Quality Principle 7:
Development and humanitarian organisations are governed in an accountable, transparent and responsible way.
Quality Principle 7 recognises the importance of building trust with all stakeholders through compliance with standards and through ethical and sound decision-making. It covers all aspects of good governance, extending beyond the establishment of a formal governing body and associated mechanisms, and including core organisational Commitments to governing responsibly, accountably and transparently. Quality Principle 7 incorporates obligations covering governing instruments, governing body policies, transparency, annual general meetings, conflicts of interest, legal requirements and complaints handling.
To foster public trust and ensure good conduct in aid and development work, ACFID’s members have the responsibility to promote legal and ethical behavior, and to monitor the actions of staff and partners to ensure no wrongdoing or impropriety. In some contexts in which our members operate, there is a heightened risk of corruption, fraud or bribery, and members should act, and be seen to act, in a way that is honest and transparent. Voluntary governing bodies of member organisations are expected to be ‘responsible persons’ of integrity and able to make independent and objective decisions focused on achieving aid and development objectives. Member organisations have a duty to carefully manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest because reputational damage can affect the whole sector.
The language and requirements of this Principle are aligned with ACNC requirements which have come into effect since the Code was last revised. There was broad endorsement for this Quality Principle during consultations.
The ACFID blog “Governing accountably, transparently and responsibly” elaborates on this quality principle, exploring aspects of good governance and recognising the role it plays in building trust with stakeholders. In this video, we interview Steven Meredith, Chair of The Leprosy Mission Australia , to understand how this ACFID member practices good governance.
Quality Principle 7 is implemented through four Commitments by ACFID Members.
We are not-for-profit and formed for a defined public benefit.
We meet our legal and compliance obligations.
We are accountable to our stakeholders.
We have responsible and independent governance mechanisms.