Article 5: Governance and Operation of Accredited Programs
June 01, 2012
Article 5 outlines the requirements of Accredited Programs as these relate to structures and governance. These include a requirement for each Accredited Program to have a Board of Directors or Program Committee, comprised of at least one sports expert, one expert in the field of intellectual disabilities, one Special Olympics athlete trained on Board/Program Committee participation, and at least one close family relation of a Special Olympics athlete. The total length of service of any Board/Program Committee member is limited to a maximum of nine consecutive years.
Along with stipulating the names that may be used by Accredited Programs and a requirement to operate within their jurisdictional limitations, the Article highlights the expectation that each Accredited Program will seek to increase the number of athletes involved in Special Olympics and measure growth in a standard way. Prohibitions are set out in relation to the display of commercial messages on athletes’ or coaches’ uniforms at Games, on the limited use of National Flags and National Anthems at Games, and on the use of alcohol and tobacco products at Special Olympics competition venues.
The Article also contains governance requirements such as compliance with laws and voluntary standards, financial and insurance requirements, codes of conduct and avoidance of conflicts of interest.
Each Accredited Program shall have and maintain, as a condition for obtaining and maintaining its accreditation under Article 5, an organizational form and structure which is sufficient and appropriate, in SOI's judgment, to enable that Accredited Program to meet its accreditation obligations and the requirements of these General Rules and other Uniform Standards.
Unless otherwise authorized by SOI, each Program shall be organized as an independent charitable entity, in accordance with the laws of its jurisdiction. Wherever possible and permissible under applicable law, a Program shall: (1) be established and operated as a separate and identifiable non-profit corporation or association, or other legally independent non-profit entity, which is managed and operated by a Board of Directors/Program Committee; and (2) obtain and maintain all available exemptions from taxation to the greatest extent permitted by the laws of that Program's jurisdiction. SOI shall approve the form and type of organization of each Program at the time that it grants new or renewed accreditation to that Program, taking into account the legal requirements of a particular Program's jurisdiction, the role, if any, to be played by the national government in that jurisdiction in creating or operating the Program, and any special needs of a new and developing Program.
1) Within Programs. Sub-Programs accredited to operate within the jurisdictions of Programs may not be separately incorporated or otherwise organized into unincorporated associations or other entities having a separate and distinct legal status or identity from that of the accrediting Program without SOI’s prior written approval. Rather, each Sub-Program shall be operated as a division or branch of the accrediting Program, in order to ensure that the accrediting Program maintains full control over the assets and operations of its Sub-Programs.
Prohibition on Forming Unauthorized Affiliate Entities
Within the United States, no U.S. Program may separately incorporate or otherwise organize as a separate entity any subsidiary, licensee, supporting organization (as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code of the United States), unincorporated association or any other type of affiliated entity without SOI's express prior written approval. Similarly, no Program may separately incorporate or otherwise recognize as a separate entity any subsidiary, licensee, endowment fund, unincorporated business club or association, any entity which, under the laws of that Program's nation, would be the functional equivalent of a "supporting organization" under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, or any other type of affiliated entity without SOI's express prior written approval.
The affairs of each Accredited Program shall be governed by a Board of Directors/Program Committee, which must have ultimate legal responsibility, and ultimate responsibility to SOI, for the conduct of the Accredited Program. SOI may, in its discretion, approve a different governance structure for a particular Accredited Program at the time that SOI grants or renews that Accredited Program's accreditation, depending on that Program's stage of development and as permitted by applicable law. If the affairs of an Accredited Program are to be conducted by a governmental agency or sports federation SOI will normally require, as a condition of obtaining and maintaining accreditation, that the governmental entity or sports federation establish an Executive Committee that focuses specifically on the conduct of Special Olympics programs within the Accredited Program's jurisdiction.
