Codes of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Statements are essential documents for anyone serving on any board or similar governing body. Codes of Ethics (or codes of conduct) offer the following benefits: They are designed:
- To define acceptable behaviors and establish basic boundaries of unacceptable behaviors to ensure a minimum level of civility is sustained among all interactions for all board members
- To promote high standards of practice for every board member
- To provide a benchmark for members to use for self-evaluation
- To establish a framework for professional behavior and responsibilities
- As a mark for occupational / professional maturity
Conflict of Interest statements are designed to protect an organization’s interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of one of its officers or directors, or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction.
Many US states require that all non-profit board members sign and adhere to Codes of Ethics / Codes of Professional Conduct, and disclose all real and potential conflicts of interests on a signed Conflict of Interest statement. For example, New York State law requires nonprofits to have a conflict of interest policy, and the state law also provides guidance for drafting the policy, which must state that directors, officers and key employees are to act at all times in the "best interest of the nonprofit." New York law also requires nonprofit boards to adopt a process so that board members can annually disclose potential conflicts. See New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013. Many other US states have similar laws, and many other countries have corresponding statues for non-profit organizations.
Therefore, DAMA International requires, as part of the annual affiliation process, that every member of each chapter board, sign and return a copy of the DAMA International Code of Ethics. Each chapter board member must complete a Conflict of Interest disclosure statement, sign and return it with their Code of Ethics. Both documents are to be returned to the DAMA Administration office, no later than January 30. New chapter board members must complete these documents within 30 days of their assumption of their office.
Failure to comply with this directive will initiate disciplinary action that will include chapter disaffiliation.