Good Governance

Public service values are at the heart of NGO Fontana. High standards of corporate and personal conduct based on a recognition that beneficiaries of our programs come first, have been the requirement throughout NGO Fontana since its foundation.

Moreover, since NGO Fontana is publicly and donor funded, it must be accountable to donors for the services it provides and for the effective and economical use of donor’s money.

There are three crucial services values that must always underpin our work:

1.    Everything done by those who work for NGO Fontana must be able to stand the test of rigorous scrutiny and professional codes of conduct.

2.    There should be an absolute standard of honesty in dealing with the assets of NGO Fontana; integrity should be the hallmark of all personal conduct in decisions affecting beneficiaries and staff and in the use of information acquired in the course of NGO Fontana duties

3.    There should be sufficient transparency about NGO Fontana activities to promote confidence between NGO Fontana organization and its staff, beneficiaries, donors and the public.

 

The Board

The NGO Fontana board will adhere to the following organizational values:

 

Getting Involved

We strive to involve, engage and value individuals, teams and beneficiaries

 

Nurturing

We are committed to providing a learning environment that achieves success and nurtures talents

 

Striving for Excellence

We are proud of the quality of our work and continually strive to exceed expectations to achieve the best outcomes for beneficiaries and staff

 

Innovative

We will create the future through researching new and improved ways of working and adopting best practices

 

Passionate

With energy, enthusiasm and drive we endeavour to go the extra mile and get it right the first time

 

Respectful

We are respectful of individuals, services and organizations by being transparent and honest, and our actions reflect our words through integrity

 

Empowered

We are all empowered to participate, communicate and lead by being accountable and responsible for everything we do

 

General principles for serving at the NGO Fontana Board:

 

  • A willingness to be open with the public, beneficiaries, donors and staff
  • A requirement that major decisions are consulted on and information made easily available
  • Project work should forge and open a positive relationship with local community
  • Duty to ensure that funds are properly safeguarded
  • Board will conduct its business efficiently and effectively
  • Accounting and employment practices must reflect highest professional standards
  • Reports issued by the Board should be clear, comprehensive and balanced and should fully represent the facts and should be issued in good time
  • Chair and Board Directors should act impartially and should not be influenced buy social or business relationships
  • Relevant interests should be declared and recorded and where appropriate Directors withdraw from discussions
  • Careful considerations and justification of any use of NGO Fontana monies for hospitality, entertainment and other expenditures
  • Board should ensure staff has a proper and widely publicized procedure for voicing complaints or concerns

 

CONSISTENCY WITH CHARITABLE MISSION AND VISION

The Board is ultimately responsible for reviewing the Corporation’s effectiveness in satisfying its charitable mission. This includes:

  • Evaluating and modifying the charitable mission of the Corporation;
  • A periodic assessment of the Corporation’s performance and effectiveness in achieving mission-related goals; and
  • Requesting from management, on a periodic basis, reports identifying specific means to address perceived deficiencies in mission effectiveness.

 

The Board periodically documents its review of the Corporation’s charitable activities in the Corporate minutes.

 

The Board will stay informed regarding material developments in the laws governing charitable organizations through periodic educational sessions.

 

THE AUDIT

The Board hires and terminates the Corporation’s outside auditors and establishes the terms of the outside auditor’s engagement. The Board is responsible for

  • Establishing, proposing or carrying out policies relating to non-audit services provided by the outside auditor to the Corporation and other aspects of the corporation-auditor relationship that potentially could affect the auditor’s independence;
  • Reviewing and commenting on the adequacy of the Corporation’s financial disclosure and internal controls;

 

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

The Board (working with its Audit) is responsible for ensuring the transparency and the integrity of corporate financial statements.

 

The Board is responsible for:

  • The adoption of policies prohibiting executive interference with the audit process;
  • Approving all loans, credit extensions and incentive compensation arrangements extended to directors and officers of the Corporation;
  • Ensuring the sufficiency, clarity and timeliness of all financial disclosures of the Corporation.

 

The Board will ensure the consistency of corporate expenditures with statements made in corporate charitable solicitations, and compliance with all donor restrictions.

 

The Board will ensure that:

  • An appropriate limitation is placed on the amount of administrative/overhead expenses spent in connection with charitable mission-related activities;
  • An appropriate limitation is placed on the amount of contributions spent on fund raising activities;
  • The accumulation of funds that are not used for current program activities is no more than the Board determines to be prudent given the Corporation’s financial condition, short- and long-term needs; and
  • Financial information concerning the Corporation, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, is available to the public or to donors on request. Such information should accurately reflect the Corporation’s expenses related to fundraising activities, among other expenses.

 

CORPORATE ETHICS/CORPORATE COMPLIANCE

The Board is ultimately responsible for promoting an organizational culture that encourages a commitment to compliance with the law.

 

The Board will take all necessary steps to instill a “culture of compliance” within the Corporation.

 

Consistent with that organizational commitment, the Board will:

  • Ensure that there exists a corporate information and reporting system, designed to prevent and detect violations of the law
  • Be knowledgeable about the content and operation of such system;
  • Exercise reasonable oversight with respect to the implementation and effectiveness of such system;
  • Ensure that legally appropriate document on policies and procedures are in place;
  • Ensure that “non-retaliation” protections are in place for employees who disclose potential legal violations under the reporting system.

 

BOARD DELIBERATIVE PROCESSES

The Board adopts governance policies and procedures that assist individual Board members in making informed decisions in the best interests of the Corporation.

 

This will include policies and procedures addressing:

  • Establishment of meeting agendas, advance distribution of information and the manner in which information is presented to the Board;
  • Expectations of Directors, expected time commitments and attendance obligations of Directors, and limitations on outside Board memberships of Directors;
  • Continued Director fitness to serve (e.g., the implications of factors such as health, significant change in job status, or the Director as party to any action, suit, proceeding, settlement or similar matter that might reasonably be deemed material to an evaluation of a Director’s ability or integrity);
  • The periodic rotation of committee Chairs and membership, terms and retirement of the Chairs and membership of the Board; and
  • Establishment and maintenance of Director orientation, training, and continuing education and self-evaluation programs, with particular emphasis on (i) the effectiveness and adequacy of the Board; (ii) the sufficiency and timeliness of the information provided by management to the Board; (iii) the background and qualifications of individual Directors; and (iv) the contributions of each Director to the Board and to mission effectiveness.

 

FUND-RAISING ACCOUNTABILITY

The Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the Corporation’s communications in fund-raising activity.

In satisfaction of this responsibility the Board will ensure that:

  • The annual report of the Corporation is available upon request;
  • The reasonable privacy concerns of donors are addressed.

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