Accountability of Board of Directors/Program Committee
The Board of Directors/Program Committee of an Accredited Program shall be responsible under the Program's by-laws or other organizational documents for overseeing the conduct of the Program's affairs. An Accredited Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee may delegate specific authority or responsibility for particular functions to committees or subcommittees, or to officers or employees of the Accredited Program, if that delegation is permitted by the Program's by-laws and applicable law. However, the Board of Directors/Program Committee of each Accredited Program is ultimately responsible and accountable to SOI for ensuring that its Accredited Program complies with all of the requirements of these General Rules and the other Uniform Standards. (That responsibility and accountability is not diminished by the fact that, pursuant to these General Rules and other Uniform Standards, communications between SOI and Accredited Programs are commonly directed to or originate from the Executive/Program Director, rather than the Board of Directors/Program Committee, of the affected Sub-Program.)
Composition and Membership of Board/Program Committee
The Board of Directors/Program Committee of an Accredited Program shall be sufficient in size to permit responsible program oversight and decision-making, and should include members from diverse geographic locations and diverse professional backgrounds who have background or experience in Special Olympics or with intellectual disabilities, or an interest in developing and expanding Special Olympics programs. Each Accredited Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee shall have the number and type of members required by the Accreditation Standards. As part of this requirement, every Accredited Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee shall within their Board or Committee structure include at least one sports expert, one expert in the field of intellectual disabilities, one Special Olympics athlete, who shall have received training on Board/Program Committee participation, and at least one close family relation of a Special Olympics athlete, as those terms may be defined by SOI.
Rotation of Members of Board/Program Committee
The by-laws or other organizational documents of each Accredited Program shall require systematic rotation in the membership of the Board of Directors/Program Committee, consistent with any limits imposed by local law on the total length of service of any one member. Unless otherwise expressly required by applicable local laws, the by-laws or other organizational documents of each Accredited Program shall limit the total length of service of any one member of its Board of Directors/Program Committee to a maximum of nine consecutive years. (If applicable local law expressly requires a different term limit than that provided for in the preceding sentence, then an Accredited Program shall be treated as having complied with the membership requirements of this subsection (d) if it adopts the term limits required by its own local laws, and documents that compliance and the requirements of its local laws to SOI's satisfaction.) Each Accredited Program shall document its adoption of the required implementation, or the status of its ongoing efforts to complete that process, to SOI’s satisfaction, as a condition of obtaining or renewing its accreditation. Until an Accredited Program has implemented the membership rotation requirements its Accreditation Period shall not exceed one (1) year.
An Accredited Program may request an exception to the nine-year maximum service for a member of that Accredited Program’s Board of Directors/Program Committee who has an exemplary record of service. To obtain such an exception, an Accredited Program shall submit a written request (specifying the person for whom the exception is requested, describing that person’s service to the Board of Directors/Program Committee, the justification for the extension, and the length of the requested extension, provided that in no event may any person serve more than eighteen consecutive years on a Board of Directors/Program Committee) to the SOI Managing Director for the Accredited Program’s Region, who shall forward the request together with the Managing Director’s recommendation to SOI’s Chief Executive Officer, who shall consider the request and, if the Chief Executive Officer believes that the request should be granted, recommend approval to the IAC, which shall make the final decision and inform the Accredited Program and the Chief Executive Officer. The IAC and SOI may adopt such guidelines and standards as each shall deem appropriate for implementing the foregoing process. No more than twenty percent of the members of any Board of Directors/Program Committee shall be granted such exceptions.
Delegation of Authority to Executive/Program Director and Sports Director
The day-to-day operations of each Accredited Program shall be managed by an Executive/Program Director, who shall be a qualified person appointed by the Accredited Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee. This Executive/Program Director must have the authority and responsibility to manage the Accredited Program's day-to-day affairs as required by these General Rules and the other Uniform Standards. The Executive/Program Director must be subject to the supervision and control of the Accredited Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee, and must meet the requirements specified in the Accreditation Standards. The Executive/Program Director may be part-time or full-time, volunteer or paid, but cannot be the same person as the Chair of the Board of Directors/Program Committee or the same person as the Sports Director. The management of sports programs for each Accredited Program shall be delegated to a Sports Director. The Sports Director must be subject to the supervision and control of the Accredited Program’s Executive/Program Director and may be part-time or full-time, volunteer or paid but cannot be the same person as the Chair of the Board of Directors/Program Committee or the same person as the Executive/Program Director. SOI will assist Accredited Programs in selecting their respective Executive/Program Directors and Sports Directors by providing information concerning desirable qualifications for the position, and if known to SOI, information concerning potentially suitable candidates.
