Avoid Conflicts of Interest

  • Club Governance - Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Article by Warren Tapp

All Club Directors or Committee members must avoid any conflict of interest in their decisions for the Club. What does this mean? It means you can take part in any Board/Committee decision that you might benefit from.

That includes not just you but any family member or close friend. Benefit means no gain is made by the way of money or better opportunity for you or others if you vote a certain way at a Board meeting.

The hardest part is recognizing you actually have a conflict of interest.

Ask yourself, am I voting this way because it is best for the Club or its members or because I will gain from it in some way?

If you decide you have a conflict of interest, you should declare this to the Chair before the meeting starts and then leave the Board meeting when that agenda item comes up (and have it recorded in the Minutes that you are absent for this decision) and then return after it has been decided.

For example, you may own a cleaning business and you know the Club is going to award a very good contract to clean the Club for the next 3 years. It will be best if you do no even put in a bid for it while on the Board but, if you do, follow the procedure above. If they award you the contract at least you had no say in that decision.

It is good practice for the Club Secretary to keep a Register of Interests listing all Directors family or business interests so that the whole Board know if any conflict of interest may arise in future. The law is quite strict about Directors who do not declare a conflict of interest in any Board decisions.

Remember you are there to act in the best interests of the Club and all the members and not in your best interests while on our Club Board.

If you need an assistance with managing conflicts of interests in your Club, contact us on 0411 111 588 or at www.clubgovernance.com.au anytime.

Who Needs Club Governance Training?

In our opinion every club and Association across Australia need Club Governance Training.

Governing a Club, Charity or any Not-for-profit is a big responsibility, and it cannot be done by well-meaning volunteers who do not understand their role.

Club Governance Training will;

  1. Board Members will know their responsibilities.
  2. You’ll have more productive Board Meetings.
  3. Help improve your Club’s growth and sustainability.
  4. Your Club will be more legally compliant.

Club Governance has developed an online training program for all Board and Committee members to ensure they know how to do their job.

It is available in 15 modules of about 15 minutes each and covers all the necessary knowledge they must have, based on our 30+ years of assisting organisations like yours around Australia.