Procedures for Handling Suspected Violations of Code of Conduct
The Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) has adopted these Procedures for Handling Code of Conduct violations and suspected violations.
Duty to Report
13. It is the responsibility of all Participants to report violations of ANSI’s Code of Conduct. Such reports must be made in good faith.
14. Any Participant may lodge a complaint concerning another Participant’s suspected violation of ANSI’s Code of Conduct. A complaint must be in writing and include the name, position, address, telephone number and signature of the author of the complaint and a brief statement of the basis upon which the complainant believes a Participant has violated the Code of Conduct. Complaints must be submitted to ANSI’s General Counsel, who will share it with ANSI's President and the Chair of ANSI's Board of Directors.
Determining Whether a Code of Conduct Violation Exists
15. Upon receipt of a complaint, the ANSI Board Chair, with the assistance of ANSI’s General Counsel and President, will review the complaint and determine whether it is within the scope of this Code of Conduct policy and whether further action is appropriate.
16. The ANSI Board Chair, in consultation with ANSI’s General Counsel and President may, in their discretion, reject the complaint if it: (a) lacks sufficient factual allegations, (b) is frivolous on its face; or (c) was submitted under circumstances that demonstrate it was made in bad faith.
17. Upon reaching a determination on a complaint, the ANSI Board Chair, in consultation with ANSI's General Counsel and President, will send written notification to the complainant and, if appropriate, the subject of the complaint. The notification shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint, enclose a copy of the complaint and ANSI Code of Conduct, and include the Chair’s determination whether further action will be taken.
Procedures for addressing a Code of Conduct Violation
18. Investigative Inquiry. If the ANSI Board Chair determines that the complaint requires further action, the Chair shall promptly designate an investigative team, which may be comprised of ANSI’s General Counsel, ANSI staff, and/or any disinterested director(s) (collectively “investigators”) to undertake an investigative inquiry, which may at the Chair’s or investigators’ discretion include the following steps:
a. Interviewing the complainant, the subject of the complaint, and/or relevant witnesses identified by either party;
b. Reviewing any documents provided by the complainant, the subject of the complaint and/or other witnesses;
c. Consulting with subject matter experts; and
d. Taking any other steps appropriate to aid in determining whether the complaint should be pursued further.
After considering all information gathered during the investigative inquiry, the investigators will provide a written recommendation to ANSI's General Counsel and Board Chair as to whether the subject should be found in violation of the Code of Conduct policy and/or whether further steps should be taken. The recommendation shall include the rationale for the recommendation and any supporting materials.
The Board Chair will review the written recommendation and other materials submitted and, in consultation with ANSI's General Counsel and President, will make a determination whether the subject violated ANSI’s Code of Conduct.
If the Chair determines that the subject of the complaint violated ANSI’s Code of Conduct, the Chair will determine the appropriate remediation to pursue. If the Chair makes a determination that the subject of the complaint did not violate ANSI’s Code of Conduct, no further action will be taken by ANSI, except to notify the subject and complainant of the determination.
19. Remediation. Corrective measures or discipline should be appropriate to the facts and circumstances of the violation and, subject to the Bylaws and applicable law, may include, but not be limited to: written admonishment or reprimand; a demand that remedial action be taken; removal from ANSI Board or committee assignments; loss of certain membership-related privileges; exclusion from attendance at certain ANSI-related events or conferences or participation in ANSI activities for a specified time; suspension from involvement in ANSI activities for a specified time; and expulsion from ANSI membership. Any recommended remediation will be overseen by the ANSI Board Chair and designated ANSI staff persons.
20. Remediation without Investigative Inquiry. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 18, once the Chair has determined that the complaint will be addressed under the Code of Conduct policy, in consultation with ANSI's General Counsel, the Chair may at any time forego or suspend an investigative inquiry and offer remediation to the subject to resolve the complaint. In the event a remediation offer is accepted by the subject, notice will be provided to the complainant. The matter will otherwise be kept confidential, except to the extent necessary to effect the applicable remediation or for ANSI to comply with its legal obligations.
21. Notification of Determination of Remediation. The Chair will notify the complainant and subject in writing of any remediation determination and, if the determination is pursuant to a recommendation following an investigative inquiry, will simultaneously provide to the complainant and subject copies of the written recommendation and supporting materials.