Each Accredited Program shall conduct its affairs in accordance with its respective articles of incorporation, by-laws, and/or other governing or organizational documents specifying the Program's legal powers and operational procedures (collectively, "Organizational Documents"). SOI shall approve the Organizational Documents for each Accredited Program as part of the accreditation process set forth in Article 6. Once SOI has approved the Organizational Documents of an Accredited Program, the Accredited Program may not make material changes in those Organizational Documents without SOI's approval.
Flexibility in Specific Instances
SOI may, in its discretion, allow an Accredited Program seeking to obtain or renew its accreditation greater flexibility concerning its structure, governance and Organizational Documents, and permit that Accredited Program to vary from particular requirements of this Section 5.02, if SOI determines that such flexibility is warranted in view of the specific conditions confronting the Accredited Program, and if SOI is satisfied that the structure and governance arrangements being proposed for the Accredited Program offer sufficient assurance that it can fulfill its obligations to SOI under the Accreditation Standards, the obligations being undertaken by the Program in its Accreditation License, and these General Rules.
Names Used by Accredited Programs
Unless otherwise approved by SOI at the time that it grants or renews accreditation, each Accredited Program and Founding Committee shall begin its own legal and operating name with the name "Special Olympics," and shall always include the name "Special Olympics" as part of the Program's legal or operating name in all of its Organizational Documents and Program Materials (defined in Section 4.19). The remainder of the Accredited Program's or Founding Committee’s name shall consist only of the name of its nation or state, or the name of whatever other geographic region or area which defines the scope of its jurisdiction, and that name shall follow immediately after the words "Special Olympics." For example, the National Program for Ireland shall be called "Special Olympics Ireland," and the U.S. Program for the State of Massachusetts, USA shall be called "Special Olympics Massachusetts." No other words or phrases shall be included in the name of an Accredited Program or Founding Committee without SOI's prior written consent. For purposes of an Accredited Program's or Founding Committee’s use of the Official Credit Line (defined in Section 5.07) and in its use of the name "Special Olympics" and other SO Marks: (i) a Founding Committee shall identify itself as a program which is “recognized by” SOI, but shall not identify itself as a program "accredited by" SOI; and (ii) Accredited Programs shall identify themselves as "accredited by" SOI. Accredited Programs and Founding Committees shall also comply with the requirements of Section 5.07 concerning the use of the SO Logo and other SO Marks.
Jurisdictional Limitations of Accredited Programs
No Accredited Program shall conduct any operations or engage in activities of any type outside of the geographic boundaries of that Accredited Program's jurisdiction (which is defined through the accreditation process, as provided in Article 6).
Exceptions for Participation in Invitational Games
Notwithstanding the general rule set forth in subsection (a) above, Accredited Programs may hold Invitational Games and invite Accredited Programs in other jurisdictions to participate in them, and may accept such invitations to send delegations to Invitational Games, Multi-Program Games, Regional Games, and World Games held by other Accredited Programs, GOC's and SOI to the extent permitted by Article 3.
General Requirements Concerning Training and Competition
Each Accredited Program shall comply with the requirements set forth in Article 3 concerning the conduct of Special Olympics sports training and competition, and with the other Uniform Standards which pertain to training, Tournaments and Games. These obligations include, but are not limited to, compliance with all required procedures applicable to that Accredited Program concerning the registration of Special Olympics athletes, and the proper use of volunteers.
Scope of Program; Growth Requirements
Required Scope of Program
Each Accredited Program shall offer sports training and competition programs within its jurisdiction as well as other Special Olympics program initiatives that form the fabric of Special Olympics support of athletes, their families and communities in sport, health, and advocacy including those that are currently in place and those that may be created in the future.
