The following Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (“Conflict of Interest Policy”) is an effort (i) to ensure that the deliberations and decisions of the Public Health Watch are made solely in the interest of promoting the quality of journalism i), and (ii) to protect the interests of Public Health Watch when it considers any transaction, contract or arrangement that might benefit or be perceived to benefit the private interest of a person affiliated with Public Health Watch (each, a “Public Health Watch Representative”). As used in this Conflict of Interest Policy, a Public Health Watch Representative includes any director, advisory board, financial advisor, legal counsel or employee of Public Health Watch.
- Duty to Public Health Watch. Each Public Health Watch Representative owes a duty to Public Health Watch to advance Public Health Watch legitimate interests when the opportunity to do so arises. Each Public Health Watch Representative must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the organization. Similarly, Public Health Watch Representatives must be faithful to Public Health Watch’s nonprofit mission and are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization and its nonprofit status.
- Gifts. No Public Health Watch Representative shall personally accept gifts or favors that could compromise his or her loyalty to Public Health Watch. Any gifts or benefits personally accepted from a party having a material interest in the outcome of Public Health Watch or its employees by a Public Health Watch Representative individually should be merely incidental to his or her role as an Public Health Watch Representative and should not be of substantial value. Any gift with a value of $250 or more, or any gifts with a cumulative value in excess of $250 received by a Public Health Watch Representative in any twelve-month period from a single source, shall be considered substantial. Cash payments may not be accepted, and no gifts should be accepted if there are strings attached. For example, no Public Health Watch Representative may accept gifts if he or she knows that such gifts are being given to solicit his or her support of or opposition to the outcome or content of any Public Health Watch publication.
- Conflicts of Interest. The following are examples of conflicts of interest which must be promptly disclosed to the Public Health Watch Board of Directors pursuant to Section 4 below by any Public Health Watch Representative with knowledge of such conflict of interest:
- (a) any real or apparent conflict of interest between a donor or the subject of a Public Health Watch publication or report and an PUBLIC HEALTH WATCH Representative;
- (b) a Public Health Watch Representative’s ownership of an equity interest in a person or entity that is or will be the subject of a Public Health Watch publication or report; and
- (c) failure to disclose to Public Health Watch all relationships between the subject of any Public Health Watch publication or report and any Public Health Watch Representative or close relatives of the Public Health Watch Representative.
- Conflict Procedure:
(a) If a Public Health Watch Representative or party related to an Public Health Watch Representative has an interest in any contract, action or transaction to be entered into with Public Health Watch, a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest exists. Any Public Health Watch Representative having knowledge that such a conflict of interest exists or may exist (an “Interested Public Health Watch Representative”) will so advise the Board of Directors promptly. An Interested Public Health Watch Representative will include in the notice the material facts as to the relationship or interest of the Interested Public Health Watch Representative in the entity proposing to enter into a contract, action or transaction with Public Health Watch.
(b) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Board of Directors may authorize any committee appointed pursuant to the by-laws (a “Committee”) to act in lieu of the Board of Directors in determining whether an action, contract or transaction is fair to Public Health Watch as of the time it is authorized or approved by the Committee.
(c) At any time that a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest is identified, the President of the Board or a Chair of the applicable Committee will ensure that such conflict of interest is placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable. The notice of such meeting of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will include, to the extent available when the notice is sent, a description of the conflict of interest matter to be discussed. By notice before the meeting or at the meeting, the directors on the board or the Committee, as applicable, will be advised that a vote will be taken at the meeting and that, in order to authorize the relevant contract, action or transaction, an affirmative vote of a majority of disinterested directors present at the meeting at which a quorum is present will be required and will be sufficient, even though the disinterested directors constitute less than a quorum of the Board of Directors or the Committee.
(d) Reasonable effort will be made to cause the material facts concerning the relationships between the individuals and Public Health Watch which create the conflict to be delivered to and shared with the members of the Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, prior to the meeting to enable the directors to arrive at the meeting prepared to discuss the issue. In the event it is not practicable to deliver the information prior to the meeting, it will be delivered to the directors at the meeting, and the directors can act upon the matter with the same authority as if notice had been given prior to the meeting.
(e) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will invite all parties to the conflict of interest to attend the meeting, to make presentations and to be prepared to answer questions, if necessary. The Board or Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will also invite outside experts if necessary.
(f) At the meeting, providing a quorum is present, the conflict will be discussed to ensure that the directors present are aware of the issues and the factors involved. The interested directors may be counted for purposes of a quorum, even though they may not take part in any vote on the issues.
(g) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, must decide, in good faith, reasonably justified by the material facts, whether the action, contract or transaction would be in the best interest of Public Health Watch and fair to Public Health Watch as of the time it is authorized or approved.
(h) All interested directors must abstain from voting and, if necessary, leave the room when the vote is taken.
(i) The Board of Directors or the Committee, as applicable, will maintain a written account of all that transpires at the meeting and incorporate such account into the minutes of the meeting and disseminate it to the full Board of Directors. Such minutes will be presented for approval at the next meeting of the Board of Directors and maintained in the corporate record book.