Transparent and consistent procedures for managing conflict of interest at the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association
In all its assessment processes, the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association relies on clear procedures to manage potential conflicts of interest in an ethical manner. In selecting participants in the process at all levels, we actively avoid inviting people involved in the specific creative fields of the potential nominees they are selecting and judging, and the Association makes a conscious effort to identify relationships between assessors and applicants prior to the selection of the nominees, with a view to avoiding conflicts of interest. This policy also applies to all levels of the Association.
Further, Executive Committee members cannot actively be creating comics (in print or on the web), publishing comics (other than preparation of items deemed as not-for-profit), or editing comics. Store owners can participate on the nominating and judging committees for all awards except the Harry Kremer Retailer Award, as that may be a conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest exists or may exist if external assessors and jurors or executive committee members are asked to assess a nomination, artwork or artistic production:
- from an employer, a client, or an organization where they are a board member;
- from an organization where they acted as a consultant for financial remuneration.
- where they have a direct financial interest in the success or failure of an application or nomination;
- where a nominee is their spouse/partner, or immediate family member; the person must recluse themselves from the process or their family member, spouse/partner must excuse themselves as a potential nominee
- where their spouse/partner or immediate family member is a senior staff member, contractor or board member with a publisher eligible for consideration for the publisher award or with books eligible for nomination in any of the categories;
- where they and any potential nominees have been involved in legal proceedings against each other.
- where they have been involved as an editor on an eligible work
- where they have received payment to vote a certain way
In addition to all points listed above, conflict of interest may exist for a person involved in the awards if:
- they directly contributed to shaping the contents of one of the books;
- they are listed in the acknowledgements section of one of the books, in a way that implies a direct contribution to the book.
CCBCAA members, nominators and jurors must also disclose any potential conflict of interest. If a conflict is identified and determined to be viable, they must remove themselves from the organization during the entire process for at least the current year of the awards, depending on the circumstance, or longer.
The Association recognizes that the potential for conflict of interest will always exist when expertise and current knowledge are required in the awards process. To attempt to devise rules that would eliminate all potential for conflict of interest does risk reducing vision and expert judgement to a bureaucratic exercise. The challenge is to recognize that conflict is always possible, to avoid it where feasible and to be ready to manage it when it does occur, so that the ultimate outcome is in the public interest.