Proposed Terms of Reference

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Proposed Terms of Reference

Post by michelmanen »

I propose that the Commission discuss, at its next meeting, the following draft Terms of Reference, to serve as framework for the public hearings to be held as part of its proceedings:

Terms of Reference:

1. Definition

“Conflict of interest” is a situation in which a CDS public official has a private, public or other interest which is such as to influence, or appear to influence, the impartial and objective performance of his or her official duties.

2. Parameters

b. The concept of conflict of interest does not refer to actual wrongdoing, but rather to the potential to engage in wrongdoing. Indeed, it is all but inevitable that a public official will face situations where the public interest s/he has been elected or appointed to serve will conflict with other interests to which s/he is subject.

c. Being in a conflict of interest situation itself is not the same thing as using one’s public office for private benefit. A public official who finds him or herself in a conflict of interest situation may or may not allow the interest that conflicts with the public interest wrongly affect his or her conduct.

3. Objective

The objective of the COI Commission is to establish adequate rules and mechanisms so as to:
a. prevent conflict of interest situations arising, to the extent that this is possible and practical;
b. address conflict of interest situations where they do arise; and
c. provide guidance to public officials and enable them to protect themselves more easily.

4. The CDS Conflict of Interests Committee (“the CDS COI Committee”)

a. Authority

The CDS COI Committee is established under the joint authority of the Representative Assembly and of the Chancellor for purposes of assessing conflict of interest disclosures, determining whether the conflict can be managed or must be disallowed and where applicable developing plans for managing conflict of interest.

b. Mandate

The Mandate of the CDS COI Committee is to:

1. Provide guidance and advice to the CDS community in the area of conflict of interest;
2. Assess public and private conflict of interest disclosures;
3. Determine whether the conflict can be managed or must be disallowed;
4. Establish plans for managing disclosed and assessed conflicts of interest;
5. Monitor the implementation of such plans, including enforcement and sanctions procedures for violations of CDS conflict of interest laws, regulations, and guidelines;
6. Oversee and implement CDS-wide education and awareness on conflict of interest;
7. Provide every six months a public report to RA and Chancellor on the decisions made respecting conflict of interest, to be published on the CDS Forums one month before the start of the end-of-term election process in CDS.

5. Disclosure

The COI Commission will set up adequate public and private disclosure requirements for all public officials:

a. taking into account the differences between:
i. civil servants;
ii. members of the government;
iii. elected officials;
iv. officials of NGO and private organisations under the direct jurisdiction of CDS;

b. in order to:
i. ensure that the public is adequately informed, within the bounds of applicable privacy rights, customs and legislation, of any potential conflict of interest of their current public officials and candidates for office; and
ii. enable the CDS COI Committee to carry out its mandate as outlined in Section 4. b) above.

6. Avoidance

The COI Commission will propose adequate measures to ensure that CDS public officials and candidates for office will avoid conflict of interest situations as defined in Section 1 above by:

a. setting up voluntary Recusal Guidelines for CDS officials who may find themselves in a conflict of interest situation, under the supervision and guidance of the CDS COI Committee;
b. establishing the jurisdiction and final authority of the CDS COI Committee to confirm or revise any decisions made by CDS officials under Section 6 a) above;
c. advising as to the need and scope for:

1. non-cumulation of public office functions;
2. term limits for all public officials in the Philosophic, Legislative, and Executive Branches of CDS;
3. “cooling off” periods for CDS public officials exercising official functions in one CDS branch of government before standing for nomination or election for a public office in another CDS branch of government;
4. “cooling off” periods for CDS public officials after the end of their mandates before assuming any fiduciary position in a real or virtual private organization, business or NGO connected with or having interests in the CDS community.

7. Enforcement and Sanctions

The COI Commission will propose that, given the context-specific nature and the sensitivity of conflict of interest rules and regulations,
a. their enforcement and implementation by means of adequate, fair, and proportional sanctions be delegated to the CDS COI Commitee;
b. its recommendations to the RA, Chancellor, or Scientific Council be mandatory and final, subject to appeals to the SC based only and exclusively on the grounds that the CDS COI Committee:
i. exceeded its authority and mandate as specified in Section 4 above;
ii. did not adequately take into account the submissions of all parties concerned;
iii. did not properly interpret or apply CDS constitutional, legislative, or regulatory provisions;
iv. violated basic rules of law, fairness, or proportionality;
v. was itself in a conflict of interest situation when issuing its ruling or decision.

8. Code of Ethics

The COI Commission will submit to the RA a Draft Code of Ethics for CDS public officials, taking into account the differences between:
a. civil servants;
b. members of the government;
c. elected officials;
d. officials of NGO and private organisations under the direct jurisdiction of CDS.

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