It is the goal of SOI that each Accredited Program shall increase the number of Special Olympics athletes participating in competition and training activities offered by that Accredited Program. Each Accredited Program shall keep SOI regularly informed of its progress concerning growth. In conjunction with SOI, each Accredited Program shall establish specific development targets including the number of new athletes to be served by that Program and identify how the Accredited Program proposes to reach the established goal.
Approved Methodologies for Measuring Growth
In counting and reporting to SOI on the numbers of athletes who participate in an Accredited Program's activities, each Accredited Program shall use a standardized methodology developed and approved by SOI through written notice to all Accredited Programs, unless SOI authorizes a particular Accredited Program to depart from that standardized methodology, all as further provided in Section 2.06. In addition, the data used by each Accredited Program to calculate and report to SOI on the total population of persons eligible in its jurisdiction to participate in Special Olympics shall be subject to SOI's review and approval.
Use of Special Olympics Name and Other SO Marks
Each Accredited Program shall comply with the requirements of these General Rules and the other Uniform Standards in its use of the name "Special Olympics" as part of its own Program name, and in its use of the SO Logo and any other SO Marks which SOI licenses that Accredited Program to use. Accredited Programs shall also comply with the limitations imposed by these General Rules and the other Uniform Standards when authorizing third parties to use any SO Marks in connection with activities undertaken for the support or benefit of that Accredited Program. Without limiting the intended generality of the preceding sentences, Accredited Programs must comply with the following requirements concerning the name "Special Olympics," the SO Logo, and any other SO Marks which SOI licenses an Accredited Program to use:
Use of the SO Logo
Each Accredited Program shall have the right to use the SO Logo only when the SO Logo is used or displayed in conjunction with, or juxtaposed with, the name of the Accredited Program. The SO Logo is "displayed in conjunction with" or is "juxtaposed with" the Accredited Program's name when the SO Logo is used immediately above or next to the Program's name, in the manner depicted in and required by the Graphics Standards Guide. No Accredited Program shall have any right to use or display the SO Logo standing alone, without the required juxtaposition with the name of the Accredited Program, nor may any Accredited Program authorize any Sub-Program or other third party to make any such "stand-alone" use of the SO Logo. Accredited Programs shall use the SO Logo in conjunction with their respective Program names, and use all other SO Marks which SOI licenses Accredited Programs to use from time to time, only in accordance with the Graphics Standards Guide, these General Rules, and the other Uniform Standards. No logo, trademark, service mark, design, insignia, seal or symbol other than the SO Logo may be used by an Accredited Program without SOI's prior written consent.
Acknowledgment of SOI's Trademark Registrations
Accredited Programs must identify the SO Logo and any other SO Mark which has been registered or otherwise recorded by SOI with the appropriate trademark authorities as the registered trademark or service mark of SOI, by always displaying that SO Mark in conjunction with the registered trademark symbol (®) in the manner required by the Graphics Standards Guide, if that SO Mark is a registered trademark of SOI. Alternatively, if the SO Mark in question is a common law or other unregistered trademark or common law service mark of SOI, as indicated by SOI in the Graphics Standards Guide or through other written notice to Accredited Programs, then Accredited Programs shall always display that SO Mark in conjunction with the common law trademark notice (™) or, if applicable, the common law service mark notice (SM), in the manner required by the Graphics Standards Guide or SOI's other written notice to Accredited Programs concerning the authorized use and display of that SO Mark.
Accredited Programs must approve, in advance and in writing, the form, content and appearance of all designs, uses, displays and reproductions of the Special Olympics name, the SO Logo, or any other SO Mark which is to be used by its Sub-Programs or by any other third party under authorization from the Accredited Program. All such uses or reproductions by Sub-Programs or by third parties shall comply with the Graphics Standards Guide and the other Uniform Standards.
Required Use of SO Logo
Each Accredited Program shall use the SO Logo in conjunction with the name of the Accredited Program on all official Accredited Program materials, including, without limitation, on its stationery, business cards, news release letterhead, Games programs, yearbooks, flags and banners, athletes' number tags, athletes' uniforms, posters, brochures, and all informational and promotional material distributed to participants in Special Olympics, to sponsors, or to the general public.
