March 1st 2023
VIPCA / ETHICS COMMITTEE PROCEDURES
1) Complainant (who must be an active VIPCA member) provides a notarized (under penalty of perjury) Statement of the Claim, along with supporting documentation or affidavits from others (also notarized) regarding another active VIPCA member.
2). VIPCA receives the Complaint and forwards it to the Comm’ee Chair within 3 days of receipt. Comm’ee Chair reviews and forwards it to Comm’ee members (or directs Oriel to send to Comm’ee members) within 5 days. Meeting is scheduled to commence within 15 days to review the Complaint and for a vote as to whether the Comm’ee will proceed further on the matter.
3) IF Comm’ee votes to proceed with the matter, the first step shall be for the Comm’ee Chair to advise the Executive Director to send a letter to each party apprising of the following:
- a) That VIPCA has been notified that a problem or issue exists between the 2 parties (who will be named in the letter);
- b) That prior to having the matter heard by the Ethics Comm’ee, VIPCA is extending an invitation to have the parties submit to an informal Zoom conference to provide the parties a forum and opportunity to resolve their differences.Two VIPCA members, including the Executive Director, shall attend the Zoom meeting along with the parties with the goal being to help to keep the discussion on-track. The Executive Director shall assist in coordinating a time/date for the informal Zoom meeting. Such meeting shall not constitute a formal mediation, but rather an informal opportunity for each affected party to hear the concerns of the other, take same under advisement and potentially resolve differences in an amicable manner. If the responding party does not respond to VIPCA within 7 business days after receipt of the emailed invite to participate in an informal Zoom, then the matter shall proceed as outlined below.
4) The Comm’ee will determine, after an informal hearing is held, whether to proceed on the complaint or not. The decision whether the Ethics Comm’ee is proceeding further or not is provided to Complainant via email, along with a statement, if we are not proceeding, that no further discussion will be entertained on the existing Complaint. If Complainant is able to provide additional statements, evidence, etc, then the complaint may be resubmitted, but starts a new “action”. There are no “appeal” rights.
5) If Comm’ee votes to proceed, then at the same time as notice is provided to Complainant (as indicated above), a copy of the Complaint will be sent to the Respondent via email with instructions for Respondent to respond within 21 calendar days. The response to the complaint must be notarized, as well as any opposing affidavits, and may be accompanied by supporting documentation. Instructions will indicate that if any response is not notarized, it will be disregarded. Any statements by witnesses, etc, that are not notarized, will be disregarded.
6) A Hearing before the Ethics Committee via Zoom shall be scheduled by the Comm’ee within 45 days of receipt of response from Respondent. Oriel to assist in coordinating a time/date for the hearing. Original notarized documents must be provided to the VIPCA office at least 5 days in advance of the hearing.
7) Each side will be given a maximum of 30 minutes to provide their arguments, present witnesses, etc. The Comm’ee may question witnesses after each side has presented their arguments. Each side will be given 2 minutes for Closing Statements.
8) The Comm’ee will meet directly after the conclusion of the hearing for a maximum of 60 minutes to determine the outcome via vote. If additional time is needed, it will be scheduled for another date/time within 14 days of the hearing date.
9) The Comm’ee will issue its decision within 30 days after hearing is concluded. Possible sanctions may include such measures as approved by the Committee, such as:
A). Requirement of issuance of private (or public) apology by Respondent to Complainant within “X” days; or,
- B) Public reprimand; or,
- C) Forfeiture of VIPCA membership for a period of “x” years with the loss of all benefits. (Pro rata refund of membership fees — until such time as new members are advised of Ethics Comm’ee procedures); or,
- D) Inability to participate in VIPCA Yacht Show or other events for “x” years.
VIPCA Ethics Comm’ee