GTRA Code of Ethics & Conduct
GTRA, the Government Technology Research Alliance has adopted a code of ethics to guide its executive leadership, board members, managing members, council, industry advisory board, sponsors and staff in their conduct when acting on behalf of the GTRA. The Code contains broad principles reflecting the types of behavior the GTRA expects towards constituents, partners, sponsors, employees, peers and the public. Though this Code of Conduct does not answer every ethical question or issue that might arise, his policy is intended to serve as a broad effort to create and maintain a quality organization that gives ethical conduct the highest priority.
GTRA’s mission is to serve government technology thought leaders and senior executives with a forum for collaboration, information sharing, strategic partnerships between public and private sectors, discuss lessons learned and guide best practices for driving technology trends. C-level public officials and technology solution providers come together to create an ethical and efficient way for government to learn about new strategies to solve their technology needs.
CODE OF ETHICS:
GTRA’s code of ethics holds the utmost regard for promoting the highest ethical standards throughout the organization’s business practices, partnerships with technology vendors, affiliation with media and event organizers. Our policies are that all executive leadership, managing/voting members, council and industry advisors embrace our culture of legal compliance and ethical integrity.
GTRA’s Whistleblower Policy encourages transparency and protects employees, managing members, council, industry advisory board, and partners to report in confidence suspected improprieties including financial, misuse of brand, misuse of resources, and misuse of the GTRA organization for personal agendas.
All voting and managing members, council, advisory board members and partners have a duty of care to act in good faith and in a manner that serves GTRA’s best interest. This includes ensuring activities promote GTRA’s mission and means the managing members act in accordance with our objectives, and use our proprietary information and resources in an ethical manner that serves the nonprofit and not showing preferential treatment to paying sponsors, members, partners, etc. All assets including resources, internal documents, strategies, proprietary business models, research, databases, client contact information, content generated with the use of GTRA’s brand and proprietary assets are strictly protected by the organization. Any misuse of GTRA’s assets for personal gain is a direct breach of fiduciary duty and is strictly prohibited.
DUTY OF LOYALTY:
The managing members and directors must act in the best interest of GTRA rather than their own personal interests or another organization’s best interest. When acting on behalf of an organization, board members must set aside their own interests, whether professional or personal, or the interests of any other organization. Simply put, the nonprofit organization must come first. A board member cannot seize an opportunity for his or her own gain. Even if it is only part of the organization’s future plans, the opportunity must be presented to the organization first. Similarly, it is a breach of the duty of loyalty to fail to preserve the confidentiality of the organization’s affairs. Disclosing opportunities to outside individuals may lead to loss of opportunity for the organization.
GTRA managing members are required to avoid conflicts of interest with the charity they serve and adopt a practical means of ensuring compliance to our policies is upheld throughout all personal ventures. GTRA prohibits managing members from engaging in activities or affiliation with organizations who are a conflict of interest to our mission, business model and code of ethics. GTRA’s duty of loyalty also prohibits managing members from engaging in competing ventures, businesses, organizations and any financial gain from this misuse of GTRA’s assets or brand is a breach of fiduciary duty.
All managing members, council, partners, employees, and industry advisory board members must disclose all affiliations with other organizations, companies, employers, sponsors, boards, and funding. GTRA expects full transparency prior to engaging in potential conflicts of interest or paid opportunities that serve the managers personal interests.
All GTRA officers, managing partners and leadership must operate all business practices in accordance with fiduciary duties. They recognize they have been entrusted with overseeing the fulfillment of the organization’s mission. They must be principally concerned about the performance of the nonprofit and that its interests are pursued faithfully. The law recognizes that because fiduciary relationships may occur outside of any contractual relationship that would allow the organization to enforce its rights, fiduciaries should be held to certain standards. This provides the organization with incentives to enter into fiduciary relationships by reducing the risk of abuse of entrusted power and ensuring high-quality fiduciary services.
This relationship between board member and the organization is a legal one, and board members have an obligation to monitor and oversee not only the organization’s financial dealings, but its ongoing compliance.
GTRA has a strict policy against leadership acting unethically for personal gain, personal bias, showing favoritism, preferential treatment and unequal opportunities. What is offered to one, must be offered to all.
DOCUMENT RETENTION POLICY:
GTRA’s standards for document integrity, retention, handling of electronic files and data destruction prevention must be respected at all times.
DUTY OF OBEDIENCE:
Board members have a responsibility to be faithful to the organization’s stated mission and not to act or use its resources in incompatible ways or purposes.
Complying with these obligations can protect a nonprofit board. As long as decisions of the trustees are made on an independent and informed basis, in good faith and in the best interests of the corporation, they are not subject to challenge in court. This presumption is called “the business judgment rule,” and applies unless there is evidence showing a board member has an interest in the transaction or dispute or was otherwise disloyal, uninformed or lacked independence.
Board members, managing members, industry advisors, and staff should strive for excellence and innovation and demonstrate professional respect and responsibility to GTRA – including but not limited to
- Understand, respect, and support our mission, proprietary assets, research, and resources
- Contribute to the organization’s purpose and act in accordance with all code of ethics
- Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information about GTRA, its members, constituents, sponsors, board and staff
- Comply with applicable federal state and local laws regulations and fiduciary responsibilities in an effort to create transparency in all of GTRA’s operations
- Executive management will provide credible and effective oversight to the organization’s work without personal bias, unethical agenda, ulterior motives and conflicts of interest
- All executive management, board members and staff agree to not accept commissions, gifts, payments, promises of future benefits or other items of value from anyone who has or may seek some benefit from GTRA in return
- All GTRA officers, management, board members and staff agree to be accountable for adhering to this code of ethics and to follow the conflict of interest policy, whistleblower policy, transparency policy, and act at all times in accordance with the highest ethical standards and in the best interest of GTRA, its members, its council, constituents, sponsors, partners, and reputation.
- All GTRA officers, management, board members and staff agree to always be honest, ethical and truthful and honor their commitments to the best of their abilities, and appropriately accept or not accept contributions from other individuals and organizations who help facilitate GTRA’s goals.
- All GTRA officers, management, board members and staff agree not to be deceptive in soliciting business, partnerships affiliations, use of GTRA brand, members, sponsorship, or in prospecting for new opportunities for personal gain.
- All GTRA officers, management, board members and staff agree to advocate for all nonprofit organizations, but not for any specific initiative, being respectful and unbiased to the technology and government sector as a whole, and not to lobby with the intent to influence individuals, sponsors, partners or affiliates to engage in ventures conflicting with GTRA.
If a board member breaches any of these duties or otherwise harms the nonprofit organization or its stakeholders, he or she may be personally liable for failing to Misconduct is taken very seriously at GTRA. Any officer, managing member, and staff found in violation of GTRA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct will be terminated from their position and are subject to legal action for highly offensive violations.
Members of the organization may sue a trustee on the organization’s behalf because of a breach of duty in a type of lawsuit called a derivative action. Donors also may sue, alleging misuse of gifts or assets. The government may bring actions against board members for violation of state or federal laws. The standards to which a fiduciary is held are the highest imposed by law, and nonprofit board members are required to meet them. To do so, and to ensure the continuing success of the nonprofit, trustees must understand both the mission and the operations of the organization and take practical steps to uphold their fiduciary duty.
GTRA’s Code of Ethics and Conduct were ratified by the founding members November 21, 2010 and revised as recently as 2014.