Use of Official Credit Line
The official credit line to be used by all Accredited Programs (the "Official Credit Line") consists of the phrases:
Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation
Authorized and Accredited by Special Olympics, Inc.
[or in the case of a Founding Committee use “Recognized by Special Olympics, Inc.”]
for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
The Official Credit Line shall be displayed prominently on all stationery, brochures, annual reports, news releases, and other printed materials, on Web sites and in films, slides or video presentations, which are produced or distributed by Accredited Programs. When feasible, the Official Credit Line should also be included in television credits displayed in connection with any programming which is filmed and broadcast by a local station within an Accredited Program's jurisdiction. The specifications for reproducing the Official Credit Line are set forth in the Graphics Standards Guide. Accredited Programs outside the United States may, when using the Official Credit Line, substitute the words "mental handicap" for the phrase "intellectual disability” or “intellectual disabilities" if that substitution is permitted by Section 9.01.
Compliance with Other Policies
All uses of SO Marks by an Accredited Program shall comply with all other requirements of these General Rules and the other Uniform Standards, including, but not limited to, the policies set forth in Sections 5.08 and 5.09 concerning, respectively, the display of commercial messages at Games, and the prohibited association of SO Marks or Special Olympics programs with alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
Display of Commercial Messages at Games and Prohibition of the Display of National Flags
Commercial Messages on Athlete Uniforms and Competition Numbers
In order to avoid commercial exploitation of persons with intellectual disabilities at World, Regional or Multi-Program level Games, no uniforms, and no bibs or other signs bearing competition numbers, which are worn by Special Olympics athletes while competing or during any opening, closing, or award ceremonies of any Games may be emblazoned with commercial names or commercial messages. The only commercial markings which may be displayed on athletes' and coaches uniforms during Games competitions and opening and closing ceremonies are the normal commercial markings of the manufacturer. For purposes of this Section 5.08(a), "normal commercial markings" are limited to the following:
(1) On larger clothing items, such as shirts, jackets, pants, jerseys, and sweatshirts, one logo or commercial name per clothing item is permissible, if that name or logo display does not exceed an area of six square inches or 38.7 square centimeters (such as a display measuring 2" x 3" or 5.08 cm x 7.62 cm);
(2) On small clothing items, such as caps, socks, hats, gloves and belts, one logo or commercial name per clothing item is permissible, if that name or display does not exceed an area of three square inches or 19.35 square centimeters; and
(3) On athletic shoes, no logos or commercial names are permissible except for names or logos which are included by the manufacturer on athletic shoes which are sold to the general public.
Commercial Markings on Other Athlete Apparel or Accessories
Special Olympics athletes who are not engaged in competition or in opening/closing ceremonies may wear, carry or use at Games venues other than the sites of competition (such as at training or practice sessions) clothing and/or non-apparel items which are not part of their sports equipment (such as tote bags), which contain small and attractively designed identifications of corporate or organizational sponsors.
Displays of Commercial Messages by Volunteers
Volunteers may wear clothing which bears small and attractively designed names or logos identifying corporate or organizational sponsors while attending Games competitions, so long as those displays do not exceed an area of six square inches or its metric equivalent.
Displays of Commercial Messages by Sports Officials
Sports officials may not wear, carry or use clothing or other apparel items which contain the names or logos of corporate or organizational sponsors (except for the normal commercial markings permitted under subsection (a) above) during the opening or closing ceremonies of any Games, at the sites of any Games competition or demonstration, or while officiating at any Games competition or demonstration. At other times, or at Games venues other than the sites of opening and closing ceremonies, competitions or demonstrations (such as at the sites of training and practice sessions), officials may wear, carry or use clothing or other items which contain sponsors' names or logos if those displays comply with those permitted to be displayed by volunteers under Section 5.08(c).
