Friday, September 4, 2015
Nine SIM committee members reject weak ethics policy
letter sent yesterday, nine members of various SIM committees rejected the weak ethics policy promoted by SIM leaders. The weak policy does little to limit conflicts of interest, such as those that tainted the awards of SIM’s first grants. Instead they urged SIM to limit conflicts of interest and adopt the State Code of Ethics. SIM’s weak policy asserts that SIM programs in other states have similar conflict of interest policies, and cites Vermont’s SIM program specifically. However, officials on Vermont’s SIM governance committees routinely recuse themselves from the room during decision-making on grants and other policies that may potentially apply to them, parallel to CT’s state Code of Ethics. (See minutes here and here.) Because of a loophole in the law, our state Code only applies to appointees of the Governor and General Assembly. SIM committee members are all appointed by the Lieutenant Governor or her appointees.