ACM Conflict of Interest Policy

Council (10/24 & 27/83) [Item 1 only]


Council members, officers, and other volunteers, and employees of the Association shall act to further the best interests of the Association, in their official affairs; they shall be alert regarding relationships with third parties which might affect their independent judgement when acting for or on behalf of the Associations, be alert in the conduct of the affairs of the Association to avoid situations in which they might, directly or indirectly, profit personally, and at all times use their best efforts to enhance the reputation of the Association for honesty, integrity, candor, and lack of bias or discrimination. Each Council member shall represent the members and the best interests of the Association. Detailed guidance for the staff and volunteers acting under the direct or apparent authority of ACM is outlined in Exhibit A hereto.

Exhibit A

ACM’s success depends not only on the competence of its management and staff, but also upon its reputation for integrity, candor and lack of bias in the conduct of its affairs in the best scientific and professional tradition. The Association for Computing Machinery has earned and maintained that kind of reputation. To maintain this, this document provides some specific guidance for staff and volunteers in making judgements and decisions in the best interests of the Association.

The provisions of this document apply to staff and all volunteers acting under the direct or apparent authority of the ACM. The following guidelines will be adhered to:

Council (06/27 & 29/90) [Item 1 only]

        1. Confidential Information

Confidential information acquired through or as a result of employment or volunteer activity shall be used solely for the Association’s purposes and under no circumstances shall it be revealed to unauthorized persons. Confidential information which might reflect favorably or adversely upon the investment value or future market value of any business enterprise shall not be used in any manner for personal or private employment advantage.

        2. Personal Gain

(a)   All persons must avoid situations in which they might profit or even give the appearance of profiting personally from the Association’s activities, including relationships with the association’s customers, suppliers, or employers of volunteers.

(b)   No one shall, directly or indirectly, accept or solicit anything of value as a gift, gratuity or favor under circumstances that might affect, or reasonably lead others to believe such action would affect impartially on behalf of the Association.

The above is not intended to prohibit acceptance of social amenities and token gifts of purely nominal value, consistent with generally accepted business practices and good taste. Since the measurement and propriety of accepting such gifts or amenities is frequently difficult to determine, any doubt should be resolved by either declining to accept the gift or amenity, or obtaining the approval of the Department Head or the Executive Director, in the case of staff employees.

(c)   The Association’s name and/or stationery will not be used in any manner for business or personal gain.

Council (06/27 & 29/90) [Item (d) only]

(d)   If a situation arises that might result in personal profit to a volunteer or member of staff, or give the appearance of such personal profit, from the Association’s activities, the volunteer or member of staff shall call the situation to the attention of the appropriate Department Head or the Executive Director for advice and guidance.

        3. Political Action

(a)   The Association’s stationery may not be used in correspondence or for soliciting on behalf of a political candidate or party.

(b)   It is the policy of the Association not to make political contributions. This policy, however, is not intended to discourage any individual from making political contributions from his or her own funds.

Council (10/15 & 16/92) 

        4. Professional Conduct

(a)   No one shall either directly or indirectly, acting either under his or her assigned direct responsibilities or under the authority of any volunteer, issue any written or oral communications or express any opinion which in any way disparages any equipment, system or service related to information processing.

5.  Any public statements except as may be specifically authorized in the approved charter of an ACM board or Committee by any volunteer or staff of ACM holding an appointed or elective position in ACM which in any way is to represent an official position of the Association other than those approved for publication in CACM, must be approved by the Executive Committee and/or the Council of the ACM as deemed appropriate by the President of ACM.