Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy

Board of Trustees & Senior Level Library Staff Policy

Purpose

To preserve the integrity of the decision-making process of Sno-Isle Libraires (Library), the library has adopted and maintains this Conflict of Interest Policy to oversee the participation of its Trustees and Senior Level Library Staff in matters in which they may have a conflict of interest.

The Trustees and Senior Level Library Staff are expected to exercise their judgment and powers in the best interests of the Library in preference to their individual interests and the interests of third parties when evaluating and approving transactions and other arrangements undertaken by, and otherwise performing and discharging their respective functions as Trustees or Senior Level Library Staff.

This Policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state laws governing conflicts of interest applicable to public libraries.

Scope

Outline the roles and responsibilities of Trustees and Senior Level Library Staff in regard to conflicts of interest.

Definitions

Senior Level Library Staff

Executive Director of the Library System, Executive Director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, Deputy Director, Director, or Assistant Director.

Trustee

An individual appointed serve as a member of the Sno-Isle Libraries’ Board of Trustees.

Implementation

No Trustee or Senior Level Library Staff member may use their position to obtain financial or other gain for their own benefit, or to benefit a relative or significant other, or any entity in which the Trustee, employee or their relative or significant other has a significant ownership interest.

State law, codified at RCW 42.23.070, provides a code of ethics. The code of ethics has four provisions, as follows:

  1. No Trustee may use their position to secure special privileges or exemptions for themselves or others.
  2. No Trustee may, directly or indirectly, give or receive any compensation, gift, gratuity, or reward from any source, except the employing municipality, for a matter connected with or related to the Trustee’s services unless otherwise provided by law.
  3. No Trustee may accept employment or engage in business that the Trustee might reasonably expect would require them to disclose confidential information acquired by reason of their official position.
  4. No Trustee may disclose confidential information gained by reason of the Trustee’s position, nor may the Trustee use such information for their personal gain.

Obligation to report potential or actual Conflict of Interest

If any Trustee or Senior Level Library Staff member perceives a possible conflict of interest position for any other Trustee or Senior Level Library Staff member, the possible conflict shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees in a timely manner.

A Trustee or Senior Level Library Staff member who recognizes an actual or potential conflict of interest, any financial or personal beneficial interest, direct or indirect, and abstain voluntarily from discussion, voting, or decision-making on any issue that raises such conflict of interest.

Roles and Responsibilities

Acknowledgement of Conflict of Interest policy and Disclosure Form
Upon appointment and annually thereafter, all Trustees and Senior Level Library Staff, shall complete, sign, and submit to Library Human Resources, a completed written acknowledgement of this Conflict of Interest Policy affirming that they have:

  1. Received a copy of the Policy.
  2. Read and understand the Policy.
  3. Agreed to comply with the Policy.

Addressing a conflict of interest

Board of Trustees

The Board, as a whole, shall determine whether the issue represents a conflict of interest for members of the Board or the Library Executive Director, and issue a course of action mitigating such conflict of interest, including any action related to the failure to report a potential conflict of interest in a timely manner.

Library Executive Director

The Executive Director shall set and enforce administrative policies for library employees that address conflict of interest. Such policies shall be developed in accordance with Washington State law.

Associated Policies and Laws

  • Washington State RCW 42.23.030. Interest in contracts prohibited—Exceptions.
  • Washington State RCW 42.23.070. Prohibited acts.
  • Washington State RCW 42.52. Ethics in Public Service.
  • Washington State RCW 42.52.140. Gifts.
  • Washington State RCW 42.52.150. Limitations on gifts.

Process

This policy is reviewed every four (4) years by the Executive Director (or designee) who makes recommendations to the appropriate Board Committee. The Committee reviews and revises as necessary, endorses, and advances to the full Board for approval.

Policy History

Date approved: 11/2021
Next review date: 11/2025
Date adopted: 11/22/2021

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