The Spirit of 2012 Limited Company Directors collectively embody the sole Trustee of a charitable company.
They are therefore Directors for the purposes of company law as well as having a legal obligation to act in the best interests of Spirit of 2012 in accordance with charity law and Spirit’s Trust Deed. An essential element is to avoid or appropriately manage situations where there may be conflict of interest. Staff have similar obligations.
Conflicts of interest may arise where an individual’s business, personal or family interest and/or loyalties conflict with those of Spirit of 2012 (Spirit). Such conflicts may:
- Inhibit free and frank discussion of options and courses of action;
- Result in partial or biased decisions or actions that are not in the interests of Spirt;
- Risk creating the impression externally that Spirit has not acted properly.
Conflicts of interests can be
- Direct – involving financial or in kind benefits to a Director (or staff member)
- Indirect – where there is benefit to a person connected to a Director
- Potential – as above, but not yet manifested; or
- Perceived – where there may be no actual conflict, but the perception of conflict may cause reputational damage to Spirit.
The aim of this policy is to protect both the organisation and the individuals involved from any involvement in or appearance of impropriety. You can find further guidance on the Charity Commission website.
Declaration of Interests
To comply with charity law, Spirit requires Directors and staff to register all interests that are relevant to their role at Spirit. We provide Directors with a declaration of interests form for this purpose. The Spirit Secretariat will invite Directors and staff to review their interests each year.
If an existing Director assumes another role which has the potential to cause a conflict of interest they should declare it to the Chief Executive in the first instance. She will advise whether the change should be logged in the Declaration of Interest. In rare cases the Board will need to consider whether authorising and managing the situation in accordance with this Policy is sufficient, or whether to ask the Director in question to resign.
Spirit maintains an electronic Register of Gifts & Hospitality, where Directors and the executive team record any gifts or hospitality offered in connection with their role in Spirit.
Both the Declarations of Interests and the Register of Gifts & Hospitality are accessible by the Charity Commission, Companies House and the Charity Auditors, HW Fisher.
We process the information Directors provide on the Register of Interests in accordance with data protection principles as set out in the 1998 Data Protection Act. [D1] We use these data internally only to ensure that Directors and the executive team act in the best interests of Spirit of 2012. We will not use the information for any other purpose.
In line with Charity Commission best practice, Spirit Director positions are unremunerated. We will report the amount and purpose of any payments or benefits in kind to Directors in the charity’s annual report and accounts during the year in question.
Where a member of the Spirit executive is connected to a party involved in receipt of a grant from or the supply of a service or product to the charity, we will also fully disclose this information in the annual report and accounts.