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This does not mean that all management decisions and evidence have to be approached with suspicion or mistrust; but rather that an open and enquiring mind fre Exam focus point 1. com must always be employed. A healthy corporate culture and environment is one that encourages and enables such scepticism to thrive. 5 Independence Independence is the avoidance of being unduly influenced by vested interests and free from any constraints that would prevent a correct course of action being taken. It is an ability to stand apart from inappropriate influences and be free of managerial capture, to be able to make the correct and uncontaminated decision on a given issue.

Lack of probity includes not only obvious examples of dishonesty, such as taking bribes, but also reporting information in a slanted way that is designed to give an unfair impression. Guidance in the UK charitable sector has defined probity in terms of receipt of gifts or hospitality by trustees. The Code stresses that all gifts should be clearly recorded, and trustees should not accept gifts with a significant monetary value or lavish hospitality. They should certainly not accept gifts or hospitality which may seem likely to influence their decisions.

In the context of directors' remuneration (discussed in Chapter 3) evidence suggests that full transparency can ratchet up average reward. A chief executive, seeing how much other chief executives in their sector are earning, may want their rewards to match theirs. A remuneration committee may regard the fact that its chief executive is earning below average remuneration as poor publicity for the chief executive and the company. 4. Full transparency of rewards of one type may lead to those in positions of trust to seek less visible, and perhaps more costly, rewards.

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