SEAC Code of Conduct
Adopted by Steering Committee August 13, 2020
Statement of General Principles. The basic structure and operating procedures of the Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) are defined in the SEAC Operating Guidelines, and other policies and procedures established from time to time by the SEAC Steering Committee. All SEAC participants should adhere to the following general principles:
- To promote and support the overall mission of the SEAC
- To maintain a process that is open, honest, and fair to all participants
- To promote the development of SEAC recommendations that are scientifically and technically sound, that promote creativity and innovation in the development of new methods and technologies, and that support the mission of SEAC
- To promote the development of consensus through the broad and balanced participation of a variety of interests and through the full airing and discussion of all points of view
- To adhere, both in letter and in spirit, to all duly established rules and policies governing the SEAC recommendation development process
- Participants should act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interest of SEAC and the SEAC recommendation development process. Although it is recognized that legitimate differences of opinion can exist on individual issues, participants should support and promote the defined broad objectives of SEAC.
- Participants should stay current with all SEAC development activities in which they are directly or indirectly involved. Participants should encourage full participation in the recommendation development process by all interested persons, and they should encourage and facilitate the full and open dissemination of all information necessary to enable full and fair consideration of all points of view.
- No participant should ever attempt to withhold or prohibit information or points of view from being disseminated, particularly on the grounds that the participant is in disagreement with the information or points of view. Disagreements should be addressed and resolved through full presentation and discussion of all information and points of view, not through withholding information or preventing points of view from being expressed.
- In order that the points of view and information participants contribute to the SEAC recommendation development process can be accurately evaluated by others, participants should always endeavor to make known their business, commercial, organizational, or other affiliations that might affect their interests or points of view.
- In all discussion, debate, and deliberation within the recommendation development process, participants should confine their comments to the merits of the scientific, technical, and procedural issues under review. Although participants may forcefully advocate their views or positions, they should be candid and forthcoming about any weaknesses in their position, and they should refrain from debate and discussion which is disrespectful or unprofessional in tone or which is unduly personalized or damaging to the overall process of achieving consensus.
- Participants should take appropriate steps to ensure that any Public Statements, either written or oral, which are not official statements of the SEAC, are properly portrayed as the opinion or position of that individual. Care should be taken to ensure that the public is not misled by such statements.
- SEAC participants frequently receive funding from their employers, organizations, or other sources for their participation in the SEAC recommendation development process, and they have an affirmative and continuing obligation to declare those sources of funding to the SEAC. Apart from those declared sources of funding, SEAC participants should not solicit or accept gifts, hospitality, or transfers of economic benefit, other than incidental gifts or other benefits of nominal value, from persons, groups, or organizations having dealings with SEAC or under any circumstances in which the benefit would be or would appear to be bestowed or accepted for the purposes of influencing the members’ activities within the SEAC recommendation development process.
- SEAC participants should treat all persons having dealings with their committee with respect and fairness and should not offer or appear to offer preferential treatment to any person or group.
- SEAC participants should refrain from disseminating false or misleading information or from withholding information necessary to a full, fair, and complete consideration of the issues before their committee.
- The Steering Committee may remove Steering Committee or Assembly Members who do not follow these Guidelines.
Guidelines for Steering Committee and Work Group Chairs
- Chairs should act in an impartial manner in the performance of their duties as chair.
- Chairs should disclose to all members of their committee all known or potential conflicts of interest or other circumstances that could influence their impartiality on a particular matter. A conflict of interest is defined as any situation in which the committee’s decision could substantially and directly affect the chair’s financial or business interest.
- If a Chair discovers that a conflict of interest arises and is likely to involve a major activity of the committee or to continue over a considerable period of time, the chair must advise the SEAC Steering Committee Chair or the SEAC Administrator and seek direction as to whether the individual should continue in that role.
- Chairs should identify participating task group members when presenting task group reports for review and action.
- Chairs should refrain from asserting a position in Working Group discussions. If a chair wishes to assert a position in the technical discussion, that individual should step aside as chair for that portion of the discussion.
- Chairs should endeavor to stimulate participation from all committee members.
- The Steering Committee may remove chairs who do not follow these guidelines.
Guidelines for SEAC Administrators
- SEAC Administrators should encourage and facilitate full and effective participation by SEAC Participants, and should encourage and facilitate the full, fair, and accurate presentation of all relevant information and viewpoints.
- SEAC Administrators should provide timely and accurate information concerning the scheduling of meetings, balloting, and other information necessary to the work of SEAC.
- SEAC Administrators should conduct themselves in a manner that preserves and enhances the trust and confidence of SEAC participants as well as the public in the integrity and efficacy of the SEAC recommendation development process.
- SEAC Administrators should conduct themselves in a manner that reflects their nonpartisan, facilitative, and advisory role. They should maintain a demeanor that is fair and dispassionate. SEAC Administrators should take care that they neither act nor could be perceived to be acting on behalf of or in order to further the interests of any group or individual.
- SEAC Administrators are often in possession of technical information, recommendation history, feedback concerning recommendations from users, and other information of use to SEAC Participants. It is both appropriate and beneficial for SEAC Administrators to provide such information to assist SEAC Participants in the course of their work.
- In areas in which a SEAC Administrator possesses technical expertise, he or she may share that expertise and, if appropriate, express an expert opinion. Similarly, an Administrator may, where appropriate, express an opinion concerning the meaning of code language or the intent of the Working Group. In expressing opinions, however, an Administrator should clearly identify the opinion as his or her personal opinion and not necessarily that of SEAC or any Working Group. The Administrator should also express that opinion with brevity, dispassion, and fairness to the opinions of others, and avoid adopting an argumentative or adversarial posture.
- SEAC Administrators should not vote either formally or informally on any matter before SEAC, nor should they act as chair of a SEAC Meeting.
Based on the Guide for the Conduct of Participants in the NFPA Standards Development Process.
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy and Technologies Office Award Number DE-DE-EE0009002.0001. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.