Guideline on Transparency and Information Disclosure
Adopted by Resolution of the Board of Directors of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund on June 5, 2008; amended by Resolution on April 12, 2012.
The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund (“the Fund”) is a non-profit corporation established in 2002 with the primary objective of “making art happen” in the Region of Waterloo. Although the Fund receives an annual grant from the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (“the Region”), it operates independently of the Region. The Fund is governed by a fourteen (14) member Board of Directors consisting of a Chair, Vice-Chair and other directors appointed for fixed terms. The Fund fills vacancies on the Board of Directors annually.
Board members are elected in accordance with the procedural requirements of the Corporations Act of Ontario and the Fund’s Procedural By-law.
As an arms-length corporation, the Fund has authority to establish policies and make grant decisions. As well, the Fund has a high degree of responsibility to maintain public trust and account fully and openly for its decisions having regard to its role in dispensing public funds.
B. Information Disclosure
- The Fund takes great care in ensuring that information will be disclosed to the public consistent with the principles of transparency and accountability. Requests for information about the Fund’s activities and its decisions can be directed to the Chair, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund or by submitting a request via the Fund’s website – www.artsfund.ca.
- The Fund will strive to be transparent and provide information in accessible ways yet it operates with certain restraints in terms of costs and its administrative resources. Accordingly, each request for information will be assessed on a case by case basis. The Chair of the Fund’s Board of Directors, or his/her designate, will respond to a request for information in writing.
- Where the Fund determines that it is unable to disclose information, a justification for non-disclosure will be provided.
- There are a number of circumstances in which the Fund will not make information available to the public. These include, for example:
- If the disclosure of information contravenes third party confidentiality;
- If the disclosure of information would violate a contractual obligation of confidentiality of the Fund;
- If the disclosure of information before a specific date could compromise the success, effectiveness, economic interests of or impact of an activity or undertaking (such as the launch of an artistic undertaking);
- If the disclosure could harm the intellectual property rights of third parties; or
- If the disclosure could cause significant and unnecessary damage to the reputation of the Fund or severely undermine the Fund’s ability to achieve its objectives.
C. Meetings of the Board of Directors
- Meetings of the Board of Directors of the Fund generally take place bi-monthly at the offices of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, 150 Frederick Street in the City of Kitchener.
- Approximately one week prior to each meeting, the Chair of the Fund prepares an agenda for the meeting. This agenda is available for public viewing at the Office of the Regional Clerk, 2nd Floor, 150 Frederick Street, Kitchener.
- The meeting agendas and minutes will be posted to the Arts Fund website for public access. (effective 2012)
- A citizen wishing to make a representation to the Board of Directors may make a written request to the Chair at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to a meeting. The request shall include the name, address , telephone number and e-mail address of the person seeking to attend the Board meeting together with a brief description of the item to be discussed. The Fund reviews and assesses grant applications on the basis of written submissions only. Accordingly grant applicants will not be permitted to make oral representations to the Board for the purpose of promoting a pending grant application.
- The Chair shall receive the request and permit the member of the public making the request to appear before the Board at the commencement of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Directors of the Fund. The length of time allotted for such a presentation shall be at the discretion of the Chair.
- Meetings of the Board are conducted in accordance with the Fund’s Procedural By-law and Robert’s Rules of Order. On motion of the Chair, the Fund may conduct its meetings in closed session where the Fund intends to review and assess grant applications or consider any matters involving the confidential information of third parties, grant recipients, Board members or employees, if applicable, of the Fund. The Fund may also consider matters in closed session in circumstances where the Directors may need to receive legal or confidential professional advice or the security or property interests of the Fund may otherwise be affected.
- Every year, the Fund holds an Annual General Meeting (“AGM”). The time and place of the Fund’s AGM will be published in advance on the Fund’s website. Members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM of the Fund.
D. Financial Transparency
Each year, the Fund submits a report to the Council of the Regional Municipality outlining the activities of the Fund over the previous year. As well, the Fund produces audited annual financial statements which disclose its sources of income and details its expenditures.