22. Subject’s Rejection of Recommended Remediation. If the Chair recommends remediation and the subject does not agree, the Chair may, in consultation with the ANSI President and/or General Counsel, offer the subject the opportunity to appeal the remediation determination to the ANSI Appeals Board in accordance with the Appeals Board Operating Procedures.
Conflicts of Interest
23. In addition to complying with ANSI's Conflict of Interest Policy, individuals involved in hearing and determining Code of Conduct violations shall act at all times in a manner that promotes confidence in the integrity and impartiality of ANSI’s processes and procedures. No Participant may participate in resolving a complaint if they have a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest may include, but are not necessarily limited to, a personal, business or financial relationship with the complainant or subject; a personal, business or financial interest in the outcome of the complaint; or personal involvement in or knowledge of the conduct at issue in the complaint. Any Participant who believes he or she has a conflict of interest should promptly recuse him- or herself and disclose the nature of the conflict of interest to ANSI’s General Counsel.
Confidentiality and Document Retention
24. Although the results of the remedial determination may be announced to ANSI’s Board or its membership, ANSI endeavors to keep proceedings under its Code of Conduct policy as confidential as is reasonably possible. Participants in any proceeding under the Code of Conduct, including the complainant, subject, witnesses, and Participants involved in resolving the complaint, are expected to adhere to this confidentiality policy. However, Participants may, at their own expense, consult legal counsel and discuss the matter with immediate family members, provided they have first agreed to keep the matter confidential. Violation of this expectation of confidentiality may be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.
25. The President of ANSI may disclose information regarding the proceedings to ANSI staff, members and third parties as necessary for ANSI’s business purposes, including, but not limited to, facilitating proceedings, implementing remedial action, or satisfying ANSI’s legal obligations. ANSI may also, in its sole discretion, disclose information obtained during the course of any proceeding for safety or security purposes. In addition, ANSI may, at its discretion, make legal counsel available to consult with its staff, investigators and panelists concerning any aspect of any complaint or proceeding under the Code of Conduct.
26. A copy of key records relevant to each proceeding, including the complaint, materials submitted by the parties or collected during the investigative inquiry, written notices and reports, minutes, the record of the hearing, appeals, and decisions will be retained for seven years by ANSI.
27. Once a complaint has been finally resolved, the Chair will notify all participants that they should delete or destroy, without retaining copies of, all documents and information in their possession relating to the proceeding. All participants are expected to comply with this policy and, to the extent they believe they are unable to do so due to competing legal or other obligations, should discuss the matter with ANSI’s General Counsel. Participants should keep in mind that documents and communications sent via (or stored in) personal or institutional e-mail, networks, or cloud services may not be kept confidential, and they should endeavor to exercise good judgment in sending, storing and retaining documents relating to proceedings under this Policy.
28. While Participants are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct in all of their professional activities, the Chair may decline to consider any complaint at his or her sole discretion, including but not limited to complaints that concern conduct or a dispute in which another organization or institution has a more substantial interest, or that is the subject of legal action or a governmental investigation. The Chair may also decide to defer consideration of any such complaint until the other organization or institution has addressed the matter internally, or until any legal action or governmental investigation has concluded.
29. Further, complaints regarding conduct that falls under ANSI’s Conflict of Interest Policy will ordinarily be first addressed under that policy. ANSI may, at its discretion, also treat such a complaint (or a complaint made pursuant to that policy) as a complaint under the Code of Conduct policy.
30. If at any point the Chair or the President or General Counsel of ANSI determines that a complaint raises or may raise a criminal matter, then ANSI may inform the appropriate authorities. In this event, the Chair or President or General Counsel of ANSI may suspend further consideration of the complaint until after the appropriate authorities have completed their investigation or any other actions. After the involvement of the appropriate authorities is complete, whether or not such involvement results in any criminal or civil sanctions, a complainant may request that ANSI continue its consideration of the complaint under this Code of Conduct policy, or ANSI may choose to do so without prompting.
31. It is inconsistent with the Code of Conduct to make threats or engage in acts of retaliation against individuals who in good faith report suspected violations of the Code. A Participant who believes that he or she has been retaliated against for making a good-faith complaint under the Code of Conduct policy may use the above procedures to report the pertinent facts to the Chair, who will consider the report as a complaint made under this Policy.