US - The board of the US$153.2bn California Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) has voted to restrict political contributions and gifts as part of a dramatic overhaul of its board governance policy.
CalSTRS will also require the disclosure of placement agent fees and require disclosure of certain types of communications involving board members and/or CalSTRS staff.
"Upon taking office, board members must now sign a pledge confirming their independence and understanding of their fiduciary duties," CalSTRS said in a release.
Board members must also recuse themselves when voting on any transaction that may present a conflict of interest, real or perceived, added Carolyn Widener, CalSTRS board chair.
“Even the appearance of ‘pay-to-play’ sullies the good name of this system,” said Widener.
All changes will be effective as of January 1, 2007.
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