Approved by the Board of Trustees: July 18, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society (the “Society”), through its virtual museum and archive at www.sechistorical.org, shares, preserves and advances knowledge of the history of financial regulation. The Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, independent of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or the “SEC”).
The following code of ethics states the Society’s policies and procedures for maintaining the integrity of the organization. The objectives of this document are to provide a clear and concise set of statements on ethical policy and to set the standards of conduct which the Society expects from its Board of Trustees (the “Board”), its officers, volunteers working for the Society, its staff, and others. This document sets minimum standards of conduct and performance. At the same time, it also provides a clear statement of what the public may justifiably expect.
Maintaining the trust and confidence of all those with whom the Society comes into contact is critical to the Society’s success. That trust and confidence depends on the Society’s reputation for acting ethically and with integrity. Therefore, the Society, its Board, officers, volunteers and staff shall strive at all times to avoid acting in such a way as would, accidentally or otherwise, tarnish the Society’s image and reputation. Specifically, they will:
The primary responsibility for governance, institutional policies, financial stability, and legal accountability of the Society rests with the Board. The officers and staff are responsible for executing the policies within the parameters set by the Board.
Each member of the Board:
The Board as a body:
Each officer, in its capacity as such, shall conduct himself/herself in accordance with the Society’s Articles of Incorporation and Amended Bylaws, as such may be amended from time to time. In addition, the officers may perform duties as requested by the Board.
The Executive Director has an obligation to bring before the Board and the officers any matters involving policy questions not already determined; and to keep them informed on a timely basis about all other significant or substantial matters, or intended actions affecting the Society.
The Executive Director must carry out the policies established by the Board and adhere to the budget approved by the Board. Whenever it is necessary to deviate from established policies or to alter or exceed budget guidelines, he/she should notify the Board in advance and request appropriate approval.
Staff members should communicate with the Board through the Executive Director or with his/her knowledge, but the Board will establish and maintain procedures to allow staff members to bring matters or concerns directly to the Board.
All Society staff members:
The Society will be truthful in all solicitation information or materials distributed to current and prospective donors, and will inform current and prospective donors of the way in which gifts will be used.
When seeking to raise funds, the Board, officers, other volunteer leaders and staff will exercise care not to enter into any obligation with donors which would be seen to be partial to the interests of the donor, but which would conflict with any Society policy, priority or objective, or otherwise adversely affect the wider interests of the Society.
All gifts and grants accepted by the Society with restrictions placed by the donor, or gifts and grants designated by the Society for specific purposes, will be expended in accordance with the restrictions or designations, unless otherwise agreed by the Society and the donor.
Privacy concerns of individual and institutional donors will be respected.
Access to the Society’s most recent financial statements and annual reports will be made available to current and prospective donors.
The Society will manage funds prudently and responsibly. All financial reports will be factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
The Society will ensure that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriate to fulfilling the mission of the organization. A reasonable percentage of the Society’s annual budget will be spent on programs in pursuance of the mission. An appropriate amount will be spent on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management.
The collections of the virtual museum and archive will be intellectually responsible, founded on scholarship and consistent with current knowledge. The stewardship of the collections entails the highest public trust and carries with it the presumption of rightful ownership, permanence, care, documentation, accessibility, and responsible disposal.
The Society must:
The programs of the Society must advance the Society’s mission, and be responsive to the interests, needs and concerns of its donors, museum visitors, and the public. Programs will be intellectually responsible, founded on scholarship and consistent with current knowledge. Programs will be accessible to and encourage participation of the widest possible audience consistent with the Society’s mission and resources.
Programs will promote the public good rather than individual financial gain. Any sponsored programs or revenue-producing programs will be compatible with the mission of the Society.
The Society is independent of and separate from the Commission.
The Society will work to develop and maintain relationships with the Commission and SEC staff, and will encourage the Commission and SEC staff members to be involved as volunteers, as Society donors, as museum visitors and as program audience members.
All Society activities and programs held in conjunction with the SEC will be conducted by the Society with respect for the SEC’s mandate, as an agency of the United States government, to promote impartiality, cultural diversity, and accessibility. Society activities and programs held in conjunction with the SEC will not be conducted to promote the interests of any institution or individual.
The virtual museum and archive is copyrighted by the SEC Historical Society. The Society reserves the right to restrict access to or use of the museum by any user at any time.
Users are prohibited from sharing or downloading any material for publication or commercial purposes without written permission from the Executive Director. Requests for permission must be submitted by email and specify the material requested and for what purpose.
Material used with the Society's permission should be credited to: www.sechistorical.org.