Principle 5 - Being Open and Accountable
Independance of decision making is important for a board to ensure that it is complying with its governing document. The board must put the best interests of the organisation first in all its decision making and effectively manage conflicts of interest.
A conflict of interest arises when the interests of a member of the management committee/board are in conflict with the interests of the organisation they are helping to govern. This can be direct, in relation to the interests of the individual, or indirect, in relation to the interests of a close relative or business partner.
NCVO has published some Charity Ethical Principles to support charities, their governing bodies and those who work and volunteer in and with them in recognising and resolving ethical issues and conflicts, and make charities a safer place. The principles are:
The Treasurer has a watchdog role over all aspects of financial management, working closely with other members of the Management Committee to safeguard the organisation's finances.
It is important to note that although the Treasurer ensures that these responsibilities are met, much of the work may be delegated to a finance sub-committee and paid staff or volunteers.
In summary, the Treasurer is responsible for:
Co-option is when a new member is appointed to a board because of a paticular skill set or area of interest, usually on a short term basis. It is usually done during the year and not at the AGM. It is not permitted by all governing documents so you should look carefully at your organisation's governing document before considering co-opting someone on to your board. Your constituion may also provide for different voting rights etc for the co-opted person and this needs to be made clear.
Members of the Management Committee of are equally responsible in law for the actions and decisions of the committee. They are responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with the law in all aspects of its work, this may include a wide range of activities from finance to service delivery aspects such as insurance, food hygiene or child protection. There is a wide range of different information on the DIY Committee Guide in relation to the different aspects of legal responsibility.