As we start a new year, we think about those policies that require us to do something annually. One of my favourite “once a year deals” is to ask board members to sign their annual confirmation that they are in compliance with the conflict of interest policies. We provide a list of suppliers and customers to each board member (along with a copy of the conflict of interest policy) and we ask them to review the lists and attest to their compliance with the policy.
If the board member has any conflicts with the list of suppliers and customers, now is the time to declare them. An annual reminder of this important policy deals with two issues, people forget the policy and things change. Perhaps the board members’ business interests changed in the year, or the organization changed their customers or suppliers, so now a conflict exists where previously there was none.
Checking compliance with the conflict of interest policy on an annual basis is a best practice.