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Board Transparency And Accountability

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  • 1. Board Transparency and Accountability
    Bill Taylor
    Northeast Community Development Educator
    UW Cooperative Extension Service
    The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
  • 2. Legal and Ethical Integrity
    “Since the board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms, its members must collectively exhibit diligence, commitment, and vigilance to keep their house in order…The organization’s reputation and public standing require everyone to take three watchwords seriously: compliance, transparency, and accountability.” – Richard T. Ingram
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  • 3. Transparency
    The need to provide accurate information about an organization’s activities and how they are carried out, and about the organization’s revenue and how it is expended.
    3
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  • 4. Why Transparency?
    Compliance with legal obligations
    Demonstrate good will
    Establish and maintain professional standards and ethics
    The board is what it is perceived to be in the eyes of the public
    Demonstrate wise use of resources
    Uphold the integrity of the board for the future
    Demonstrate good board governance
    Demonstrate prudent financial management
    4
    UW Community Development Education
  • 5. Three Areas
    Organizational
    Programmatic
    Financial
    5
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  • 6. Organizational Transparency
    Process to identify who the board is and its purpose
    Process to identify who the responsible officers are and what their individual responsibilities will be
    6
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  • 7. Programmatic Transparency
    Identifies the activities and services of the board
    Measures the effectiveness and/or efficiency of the board
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  • 8. Financial Transparency
    Accurately reporting the financial transactions and position of the board
    Analyze and report the general financial health of the organization in a manner that is easy to understand and will stand the test of accountability to the public
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  • 9. Wyoming County/City/Board Financial Statutes
    http://legisweb.state.wy.us/titles/statutes.htm
    Constitution:
    97-16-006,007
    Statutes :
    6-5-101 to 6-5-118
    9-3-427
    9-4-806, 817, 831
    16-4-101 to 16-4-124
    38-2-101
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    UW Community Development Education
  • 10. Boards should:
    Have clear policies and procedures to safeguard against premature destruction of documents
    See p. 6 of Board Member Handbook
    Ensure all records and documents (except those which would be properly handled in an executive session) are available for public review
    Minutes
    Legal documents
    Financial documents
    Transactions
    Audits
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  • 11. Boards should (cont):
    Follow spirit and letter of the Open Meetings Act
    Board Member Handbook – p. 31
    Use executive session only for reasons allowed in act
    Little to no basis for advisory boards to use executive session
    Enact and enforce a conflict-of-interest policy
    Signing of conflict-of-interest policy form by each member is a good idea
    Publish annual public summary reports of their activities and finances
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  • 12. Scrutiny
    Public and legal scrutiny of all types of boards continues to increase, due to many legal and ethical infractions by appointed, elected, nonprofit, and corporate boards
    Consequently, you must do everything possible to present your board to the public and legal authorities as being open to examination – examination which will prove you are properly executing your duties and upholding the public trust
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