Conflict of Interest Policy

New Forms Conflict of Interest Policy

Definitions

Board means the New Forms board of directors or its members.

Conflict means a situation in which an individual with decision making authority has a personal interest that directly conflicts, might conflict, or may be perceived to conflict with the interests of the New Forms, or directly conflicts, might conflict, or may be perceived to conflict with their duties and responsibilities as Board or Staff of New Forms.

New Forms means the New Forms Media Society.

Staff means an employee or contractor of New Forms.

What is a Conflict of Interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual’s ability to make an unbiased decision may be compromised, or appear to be compromised, as a result of that individual’s interests in the outcome of that matter.

New Forms recognizes that Board and Staff have relationships of all kinds with other people and organizations in the communities served by New Forms. These relationships are the building blocks of communities, and the success of one artist or organization is often beneficial to the entire community. However, these relationships also create Conflicts, and risk leading to decisions made to benefit the decision maker or their friends over New Forms and its communities. The appearance of a Conflict can also be harmful, as it can lead to mistrust within the communities New Forms serves.

This policy is intended to manage the Conflicts emerging from these relationships to ensure that New Forms’ Board and Staff make decisions that put the interests of New Forms and its communities ahead of their own.

Scope 

This policy applies to the Board and Staff of New Forms. 

Duties of Board and Staff

The Board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of New Forms. 

Board and Staff have a duty of loyalty to New Forms, and an obligation to carry out the functions and activities of their roles professionally and ethically, with integrity, consistency, and transparency, and in accordance with the New Forms Code of Conduct. This includes an obligation to declare all Conflicts or potential Conflicts in a timely manner.

Declaring a Conflict

Board and Staff must declare Conflicts and potential Conflicts at the earliest possible opportunity, including the nature and extent of the Conflict.

Conflicts may be declared:

  • During a meeting of the Board, verbally or in writing; or 
  • Between meetings of the board by sending an email to the Board.

Declaring Conflicts should be a standing part of the agenda for all meetings of the Board.

Board and Staff should err on the side of over-reporting potential Conflicts. The Board will decide whether a potential Conflict is a Conflict.

Managing Conflicts

The Board must maintain a list of all Conflicts that have been declared and the subject matter which the Conflict relates to.

When a Conflict is declared with respect to the subject of a meeting, the conflicted individual must recuse themselves from the meeting so that the remaining Board may discuss the matter and vote on any related motions. 

The conflicted individual may return to the meeting once the discussion and votes have concluded.

A Conflict may require steps beyond recusal from a single meeting. A Conflict may require:

  • Recual from all meetings in which the subject of the Conflict is being discussed or deliberated;
  • Abstention from activities related to the subject of the Conflict; 
  • Seeking advice or assistance from the Board; or
  • Resignation or leave from the Board or as Staff.

Examples of Conflicts

Conflicts can arise in many situations. The following list provides examples, but is not all-inclusive. 

A Conflict can arise when a Board or Staff member:

  • Makes a proposal to perform or present an artistic work as part of New Forms programming.
  • Is a part of another organization that applies for grant funding New Forms is also applying for.
  • Is part of an organization offering a grant New Forms may apply for.
  • Has a personal relationship with someone who operates a venue New Forms is considering booking for an event.
  • Manages a record label that may take part in New Forms programming.
  • Shares studio space with an individual New Forms may contract with.

This policy document was approved by the New Forms Media Society Board of Directors on September 1, 2022. 

We would like to recognize and thank the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) for generously allowing NFMS the use of their Conflict of Interest policy originally approved by TAIS Board of Directors on February 11, 2017, as a basis for this policy document.