Checklist: A trustee facing a conflict of interest

Trustees should abide by the collective responsibility of the board, says Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson
Mike Hudson

Some board members are appointed or elected because they represent the views of people from particular stakeholder groups such as users, regions and professional groups. These members can bring valuable insights from the groups they represent.

So what should they do when the interests of their electorate come into direct conflict with the interests of the whole organisation - for example, if closing a facility or service?

The law is clear: when entering the boardroom, their role as a trustee of the whole organisation is paramount. They can strongly argue the case of the group they represent and, if they genuinely believe that their viewpoint is in the organisation's overall interest, they can vote accordingly.

However, once a decision has been taken they should abide by the collective responsibility of the board. When possible, they should share the evidence that the board considered in coming to its decision with the people they represent.

They can also remind their electorate that while they will ensure the interests of that group will always be presented at board meetings, as trustees they ultimately have to take decisions in the interests of the whole organisation.

Topics:
Governance Advice

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Latest Jobs

RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Markel

Expert hub

Insurance advice from Markel

How bad can cyber crime really get: cyber fraud #1

Promotion from Markel

In the first of a series, we investigate the risks to charities from having flawed cyber security - and why we need to up our game...

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now