Displays of Commercial Messages at Opening Ceremonies
The opening ceremonies of all Games shall celebrate the athletic skill, accomplishments, and courage of Special Olympics athletes in a colorful atmosphere of dignity and joy consistent with the Olympic spirit and the Founding Principles. It is the policy of SOI that no banners or other signage bearing the names of commercial sponsors or their products or otherwise recognizing the support of commercial sponsors or their products may be displayed at the site of the opening ceremonies of any World Games, Regional Games, or Multi-Program Games. Accredited Programs may permit commercial banners and signage at their opening ceremonies if such banners and signage are subordinate to Special Olympics pageantry, do not violate any other provision of this Section 5.08, and are in utmost good taste.
Displays of Commercial Messages at Other Games Venues
SOI, a GOC, or an Accredited Program may display, or permit others to display, banners or other signage recognizing the support of commercial sponsors at competition venues, at the venue where closing ceremonies are held, and at venues of Games events other than opening ceremonies, so long as such displays otherwise comply with the General Rules and the other Uniform Standards.
Prohibition and Display of National Flags
To comply with Special Olympics Founding Principles that Special Olympics transcend national origin and political philosophy, no national flags shall be displayed and no national anthems shall be sung or otherwise performed by any athletes, coaches, or other members of any Accredited Program's Official Delegation at any World, Regional or Multi-Program level Games event. A GOC may, however, display the flags of those nations competing in World or Regional Games and the flag of the host nation at opening, closing and award ceremonies and Games venues.
Prohibition of Face Painting
Special Olympics Athletes, coaches and volunteers shall not paint their faces during competitions, Games, opening and closing ceremonies, at awards venues or victory banquets. This prohibition includes a prohibition against a display of commercial messages and the display of national flags painted on the face.
SOI, a GOC, or an Accredited Program shall ensure that clowns shall be restricted to Olympic town entertainment events and are prohibited from appearing at or participating in competitions, Games, opening and closing ceremonies, award venues, sports venues or victory banquets.
SOI, a GOC, or an Accredited Program shall ensure that Mascots shall observe the dignity of certain events during competitions and Games, including the reciting of the oaths, the raising of the flags, and the lighting of the cauldron at Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Mascots shall not participate in award ceremonies other than to congratulate athletes following the presentation of awards.
Alcohol and Tobacco Policy
Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Products
No Accredited Program shall knowingly permit the use of any alcohol or tobacco products at any Special Olympics training or competition venue.
Prohibitions Concerning Affiliations of the Special Olympics Name or SO Marks with Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Products
No Accredited Program shall permit the name "Special Olympics," the SO Logo or any other SO Mark to be publicly or visibly connected or associated with the name or trademark of any of the following companies or products:
(1) any tobacco product, or the manufacturer or distributor of a tobacco product;
(2) any alcoholic beverage, or the manufacturer or distributor of an alcoholic beverage.
The prohibition set forth in Section 5.09(b) shall not prevent an Accredited Program from engaging in or authorizing any of the following:
(1) Accepting a so-called "blind" contribution which is not publicized, promoted or publicly acknowledged by the Accredited Program in any way (except to the extent that the source of the contribution must be reported on tax returns or other filings made with governmental authorities, which are then available for public inspection);
(2) Allowing the name "Special Olympics," the SO Logo, and/or other SO Marks to be publicly associated with the names of products which are not tobacco products or alcoholic beverages, even if they are manufactured or distributed by companies which also manufacture or distribute tobacco or alcoholic beverages;
(3) Allowing the name "Special Olympics," the SO Logo, and/or other SO Marks to be publicly associated with the names of manufacturers or distributors of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, as distinguished from the products or the product names themselves, if those company names do not contain the brand name or generic title of an alcoholic beverage or tobacco product.
Obtaining Required Guidance from SOI
Accredited Programs shall contact SOI for guidance and further authorization in any instance where it is uncertain whether an Accredited Program may accept funds or other support from a company associated with tobacco products or alcoholic beverages. SOI's decision on such matters will be final and binding on the Accredited Program.
