Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Thursday, November 6, 2014

RA Board Public Disclosures, Conflicts of Interest, and the Proposed Board Governance Committee

Since early this year, several Restonians have been quietly urging the RA President and CEO to update the Conflict of Interest disclosure forms that RA Board members are required to complete fully and accurately each May, per the RA Conflict of Interest Policy & Statement. (See page 17.)

As of November 6, the Conflict of Interest Statements have not been updated, a task that seems quick and easy – identify employer(s) of all family members over age 16, all assets located in Reston, Reston-based loans, other sources of income over $1,000 annually from the same source, membership in Reston organizations, any material fact which may be a direct or indirect conflict of interest.  Mark two check boxes, sign, date and done.

So why the delay in asking the Directors with missing/incomplete info to update their forms?

The answer to that question seems to lie in the RA Board’s plan to create a self-reviewing RA Board Governance Committee (BGC).  The pending creation of an internal BGC comprising only RA Board members and the CEO, may be approved November 20th unless Restonians strongly object beforehand. 

Here is that proposal as drafted in “final” and redlined versions with highlights on the composition and conduct portions of the proposal:


If the RA Board passes this resolution before the disclosure forms are filled out completely and accurately, it alone will decide whether they are complete and accurate and whether or not there are any conflict of interests among the members of the Board. The foxes will officially be guarding the hen house.  

This is at a time when the public trust of RA leadership is wavering. This spring a call was made for an RA Ethics Committee--and the RA Board has responded with a committee that will consist of themselves. 

It is urgent that Restonians take action now to object to this committee of self-oversight. The failure to complete the statements accurately as requested has already proven this self-governance inadequate, yet RA plans to adopt the resolution at its November 20th RA Board Meeting.

As a counter-proposal, RA Director Rachel Muir has proposed an RA Ethics Committee comprised of a majority of members nominated by Reston civic groups, specifically by the Boards of the Reston Citizens Association and the Friends of Reston. So far, that proposal has garnered little traction among most RA Board members. We urge you to email boardofdirectors@reston.org to support Director Muir’s proposal for an Ethics Committee consisting of a majority of independent members.

We offer below the public disclosure forms as they have been prepared by the current Board members.  They are also available here on the RA website.





2 comments:

  1. RA is holding a Board Work Session on Ethics Committee on December 16 at 6 pm. Let your RA representative know if you support independent representation on a new ethics committee.
    http://reston.enterprise.localist.com/event/board_work_session_on_ethics_committee#.VGZXm75N38s

    ReplyDelete
  2. The RA Board member conflict of interest statements have been updated. Link:
    https://www.reston.org/portals/3/2013%20GENERAL/Full%20Set%20BOD%20COI%20November%202014%20Update.pdf

    ReplyDelete

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