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IAC’s Ethical Standard

The members of IAC believe that not-for-profit agencies serving individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities have specific responsibilities to their consumers, to the public, and to those who provide financial support for their programs, to ensure high ethical standards in regard to the quality and appropriateness of services being provided, compliance with all legal standards, the management and operations of the governing board, the employment and business administrative practices of the agency, and the appointment and compensation of executive personnel.  In pursuit of these goals and principles, the members of the InterAgency Council establish this IAC Ethical Standard as the statement of the common values they are committed to attaining and maintaining.

 
I.THE QUALITY AND APPROPRIATENESS OF SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED
 
The rights of all program participants to be safe, to be served appropriately, and to live in dignity, will be the primary focus of every member agency.
 
AWithin the parameters of available resources and government requirements, services will be enhanced to support the individual needs and interests of each program participant.
 
BServices will be provided in a manner that avoids undue risk, in as safe a setting and manner as allowed by circumstances.
 
C.Every attempt will be made to enhance and enrich the independence, dignity and quality of life of all program participants.
 
D.The ability of program participants and their families to participate in decisions regarding program services, both in design and quality, will be maximized.
 
 
II.COMPLIANCE WITH LEGAL STANDARDS
 
A.All member agencies will make every good faith effort to maintain compliance with all laws, regulations and judicial directives governing the operation of our services, to the best of our knowledge and ability.  
 
B.All member agencies will cooperate fully with control agencies and legal entities in any attempt to determine compliance with this principle, including but not limited to program audits, fiscal audits, certification reviews and other required instruments and initiatives.
 
III.THE GOVERNING BOARD
 
The governing board of each member agency will operate autonomously, but with the full expectation of cooperation from executive staff, ensuring that it is in possession of all appropriate information required by its function.
 
Executive staff will at all times provide full cooperation with the governing board, and ensure that the governing board is in possession of all appropriate information required by its function.
 
The governing board acknowledges, and will exercise due diligence in the fulfillment of, certain essential responsibilities. The executive staff will ensure full cooperation with, and assistance to, the governing board in its performance of these functions:
 
A.The Board has primary fiduciary responsibility for the financial well-being of the organization. That responsibility is appropriately exercised by oversight and intervention. The executive staff will ensure that the governing body is in full possession of accurate and complete financial information.
 
B.The Board is responsible for establishing appropriate policies regarding the goals and operation of the agency and a means for monitoring the progress toward those goals.
 
C.The Board is responsible for oversight of the performance of the agency's chief executive officer.
 
D.The Board is responsible to maintain direct and open communication with the agency’s attorney(s) and auditors, ensuring that the attorneys and auditors have direct access to the Board.
 
E.Members of the governing board should not profit from their relationship with the agency.  Even under those circumstances where such activities are permitted by law, financial relationships between Board members and the agency will be avoided unless good cause is determined, and the circumstances are disclosed to the full governing body and recorded in its records.
 
F.The Governing board should maintain its independent role by establishing relationships with the agency that are free of family or business entanglements.
 
 
IV.EMPLOYMENT
 
A.Employment will be provided on a non-discriminatory basis. This will include, but will not be limited to, the avoidance of employment of relatives of senior members of the staff and the Board unless such employment is for good cause and the circumstances are fully disclosed to the governing body.
 
B.The member agencies acknowledge the importance of qualified, trained, stable and supported direct service professionals as being essential to the well-being of program participants. Issues of equity and sufficiency in compensation and benefits will be priority concerns. Available supports for employee growth and development will be maximized.
 
C.The agency will periodically review the non-executive personnel salary scales in comparison to that of equivalent agencies in the broad service sector of health, hospital and human services, making all good faith efforts to ensure reasonable peer equity within available government resources.
 
 
V.BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES
 
 
A.The business of the agency will be undertaken so as to maintain the principles of openness, fairness and cost efficiency, and shall be conducted in a sound and professional manner which ensures that: 
 
(1)Clear, accurate and complete records are maintained;
 
(2)Purchasing contracts and practices regarding goods and services are periodically reviewed and bid so as to maintain a high degree of economy and efficiency.
 
B.The agency will avoid all financial activities and transactions between the agency and its employees which are beyond the scope of compensation for services rendered. Even under those circumstances where such activities are permitted by law, financial relationships between the agency and its employees will be avoided unless good cause is determined, the circumstances are fully disclosed to the governing board and recorded in its records, and all required notices to oversight agencies are in place.
 
C.The agency will vigorously attempt to maximize the commitment of available resources to the direct provision of services, while at the same time maintaining a high degree of economy and efficiency in administration.  Though the determination of appropriate administrative costs is a matter of circumstance, structure and marketplace for each agency individually, pursuit of this goal is essential to ethical practice.
 
D.The agency will develop and maintain internal procedures to ensure that Board and staff are kept abreast of changes or developments regarding ethics and governance, 
 
 
VI.EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND APPOINTMENT
 
Appointment and compensation of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are the responsibility of the governing board of each member agency.
 
A.The appointment of each organization’s Chief Executive Officer should be a result of appropriate review of credentials, references and experience.
 
B.Executive compensation should be established and reviewed in consideration of all compensatory factors including salary, deferred compensation, benefits, and perquisites.  Member agencies will adhere strictly to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service regarding establishment of executive compensation.  
 
C.Executive compensation should at all times be driven by appropriate factors in the marketplace so as to assure that decisions are fair, equitable and appropriate. Relevant marketplace factors in the determination of executive compensation in the health care, hospital and human service marketplace include, but are not limited to:
 
i.Size and complexity of the agency, as manifested by the budget, workforce and consumer population served
ii.Success in performance
iii.Duration of employment
iv.Regional variances
                                             
 
D.These factors should be incorporated into executive compensation decisions so as to assure that these decisions are fair, reasonable, appropriately comparable in light of the marketplace and as free of the burden of unjust criticism as possible.
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