Conflict of Interest Policy

Adopted 4/19/2012

Employees and board members have an obligation to conduct business within guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest. This policy establishes only the framework within which the Otsego District Library wishes its business to operate. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide general direction so that employees can seek further clarification on issues related to the subject of acceptable standards of operation.

An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when an employee or board member is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for the employee, board member or for a relative as a result of the Library’s business dealings. For the purpose of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage.

No presumption of guilt is created by the mere existence of a relationship with outside firms. However, if an employee or board member has any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts, or leases, it is imperative that he or she discloses to an officer of the organization as soon as possible the existence of any actual or potential conflict of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

As a matter of rule, the employee or board member will disclose any potential conflicts at the first board meeting of the calendar year, and at any other time deemed as necessary.  Disclosure will be made in the form of a written statement and signed by that employee or board member.

Personal gain may result not only in cases where an employee, board member, or relative has a significant ownership in a firm with which the Library does business, but also when an employee, board member, or relative receives any kickback, bribe, substantial gift, or special consideration as a result of any transaction of business dealings involving the Library.

Employees and board members shall not make use of materials, equipment, or facilities of the Library in private practice.  Examples would be the use of facilities or equipment before, during or after regular hours for service to private practice clients.

The materials, products, designs, plans, ideas, and data of the Otsego District Library are the property of the Library, and should never be given to an outside firm or individual except through normal channels and with appropriate authorization.  Any improper transfer of material or disclosure of information, even though it is not apparent that an employee has personally gained by such action, constitutes unacceptable conduct.  Any employee who participates in such a practice shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.