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Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest

PUBLIC PROCEDURE ANSI-PR-030 Issued: 2017-11-13, Revision: 4

References ANSI-PL-100: ANSI Accreditation Services Management System Policy Manual
ANSI-PR-007: Records
ANSI-TP-001: Statement of Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Compliance with ANSI Accreditation Policies and Procedures
ANSI-TP-001 Electronic Version: Statement of Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Compliance with ANSI Accreditation Policies and Procedures
21 CFR Parts 1, 11, and 16 - Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications Final Rule
IAF PL1:2009, Code of Conduct for Members of the IAF
ISO 9000:2015, Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary
ISO/IEC 17000:2004, Conformity assessment - Vocabulary and general principles
ISO/IEC 17011:2017 Conformity assessment - Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assesssment bodies
1.1This Accreditation Services (AS) document provides procedures to be followed by all "Accreditation Team Members" to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure client confidentiality in the accreditation process.
2.1As a general rule, definitions of ISO/IEC 17000 and ISO 9000 are applicable.
2.2ACCREDITATION TEAM MEMBER: All ANSI employees, independent contractors, Committee members and other participants in ANSI accreditation services delivery.
2.3CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Situation which:
a)has the potential to undermine or compromise the impartiality of an Accreditation Team Member, or
b)puts the Accreditation Team Member or family member in a position to derive personal financial, professional, or political benefit from an action or decision made as an Accreditation Team Member.
The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of its actual occurrence.
2.4EMPLOYEE: ANSI paid staff.
2.5FAMILY MEMBER: relative and others living within the Accreditation Team Member's household or any other person for whom the Accreditation Team Member is legally or financially responsible.
2.6ACCREDITATION SERVICES (AS): ANSI's business of accrediting third-party conformity assessment bodies in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011:2004.
3Conflict of Interest Policy
3.1Accreditation Team Members shall avoid any conflict between their personal interests and the interests of ANSI (a) in dealing with suppliers, members, customers, and other third-parties, and (b) in the conduct of their personal affairs.
3.2Financial Interest in Other Organizations
3.2.1A conflict of interest exists when an Accreditation Team Member or Family Member has a financial interest in, manages, or otherwise controls an organization (including an affiliate, parent or subsidiary) which has current or prospective dealings with ANSI AS as a contractor or client, and such Accreditation Team Member could influence such dealings with ANSI AS.
3.3Compensation from Other Organizations
3.3.1A conflict of interest exists when an Accreditation Team Member or Family Member receives direct or indirect compensation as an employee, staff, director of or consultant to another organization which has a current or prospective relationship with ANSI AS where the Accreditation Team Member could exert influence to the benefit or detriment of ANSI AS or the organization.
3.4Receipt of Gifts and Outside Compensation
3.4.1Accreditation Team Members or Family Members shall not accept gifts of substantial value (including travel) or lavish entertainment from an actual or potential ANSI AS client or its board members or association.
3.4.2If there is no reasonable likelihood that the Accreditation Team Member will be, or appear to have been, improperly influenced in the performance of his or her duties to ANSI AS, the following are excluded from presenting conflicts of interest:
a)normal business courtesies (lunch, dinner, etc.) involving no more than ordinary, de minimis amenities, and if during an accreditation assessment pursuant to 21 CFR Parts 1, 11, and 16, provided on the premises where the assessment is conducted;
b)token non-cash gifts of nominal value at holidays or on other infrequent occasions;
c)exchange of appropriate gifts because of kinship, marriage, or social relationships entirely separate from business relationships; and
d)payment of fees for accreditation services and reimbursement of direct costs associated with third-party certification bodies.
3.4.3ANSI will accept the payment of fees and reimbursement of direct costs for accreditation services associated with the assessment of a certification body pursuant to 21 CFR Parts 1, 11, and 16 - Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications Final Rule only after the date on which the report of such assessment was completed or the date on which the accreditation was issued, whichever comes later. fulling ANSI-PL-100 section 7.1.5 with respect to certification bodies accredited pursuant to 21 CFR Parts 1, 11, and 16 - Accreditation of Third-Party Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications Final Rule, ANSI will also publish the date(s) on which the accredited third-party certification body paid any fee or reimbursement associated with such accreditation.
