard.

Rating Indicators
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the ETH 2 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement as noted in the ratings for the ETH 2 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the ETH 2 Practice standards; e.g., 
  • Conflict of interest policy provides minimal guidance to stakeholders due to lack of specificity, significant missing elements, significant stakeholders not covered; or
  • Minor conflict of interest concerns are noted.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the ETH 2 Practice standards; e.g.,
  • Significant conflict of interest concerns have been reported.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Conflict of interest policy and procedures
    • Network Management Manual
    • Network utilization data to review referral and utilization patterns
    • Bylaws
    • Governing body minutes
    • Governing body and/or committee meeting minutes documenting discussions of potential and apparent conflicts of interest
    • Most recent audit
    • Network client files to review reasons for referrals to particular providers
    • Interview:
      1. CEO
      2. Board Chair
      3. Treasurer
      4. Advisory/Governing Body
      5. CFO/fiscal director
      6. Persons served/community members
      7. Personnel
    • Network Interview:
      1. Network Advisory Body
      2. Directors of organizations that contract with the managing entity
      3. Network personnel involved in assessments and referral

  • ETH 2.01

    A conflict of interest policy is tailored to the organization’s specific needs and characteristics, and:

    1. defines conflict of interest;
    2. identifies groups of individuals within the organization covered by the policy;
    3. addresses transactions between governing body members, advisory group members, owners, staff, and the organization;
    4. addresses policy enforcement;
    5. provides a framework for evaluating situations that may constitute a conflict; and
    6. invests management with developing procedures that facilitate disclosure of information to prevent and manage potential and apparent conflicts of interest.

    Interpretation: The conflict of interest policy, the organization’s bylaws, and/or the board manual should require governing body or advisory group members to recuse themselves on matters where their objectivity would be compromised. The standard does not require an exhaustive list of conflict situations, but the policy should provide a framework for determining when a situation constitutes conflict.

    Interpretation: If the conflict of interest policy requires signatures of board members and staff, these signed forms should be available with the policy. 

    Interpretation: The organization should note that establishing and enforcing a conflict of interest policy is an important safeguard for organizations against unethical or illegal practices, and that the Form 990 for charitable organizations requests disclosure of the adoption of a conflict of interest policy.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization has implemented a conflict of interest policy as per the requirements of the standard. 
    2
    There is written policy that is accessible and followed by stakeholders, but it lacks comprehensiveness or clarity; e.g.,
    • Two of the elements are not fully addressed; or
    • One element is not addressed at all.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • The policy provides minimal guidance to stakeholders due to lack of specificity; or
    • Stakeholders are unaware of the policy; or
    • At least three of the elements are not fully developed or two of the elements are not developed at all.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • No policy exists; or
    • Policy is not enforced or is ignored in practice.

  • ETH 2.02

    Conflict of interest policies and procedures ensure that contracts and business arrangements serve the organization’s and service recipient’s best interests, not private interests.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Policy lacks clarity about how the separation of private interests versus organizational interests is defined and enforced, e.g., the policy does not clearly define private interests.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • Policy and/or procedures need significant strengthening; or
    • Stakeholders are unaware of the policy or procedures; or
    • Policy is not routinely enforced.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • There is evidence of business decisions serving private interests over the best interests of the organization and service recipients.

  • ETH 2.03

    Organization members, community partners, governing body and advisory group members, personnel, and consultants who have a financial interest in the organization’s assets, business transactions, leases, or professional services:

    1. disclose this information; and
    2. do not participate in any discussion or vote taken with respect to such interests.

    Interpretation: Governing body members who are part of the organization’s audit committee cannot receive compensation for professional services they provide as consultants.

    Note: Element (b) does not apply to owners in private, for-profit organizations.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization’s conflict of interest policy fully addresses the requirement for disclosure of conflicts of interest and for recusal from decisions related to such interests.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • The policy and/or procedure lacks comprehensiveness or clarity regarding one of the following: 
      • Applicable stakeholders; or
      • The types of transactions that require disclosure; or
      • Safeguards regarding disclosure or recusal.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvements; e.g.,  
    • Procedures do not clearly identify applicable stakeholders; or
    • Procedures do not delineate the types of transactions that must be disclosed; or
    • Safeguards regarding disclosure or recusal are insufficient; or
    • Governing body members or other important stakeholders are not aware of the policy/procedures.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • Conflict of interest violations have occurred.

  • ETH 2.04

    The network has a process for ensuring that its activities are carried out in an even-handed, principled manner and in the interests of service recipients.

    Interpretation: It is essential that the network guard against any real or perceived conflict of interest in the manner in which it conducts its business, especially with regard to assessment, referral, and utilization management practices.

    NA The organization is not a network management entity.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization has a process for ensuring network activities are even-handed, etc. as per the requirements of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • The interest of the service recipients needs more clarification.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • There have been conflict of interest complaints by network providers about how it conducts business.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.
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