Compliance with Laws
Each Accredited Program shall conduct its affairs and operate Special Olympics programs within its jurisdiction in accordance with all laws and regulations which may govern or apply to its activities, including, but not limited to, all laws and regulations concerning: (a) non-profit corporate or other organizational status or governance; (b) obligations concerning income, payroll and other types of taxes, and requirements for obtaining and maintaining exemption from income taxation; (c) revenue and expenditure reporting; (d) fund-raising activities, including laws and regulations which govern charitable solicitation and/or cause-related marketing promotion activities; (e) auditing, preparing and/or filing financial statements and other required financial reporting to government authorities; (f) disclosure of information to members of the public; (g) occupational health and safety requirements; (h) the hiring, firing and selection of employees; (i) prohibitions against discrimination and requirements concerning equal opportunity in the hiring of employees and the conduct of the Accredited Program's affairs; and (j) procedures and policies concerning the use of volunteers.
Compliance with Voluntary Standards
SOI voluntarily complies with the non-profit management and fund-raising standards issued in the United States from time to time by certain major charity monitoring groups, such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (collectively, the "Voluntary Standards"). Accredited Programs must use their respective best efforts to comply with any equivalent Voluntary Standards which are issued by organizations based outside of the United States for the purpose of guiding and fostering the ethical and efficient management of non-profit organizations in their respective jurisdictions. SOI's policy is to encourage full compliance with all such Voluntary Standards both within and outside of the United States (so long as such compliance would not otherwise cause an Accredited Program to be in violation of the Uniform Standards), in order to promote responsible governance, fiscal responsibility, public accountability, and ethical fund-raising practices by all Special Olympics programs.
Contracts with Third Parties
Accredited Programs shall comply with the requirements in Article 7 concerning the Accredited Program's fund-raising activities and the standards and conditions to be met or included in all agreements with corporate sponsors or other third parties that provide financial support or services for the Accredited Program. No Accredited Program shall enter into a contract with any third party that incorporates a license to the third party to use Special Olympics name or logo and which has a term or duration which extends beyond that Accredited Program's then-current Accreditation Period unless the contract provides that it shall terminate without penalty or other cost to the Program effective upon the third party's receipt of written notice from the Accredited Program or SOI if the Program's accreditation is revoked, denied, or suspended for any reason by SOI.
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
In order to preserve the integrity and reputation of the Special Olympics Movement, it is imperative that SOI and all Accredited Programs, including their respective board members, Executive/Program Directors, committee members and employees, shall scrupulously avoid conflicts of interest, whether real or potential, between their own personal and financial interests, or the interests of companies or businesses in which they have an interest, and the interests of the Special Olympics organization in which they are an officer, Executive/Program Director, member of a Board of Directors/Program Committee, or employee. The preceding sentence obligates all Accredited Programs to avoid not only actual conflicts in situations in which there is a true conflict between competing interests, but also to avoid conflicts which are "potential," in that they may create an appearance of impropriety, and thus risk public embarrassment to Special Olympics or damage to its reputation, even if there is no actual impropriety or conflict. To meet this requirement, all potential conflicts shall be disclosed fully and promptly to the Board of Directors/Program Committee of the affected Accredited Program for resolution by that Program's Board of Directors/Program Committee (or, where applicable, by SOI's Board) at the earliest opportunity. If any Special Olympics official or employee has a doubt about whether a particular situation creates a potential conflict of interest, that doubt shall be resolved, in all instances, in favor of disclosing the potential conflict as required by this Section.
Financial and Insurance Requirements
All Accredited Programs shall comply with the funding, financial reporting, Accreditation Fee and insurance requirements of Article 8.
Codes of Conduct
SOI has written and adopted codes of conduct for athletes and coaches and reserves the right to adopt or develop written codes of conduct concerning the actions or activities of specific types of participants in the Special Olympics Movement. SOI will provide all Accredited Programs with prompt written notice of any such codes of conduct, and a reasonable opportunity to implement any provisions which require changes in Accredited Programs' operations, policies or procedures. Following that period for reasonable notice and implementation, the length of which shall be determined by SOI, every Accredited Program shall be obligated to comply with and enforce any such codes of conduct adopted by SOI as a condition of obtaining or maintaining its accreditation.