3.5Improper Use of ANSI AS Resources
3.5.1No Accreditation Team Member or Family Member shall utilize the name, assets, facilities, or credit of ANSI AS for the purpose of making any gift, contribution (including political contributions), loan or commitment to any person or organization which would be illegal, or impede ANSI's efforts to secure revenue or control expenses, or represent an actual or potential conflict of interest.
3.6Reporting of Potential Conflicts of Interest
3.6.1Each Accreditation Team Member has a continuing duty to report promptly an actual or potential conflict of interest covered by this policy. This includes the continuing duty to report affiliations with organizations that may create an actual or potential conflict of interest, for which the Accreditation Team Member must supply the date the affiliation began, and if applicable, the date the affiliation ended. The conflict or potential conflict of interest will be deemed to continue for at least two years from the date the affiliation ended. This report shall be made directly to the Director Accreditation Services, or through the database used to administer the procedure (ANSICA).
3.7Conflict of Interest Determination
3.7.1The Director Accreditation Services shall determine whether any conflict or potential conflict of interest is present, and any steps necessary to eliminate the conflict. Notice of the decision made shall be transmitted in writing to the Accreditation Team Member who shall have an opportunity to respond. In making a determination, the Director Accreditation Services may consult with AS management staff and/or ANSI's General Counsel.
4Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Documentation
4.1A copy of this procedure shall be available to all Accreditation Team Members, each of whom shall be requested to complete, sign and submit a copy of the statement of confidentiality and conflict of interest (ANSI-TP-001).
4.2Completed ANSI-TP-001 statements shall be retained in accordance with ANSI-PR-007.
4.3In order to audit compliance with this policy, the Director Accreditation Services may request appropriate substantiating information from the Accreditation Team Member.
4.4The Director Accreditation Services is responsible for maintenance of information on any actual or potential conflicts of interest, including those reported by Accreditation Team Members in prior years, and their respective explanations and dispositions. The Director Accreditation Services shall review such information during the Management Review and produce a report for the Vice President of Accreditation Services.
4.5ANSI-PL-100 baseline requirements for Conflict of Interest and Impartiality considerations also contain an attached Related Body Analysis which documents those entities which may potentially pose undue influence.
5Confidentiality Policy
5.1All documentation and information that is not freely available to the public and which is provided by ANSI, an organization, or individual, as part of the accreditation process shall be considered confidential information. An Accreditation Team Member shall not disclose confidential information, including information about ANSI, ANSI's delivery of accreditation services, ANSI's clients and potential clients, and Accreditation Team Members, without the appropriate written consent, except as required by law.
5.2No proprietary ANSI AS-related data or information shall be revealed by any Accreditation Team Member to any person or organization without proper written authorization. This includes information relating to contracts, documents related to the accreditation process, acquisitions, operations or any decisions, plans or other affairs of ANSI AS. This shall not preclude the authorized giving of such data or information to others pursuant of the routine course of ANSI AS business.
5.3ANSI's membership in international accreditation cooperative associations such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) present additional obligations (i.e., signed Code of Conduct) to maintain confidentiality of any proprietary information received regarding peer accreditation bodies. This occurs during review and approval of peer assessment reports subject to balloting for approval of MLA Signatory status. Control of this confidential information is the responsibility of and restricted to the Vice President for Accreditation Services and/or the appropriate Program Director pending ballot submittal and should not be subsequently retained. ANSI sponsored peer assessors will also maintain confidentiality of such records relevant to their peer assessments and in direct accordance with the policies and procedures of the specific related cooperative(s).
6.1The Director Accreditation Services is responsible for administering this procedure.
7Quality Records
7.1Quality records shall be maintained in accordance with ANSI-PR-007: Records.

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