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King's Cross Railway Lands Group (KXRLG): code of conduct

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR UNDERTAKING BUSINESS ON BEHALF OF KXRLG

01. KXRLG has an outstanding reputation locally as an independent community group addressing issues arising from the development of the Railway Lands (also known as the Kings Cross Opportunity Area and Kings Cross Central) and its activities are supported by grants from public funds and subscriptions by members and private donations made in good faith.

02. KXRLG's reputation and its prominence locally depends on the honest conduct and integrity of its management committee members, its volunteers, staff and its contracted consultants. The trust and confidence of those with whom it deals are essential and therefore management committee has agreed these standards of conduct expected of its management committee members, its volunteers, staff and its contracted consultants in their activities while engaged in the group's business.

03. These standards are based on the "Seven Principles of Public Life" that were published in the first Nolan Report in March 1996 - the seven being: Selflessness; Integrity; Objectivity; Accountability; Openness; Honesty; and Leadership by example.

04. This Code should help KXRLG management committee members, volunteers, staff and contracted consultants to determine an appropriate response to any issue concerning conduct in a KXRLG related activity. This includes the behaviour, integrity, honesty or actions of colleagues or of a member, supplier, or any other service provider seeking to enter into a business arrangement with the group.

05. A fundamental principle of the way in which KXRLG conducts its affairs is the scrupulous observance of applicable laws and regulations, including its own Policies and Procedures approved by the management committee.

06. In conducting activities external to KXRLG business, any conflict of interest between a member of staff's private interests and his/her duties as a member of the management committee, perceived or actual, should be minimised; and if possible, avoided altogether.

07. Where such external interests are, or may be, in danger of conflicting with the aims of KXRLG management committee members must disclose the details of their external interests to the management committee, the chair or the vice chair in the chair's absence as soon as possible regardless of whether the perceived conflict is real or apparent.

08. Where management committee members have external interests as consultants, directors, or significant shareholders in companies, there should be no service or supply agreement between the consultancy/company and KXRLG without disclosure of the member's interest. When a member does have an interest, it is essential that he/she is not included in negotiations with the group.

09. KXRLG does not advocate the practice of giving or receiving gifts except in exceptional circumstances and those circumstances must be agreed by a quorate management committee. Members of the management committee must not solicit, receive, or agree to receive for themselves or any other person, any gift or consideration of any kind as an inducement (whether real or apparent) or reward for doing (or not doing) anything for, or for showing favour (or disfavour) to, any third party.

10. Giving and/or accepting modest hospitality in respect of those external to KXRLG is acceptable. However, lavish or frequent hospitality is unacceptable. Any member who is unclear about what is acceptable in terms of giving or receiving hospitality should seek advice from one of the officers.

11. All management committee members, staff and contracted consultants have a general duty to ensure that all KXRLG information and data they encounter in their duties are handled with discretion. It is important that inappropriate disclosure of information does not place KXRLG at a potential, or actual disadvantage, and it should not be disclosed for the benefit of another party or for personal gain.

12. KXRLG's officers must maintain an adequate system of internal control, which complies with the group's policies, and data to which they have access.

13. Written records (which include computer records) are essential to provide evidence that proper ethical standards and acceptable practices have been observed. Such records should be maintained, in sufficiently detailed form, to serve both as an audit trail, and as a record of the reasons for making a particular decision.

14. Members of the management committee, volunteers, staff and contracted consultants must ensure that all operational and accounting transaction records are recorded promptly and accurately, using the correct, approved documentation.

15. Members of the management committee, volunteers, staff and contracted consultants responsible for recording or maintaining records of activities, or of accounting transactions, must ensure that all operational records and books of account represent a reliable, truthful, accurate, complete, and up-to-date picture, in compliance with KXRLG policies and procedures and any relevant external standards or regulations. As a consequence the data should be suitable to form a basis for informed management decision-making.

16. There must not be informal, locally established and maintained funds except for those involving anonymous personal donations made through established agencies such as Voluntary Action Camden and similar bodies. There must be no secret or unrecorded bank accounts and no liabilities which go knowingly unrecorded.

17. It is important for KXRLG to establish effective working relationships with sponsors and other clients, suppliers, contractors, and any other providers of goods or services. We therefore have a duty to observe the terms and conditions of purchase orders, payment terms and contracts.

18. Similarly, we should expect those with whom KXRLG conducts its business to demonstrate acceptable standards of business conduct in their dealing with us.

19. All members of the management committee, volunteers, staff and contracted consultants should be alert to incidents that constitute unacceptable ethical behaviour and, where it is believed that there has been a serious breach of these guidelines, they have a responsibility to draw this to the attention of the management committee.

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