The Tate Board of Trustees is required to follow the principles of public conduct set out by the Nolan Committee. These include the declaration of individual Trustees’ interests.

A Register of Interests is kept up to date for each Trustee so that any potential conflicts of interest between Trustees’ private, professional, political and business activities and those of Tate (including those of close family and household members) can be identified.

  • The declared interests of all our Trustees are listed, together with their individual profiles, in the Current Trustees pages.
  • To request a copy of the Register in full please email governance@tate.org.uk.

Handling conflicts of interest on the Board

From time to time, potential or perceived conflicts of interests may arise. In such a situation, the conflict must be managed appropriately to avoid any danger of Board members being influenced, or appearing to be influenced, by their private interests in the exercise of their public duty.

For the sake of transparency, and to follow guidance from the Nolan Committee in the conduct of public bodies, we ask Trustees to:

Declare their individual interests

The Register of Interests is used to identify any potential and perceived conflicts of interests between Trustees’ private, professional, political and business activities and those of Tate (including those of close family and household members).

List any transactions between the Board of Trustees and related parties

The publication of Related Third Party Transactions is a requirement of the Accounting Guidelines issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Complete their Register of Interests annually, and notify the Governance and Policy Manager about changes as they arise

The Register is held by the Governance and Policy Managerr, and is publicly accessible. The information it holds is published online (see Current Trustees), and the full document is available on request (see above).

Declare any interest in a Board meeting as soon as it is practicable

This declared interest will be recorded in the minutes and managed appropriately.

Remove themselves from discussions in which they have a direct interest, or where bias might be inferred

In order to manage any potential or perceived conflicts of interest, Trustees may remove themselves from the discussion of that item. This action will be recorded in the minutes.

Follow guidelines when debating the acquisition or major monographic exhibition of work by an artist whose work they own themselves

Trustees should notify staff of new purchases of works of art, and declare in meetings if an artist under consideration is represented in their personal collection.

Declare if a close family member or persons living in the household has an interest in a topic to be discussed, pecuniary or otherwise

The Board can then decide whether it is appropriate for the Trustee to withdraw.

If in doubt, we recommend that our Trustees declare an interest in a matter under consideration and withdraw from the discussion rather than risk a subsequent challenge. Our Ethics Committee is a Sub Committee of the Board; its membership includes both Trustees and  non-Trustee co-opted members. The Ethics Committee considers conflicts of interest in an advisory capacity, when considered necessary.

Background on artworks acquired by Tate from serving Trustees

In 2006, Tate was criticised by the Charity Commission over its policies and procedures in relation to the management of conflicts of interests, particularly regarding the acquisitions of works by serving Artist Trustees. Tate accepted these findings and made significant modifications to its procedures. We introduced guidelines on Conflicts of Interest and Trustee Benefit, which include policies to cover:

  • the loan from any Trustee of works of art
  • the acquisition from any Trustee of works of art, by purchase or gift
  • other collaboration with Artist Trustees
  • sponsorship of Tate activity by individual Trustees or by corporate bodies with which Trustees are involved.

We also set up the Ethics Committee, whose membership includes both Trustees and non-trustee co-opted members. The Committee has terms of reference to review any ethical issue raised by a Director of Tate, or any member of the Board of Trustees, and provide guidance on conflict of interest management.

The Charity Commission acknowledged that Tate has undertaken a significant review of its policies, and has in place an appropriate and successful working policy to manage potential conflicts.