Conflict of Interest

 

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film

STATEMENT ON CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Adopted by MROFDPF Board of Trustees on October 22, 2011.

All members of the MROFDPF Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors, committees, juries, editorial boards, task forces as well as all MROFDPF officers, employees and advisors must adhere to the highest ethical standards of professional conduct.

A conflict of interest arises when an individual’s personal interest or bias compromises his or her ability to act in accordance with professional or public obligations. In situations where no public scrutiny or oversight is possible, the risk of a conflict of interest increases; therefore, when performing peer review, reviewing grant applications, vetting submissions, reviewing artwork or other work of scholarship, evaluating program proposals, selecting prize or award recipients, or other such activities, participants are charged to exercise particular care in avoiding a conflict of interest.

Members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors, committees, juries, editorial boards, and task forces, and authors of reviews should avoid situations in which they may benefit financially at the expense of their professional obligations. They must disclose all potential conflicts of interest of which they become aware to the appropriate person(s) (e.g., colleagues on a jury, chair of an editorial board). After such disclosure and discussion, the appropriate action may include recusal from any decisions or other actions in which a conflict of interest arises, or rejection or reassignment of a submitted review that presents a conflict of interest. An individual should normally refuse to participate in the formal review of work by anyone for whom he or she feels a sense of personal obligation, competition, or enmity.

Persons serving in a position of authority at MROFDPF, such as members of the Board of Trustees, owe a duty of loyalty to the MROFDPF and must conduct their personal and professional affairs in such a manner as to avoid any possible conflict of interest with their duties and responsibilities as members of the Board. A Trustee shall disclose to the Board as a matter of record any personal, financial, or professional interest in the outcome of a matter at the meeting at which such matter is discussed. A Trustee having such duality of interest may be counted for quorum purposes but may not use personal influence, or vote when such matter is considered by the Board.

Members of MROFDPF committees, juries, editorial boards, and task forces, and authors of reviews published by MROFDPF, must conduct their personal and professional affairs in such a manner as to avoid any conflict of interest with their MROFDPF duties and responsibilities. Each member is

obligated to disclose to the committee, jury, or editorial board any personal, financial, or professional interest in any business coming before the body or any such interest in the material under review.

Members of MROFDPF committees, juries, editorial boards, and task forces, and authors commissioned to write reviews published by MROFDPF, must conduct their personal and professional affairs in such a manner as to avoid any breach of confidentiality. Each individual member of the MROFDPF board, committees, juries, and editorial boards should use reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of information exchanged between or among members, using measures similar to those that he or she would use to protect his or her own similar confidential information.

Persons serving in a MROFDPF capacity should be aware of the following situations that may present a potential conflict of interest or would constitute a breach of confidentiality:

Award and Grant Juries

  • The juror has been involved in the production or review of the written or artistic output of a nominee or applicant;
  • The juror is being considered for employment at the same institution as the nominee, or the nominee is being considered for employment at the juror’s institution. In either case, it is the juror who should recuse him- or herself
  • The juror could benefit from the decision financially;
  • The juror feels a sense of personal obligation, competition, or enmity toward the nominee or the nominee’s work. (It is not a conflict of interest for a juror to work in the same field of specialization or discipline as the nominee).

The following constitute breaches of confidentiality:

  • A juror discloses the names of candidates for awards to individuals outside the jury;
  • A juror discloses the vote’s cast by members to individuals outside the jury.

The juror with the chair should discuss all issues regarding conflict of interest, as well as confidentiality that are not addressed by the above list. The chair may, in turn, refer the matter to the President of the Board of Trustees, if necessary.