This is the Code of Ethics that the PCC Building Oversight Committee and all subcommittees working under the Oversight Committee will apply to avoid conflicts of interest and insure fair and open decisionmaking.
In any local church, real and perceived conflicts of interest arise as we all manage and govern our church and we rely on each other (clergy, staff and laity) to recommend, vote, approve and act based on what is in the best interest of meeting the overall mission and financial goals.
The PCC Building Oversight Committee and subcommittees include highly qualified professionals who have deep professional and personal connections that are inevitable for individuals who have considerable experience in building, construction, real estate, business, finance, school leadership, law, church management and leadership and other areas. These individuals bring their experience to our decision-making process but those same connections may present real or perceived conflicts of interests which require a high degree of introspection and awareness. Committee and subcommittee members adhere to an ethics code that will guide their work.
The UMC Book of Discipline (702.2) says:
Each organization, group, committee, council, board, and agency of the general Church shall adopt a code of ethics and policies that embody and live out our Christian values regarding conflict of interest, confidentiality, whistleblower protection, record retention and document destruction, and nepotism applicable to both members and employees.
The Building Oversight Committee and subcommittees consider a potential conflict of interest arises when a key individual (either an church employee or volunteer) or a relative of that individual:
(a) stands to gain a financial benefit by personally influencing the action taken by the organization or a transaction entered into by the organization; or
(b) has another interest that impairs, or could be seen to impair, the independence or objectivity of the key individual in discharging their duties within the organization.
A conflict, potential conflict or the appearance of conflict of interest occurs when an individual, be it clergy, staff or laity, or a member of their family, business associate, significant other, domestic partner, any additional employer or employee of a staff member, has a direct or indirect financial, personal, legal or equitable interest in the outcome of a particular decision that they can influence.
Recognizing, understanding and managing conflicts of interest are fundamental to trust and good, fair, ethical and just decision-making and sound financial management.
Building Oversight Committee and subcommittee members, PCC employees and laity are expected to self-identify all conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest and, where feasible and practical, excuse themselves from votes/decisions from which they or others close to them will or may be perceived to financially benefit.
In short, we should report any conflicts to the rest of our fellow committee members (without naming which party the conflict pertains to) and recuse ourselves from any applicable votes.
Subsequently, for these votes we will include the following statement in our updates for the congregation: “in the course of this discussion and subsequent vote, a committee member who had close personal/business ties to the outcome of this decision recused himself/herself from voting on the matter as is required by the Code of Ethics adopted by the PCC Building Oversight Committee.”