Trust is the lifeblood of an Chamber – trust by the public, trust by the media, trust by the government, trust by corporations, trust by donors, trust by other Chambers, trust by beneficiaries, and trust by its employees and those who volunteer their time. To develop and maintain trust, each Chamber should exhibit genuine public accountability and transparency, and should be honest in the information that it makes available to the public.
A. Public information on the Chamber
1. ACCURACY AND TIMELINESS
Information provided about the organization to donors, members, clients, staff, and the general public shall be accurate and timely.
2. ANNUAL REPORT
At least annually, the organization shall prepare and make available to the public information on its programs and services, and provide public access to appropriate records of those programs and services.
3. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The Chamber annually shall prepare and make available to the public basic financial information on the organization, including the source of its funding; the use of those funds; the percentage of the funds used for service and programs, administration activities, and fundraising; and any compensation provided to the governing body. The Chamber shall also provide public access to appropriate financial records.
4. LISTING OF GOVERNING BODY AND OFFICERS
The organization shall make available the names of its governing body and management staff, publicize any changes in its governing board, and provide access to appropriate minutes of meetings of its governing board.
The organization shall make available, in a timely and accurate manner, information on any partnerships or other joint ventures into which it has entered.
The organization shall maintain the confidentiality of personal information on staff, clients and others, unless the individuals waive this right, or disclosure is required by law.
The organization shall describe itself in terms of its own merits, not in depreciation of other Chambers. Communications regarding another Chamber shall not be made with the purpose of creating a self-benefit at the expense of the other.
8. COMMUNICATIONS CHANNEL
The organization shall provide a communication channel for the public should they wish to make inquiries regarding the NGO and its activities.
The Chamber shall assign at least one person to assure that the organization is complying with national and local laws regarding disclosure of information to the public.
B. Public advocacy
1. ACCURACY AND IN CONTEXT
Information that the organization chooses to disseminate to the media, policy makers or the public must be accurate and presented with proper context. This includes information presented by the Chamber with respect to any legislation, policy, individual, organization, or project it opposes, supports, or is discussing. Forward-looking projections are to be presented clearly as such, and not as fact.
2. VERBAL AND WRITTEN STATEMENTS
The organization shall have clear guidelines and approval processes for the issuing of verbal and written statements.
3. DISCLOSURE OF BIAS
The organization shall present information in a fair and unbiased manner. Where a possible bias is unavoidable or inherent, it is to be disclosed.
4. AUTHORITY FOR STATEMENTS
An Chamber’s statements must reflect its actual authority. A membership Chamber may be able to represent its membership, if such a role is provided in its organizing document and the views of the membership are determined by proper means. A public benefit Chamber shall not improperly assume the authority of the community it serves.