VCS’ Commitment to Compliance
1. VCS recognises that it is accountable to all its stakeholders, which include its members, beneficiaries, regulatory authorities, donors and members of the public. For VCS to operate successfully, the Board believes that there must be confidence and public trust in its work. It is therefore imperative to have a sound governance and management system that can withstand the scrutiny of its stakeholders.
2. The Board is committed to setting and maintaining a high standard of governance in the spirit of the Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of a Public Character (“Code”).
3. The Board has developed a Manual based on the Code. The Board shall ensure that VCS adheres with the principles and guidelines of the Code. The Code will help VCS to be more effective, transparent and accountable to its stakeholders. It aims to help members of the public understand VCS’ standard of governance and to make an informed decision about the support they give in terms of time and monies.
4. The guidelines in the Code are tiered into Basic, Intermediate, Enhanced and Advanced sections according to the IPC status and size of the charity. Similarly, there are different versions of the Evaluation Checklist for the different tiers. VCS comes under the Enhanced tier of the Code.
5. To comply with the Code, the Board will maintain and regularly review VCS’ system of internal controls, performance, policies and procedures to ensure that:
(a) VCS regularly identifies and reviews the key risks to which VCS is exposed to and has a system to manage these risks;
(b) VCS understands and complies with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements;
(c) VCS has appropriate up-to-date financial and management controls;
(d) delegation to Board Committees, staff and volunteers works effectively and the use of delegated authority is properly supervised;
(e) proper arrangements are in place for the recruitment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of all staff including the Executive Director; and
(f) volunteers are managed and supported.
Risk management is an integral part of sound governance. It is integrated with VCS’ business strategy, cuts across the different functional areas of VCS’ operations and is mainly embedded within the day-to-day management and operational processes of these functional areas. VCS has established an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework based on guidance by the 2016 ERM Toolkit for Charities and Institutions of a Public Character issued by the Charity Council.
VCS has identified 7 key risks, namely:
The risks are monitored and reported to the Board on a quarterly basis. Key updates and issues are shared with staff on a quarterly basis during staff meeting. Channels of communication for urgent dissemination of information and action plans are also established.
VCS is committed to conducting its operations in a sustainable manner. Sustainability recognises the interdependence of economic, social and environmental factors. It is about being mindful that the success of an organisation does not only depend on its financial results, but also on factors that relate to Environment, Social, and Governance (“ESG” factors). It is about achieving a balance between Planet, People and Profit.
Core subjects are issues related to organisational governance, human rights, labour practices such as child labour and forced labour risks, the environment such as climate change risks, greenhouse gas emissions, fair operating practices, community involvement and development.
VCS’ operations are influenced by changes to the social and governance policies and practices, but it is unlikely to have a major impact from the environmental factor. Nonetheless, we can certainly play our part by taking initiatives to use natural resources more efficiently, improve process efficiency and use recyclable resources. These initiatives will also help VCS to attain cost savings.
To assist in the execution of its responsibilities, the Board shall be assisted by the following Board Committees:
These Board Committees have clearly established terms of reference setting out their authorities and duties .
Whistle- Blowing Policy
The VCS Board and staff are fully committed to conduct all its activities with integrity and the highest ethical standards whilst complying with applicable laws and regulations. VCS strongly believes that the actions and conduct of the Board and staff are essential to maintaining these standards. In line with this commitment, VCS has a Whistle-blowing Policy to allow whistle-blowers to raise concerns over a breach of these standards, highlight incidents of malpractice or wrongdoings within VCS. This Policy applies to any suspected improprieties involving Board or staff of VCS.
Conflict of Interest Policy
VCS’ Conflict of Interest Policy is embedded in our Constitution. The policy requires Board and staff to observe and to declare real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest to the Board at the earliest opportunity. Where a potential conflict of interest arises, the Board member or staff concerned should not vote on the matter nor participate in discussions. He should also recuse himself from the meeting. The reason for how a final decision is made on the transaction or contract should be recorded.
Declarations are required for related parties’ transactions. Any related party transaction will be reviewed at a stipulated interval and the outcome of the review be reported to the Board and documented.
Any appointment of staff who is a close member of the family of the current Board members or staff should undergo the established human resource procedures for recruitment, performance evaluation and remuneration.
Board members or staff should make a declaration of such relationships and not influence decisions made during these procedures.
Data Protection and Privacy
The Board expects all of its members, clients, beneficiaries, volunteers, partners, suppliers, donors and employees to comply with this Policy.