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Terms of Reference and Code of Practice

last modified: 07/08/2014 15:24

This is a live interactive document that provides the Terms of Reference and Code of Practice for the International Advisory Council (IAC) of the OPIMEC.

The IAC is a non-statutory, voluntary, public body established in 2007 with the following terms of reference:

"To provide advice on the development of OPIMEC into a premier virtual resource designed to promote the exchange of knowledge about best practices for CDM at all levels, from the local to the global, and to promote their dissemination and application, worldwide.”

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Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Code of practice for members
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Code of practice for members

In line with the spirit of openness, collaboration and accountability that has driven OPIMEC from its inception, the executive committee of the Observatory has drawn up the following code of practice to assist members of its IAC.

IAC members are expected to:

  • Ensure they are familiar with the function and role of OPIMEC;
  • Not misuse information gained in the course of the development of the Observatory for personal gain or for political purpose, or to promote the interests of those of connected persons, firms or businesses; and
  • Not hold any paid or high-profile unpaid posts in a political party, and not engage in specific political activities on matters directly affecting the work of OPIMEC.


Members of the IAC have collective responsibility for the promotion of the fair and efficient development of OPIMEC. As such, they should:


  • Engage fully in collective consideration of issues of relevance to the evolution and sustainability of OPIMEC, including any guidance issued by the sponsor directorate general or the responsible minister in the Government of Andalusia, Spain;
  • Actively participate in efforts to resolve discrepancies or controversies in relation to evidence submitted for inclusion in OPIMEC;
  • Promote OPIMEC at professional and public events, and among individuals and organizations participating in CDM;
  • Ensure that OPIMEC does not exceed its remit.


Members of the IAC will follow the seven principles of public life:

  • Selflessness: They should make decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
  • Integrity: They should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their duties.
  • Objectivity: In carrying out OPIMEC-related business they should make choices on merit.
  • Accountability: They are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their role.
  • Openness: They should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  • Honesty: They have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest (see below).

Leadership: They should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Interactions with OPIMEC’s Executive Committee
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Interactions with OPIMEC’s Executive Committee

Communications between IAG members and the executive leadership of OPIMEC will generally be through the project convener, except where the IAC has agreed that an individual member should act on its behalf.

The Executive Committee of OPIMEC, on behalf of the Andalusian Ministry of Health, makes appointments to the IAC.

Initial terms of appointment will usually be for 2 years. Members may be re-appointed to serve up to a maximum of 10 years.

Appointments may be terminated at members' request, or in the event of unsatisfactory attendance or conduct out of keeping with this code; or at the Ministry’s discretion.

The IAC will elect a Chairperson who will be responsible for providing effective leadership on the issues above. In addition, the chair is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the IAC meets at appropriate intervals, and that the minutes of meetings and any reports to the Convener and the Executive Committee accurately record the decisions taken and, where appropriate, the views of individual members;
  • Enabling the IAC to reach clear and considered conclusions on the matters it discusses;
  • Focusing the IAC on its specific remit;
  • Conveying the views of the IAC to the Convener and other members of the Executive Committee;
  • Communicating the IAC’s views to the media, health care professionals and the public, as required; and
  • Briefing new members on appointment, as appropriate; and providing an assessment of their performance, on request, when they are being considered for re-appointment to the IAC.

OPIMEC’s Executive Committee will support the IAC by assembling appropriate information and bringing issues of emerging concern to their attention.

A member of the Executive Committee will impartially record the proceedings of the IAC and its conclusions to maintain an audit trail of how conclusions have been reached.

The Executive Committee should ensure, jointly with the Convener and members, that the IAC does not exceed its remit.

The Executive Committee will be the main channel for communications between the IAC and the Andalusian Ministry of Health, except where it has been agreed that an individual member should act on the IAC's behalf.

The Executive Committee will keep a register of IAC members' declared interests.

Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Declarations of interests
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Declarations of interests

It is important to avoid any risk of IAC members being influenced, or appearing to be influenced, by their private interests in the exercise of their public duties. All IAC members should therefore declare any personal interest (involving payment to members personally) or non-personal interest (involving payments to the relevant part of the organization for which the member works), which may, or may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgment.

If members feel that there are interests outside the scope of this guidance which could be perceived as influencing their work on the IAC (e.g. the personal or non-personal interests of close family members), they should approach the Chair or the Convener for advice.

On taking up appointment, members should advise the Executive Committee in writing of their current personal and non-personal competing interests. Members should notify the Executive Committee of any changes to the declaration so that the register entry is amended. The register of interests will be available on request e.g. in answer to Parliamentary questions and enquiries from the media.

Members should declare any personal or non-personal interest at any IAC meeting if it relates specifically to a particular issue under consideration. The representative of the Executive Committee will record this declaration in the minutes (whether or not a member also withdraws from the meeting).

Members should not participate in the discussion or determination of matters in which they have a competing interest, and may be asked by the chair to withdraw from the meeting.

Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Relations with the media
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Relations with the media

The Executive Committee, in consultation with the Chair as necessary, will usually be responsible for handling media enquiries about OPIMEC and its work. Members should not, therefore, comment on OPIMEC advice unless it is in the public domain.

Members who are approached directly by the media with enquiries relating to OPIMEC business should contact the Executive Committee in the first place, for advice on handling.

Members may, in the course of their work, address conferences/seminars or have other speaking engagements at which the media might be present. In these circumstances, members should take care to protect the interests of OPIMEC.

Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Personal liability of IAC members
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Personal liability of IAC members

Given the open, collaborative and voluntary nature of OPIMEC, legal proceedings by a third party against individual IAC members are not expected.

Individual IAC members who have acted honestly, reasonably, in good faith and without negligence will not have to meet out of their own personal resources any personal civil liability which is incurred in execution or purported execution of their functions. IAC members who need further advice should consult the Executive Committee, which would consult with the relevant officers at the Andalusian Ministry of Health whenever appropriate.

An IAC member may be personally liable if he or she makes a fraudulent or negligent statement which results in a loss to a third party; or may commit a breach of confidence under common law or criminal offence under insider dealing legislation, if he or she misuses information gained through their position.

Are you sure you want to delete this section?Terms of Reference and Code of Practice: Travel expenses and subsistence
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Travel expenses and subsistence

Appointment to the IAC is on a voluntary basis and fees are not payable. Members may not claim travel expenses and subsistence rates, except when approved by the Andalusian Ministry of Health.


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