Wikimedia CH/Conflict of interest policy

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This is a Wikimedia CH policy. It was approved by the board on 13 May 2014.

Dealing with conflicts of interest[edit]

Conflicts of interest can be actual or potential; they can involve for example financial interests or damage to the image of the association.

Since conflicts of interest cannot be avoided, they should be handled professionally. The members of the board and third parties engaged in managing the association’s business must perform their duties with all due diligence and safeguard the interests of the association in good faith.

  • Each member of the Board or of the Executive Management team should arrange his personal and business affairs so as to avoid, as far as possible, conflicts of interest with the association.
  • Should a conflict of interest arise, the member of the Board or Executive Management concerned should inform the President of the Board. The President, or Vice-President, should request a decision by the Board which reflects the seriousness of the conflict of interest. The Board shall decide without participation of the person concerned, and the conflict of interest and the board decision will be recorded in the minutes.
  • Anyone who has interests in conflict with the association or is obligated to represent such interests on behalf of third parties should not participate to that extent in decision-making. Anyone having a permanent conflict of interest should not be a member of the Board or the Executive Management.
  • Transactions between the association and members of corporate bodies or related persons should be carried out “at arm’s length” and should be approved without participation of the party concerned. If necessary, a neutral opinion should be obtained.

Members of the Board or the Executive Management team should indicate in writing that they are aware of this policy and agree to abide by it, list all positions and functions they hold which are close or linked to the activity of the association, and to inform the President (or Vice-President) of the Board should any conflict or interest (actual or potential) arise.

Any person who could benefit directly or indirectly (financially or in any other way) from its activities within Wikimedia CH, in particular if he/she proposes or influences a project of the association, must agree with the principles of the conflict of interest policy and disclose all of his/her interests to the directors or the President.

This policy is based on the Swiss Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance, and on the Swiss Code of Obligations.