Our Policies

Ocean Giants Trust Project Selection Criteria

The majority of Ocean Giants Trust projects involve the funding of leading international scientists researching large, important but threatened, marine species or local conservation and education initiatives. When selecting projects, a number of specific criteria are used to ensure that the project falls within Ocean Giants Trust’s mission, as well as practical considerations, to ensure that the project is likely to succeed in its aims, and is sustainable in the longer term.

Research Projects:

  • have clear objectives dedicated to conservation of large marine species;
  • will provide breakthrough information that can be of real practical benefit to conservation groups and government bodies;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • will be undertaken by world leading scientists with demonstrated experience in their field.

Conservation Projects:

  • have clear objectives dedicated to conservation of marine areas associated with large marine species hotspots;
  • are undertaken by well respected local NGOs with a demonstrated track-record in both performance and governance;
  • have all necessary regulatory approvals in place;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • have feasible plans for sustainability and self-funding in the long term.

Education Projects:

  • have clear, quantifiable objectives detailing the type of education to be delivered, the desired audience and the effect on the population;
  • are undertaken by well respected local NGOs with a demonstrated track-record in both performance and governance;
  • have all necessary regulatory approvals in place;
  • will successfully conclude the work it sets out to undertake; and
  • have feasible plans for sustainability and self-funding in the long term.

Likelihood of Success and Sustainability

It is always essential that Ocean Giants Trust undertakes projects in partnership with international scientists or local organisations, with similar objectives to the Trust, and with the skills and capacity to manage the project. Commitment to the partnership is given through a non-legally binding agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding) that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both partners.

The aim of conservation and education projects supported by Ocean Giants Trust is that the local organisation successfully conclude project objectives. However the ideal outcome would be that the initiative continue beyond the project phase, independently of Ocean Giants Trust. Project objectives submitted to Ocean Giants Trust must therefore consider opportunities for sustainability for the long-term future.

Absence of adequate funding from other sources

As a small organisation, Ocean Giants Trust is conscious that donations from supporters are spent in the most valuable way possible. Something that the Trust is keen to avoid is the duplication of efforts or funding in a particular project area, when there are many worthy project sites worldwide that require support. As a result, Ocean Giants Trust will only support projects knowing that sufficient support to undertake the project is not available from other sources.

Location

The selection of a project is not restricted by its location, as long as all other criteria are met. However, Ocean Giants Trust would not normally consider projects within developed countries.

Future Potential

The publicity value of the project, and the potential for raising further funds to support similar research, conservation and education projects is also taken into consideration.

Ocean Giants Trust Policies

Ocean Giants Trust are dedicated to adhering to the following policies which guide our practices and procedures.

They are designed to demonstrate our commitment to professional and ethical standards of the highest order.

Ocean Giants Trust recognises that some of our activities (such as international air travel) have adverse effects on the environment, but we are committed to minimising our impacts as far as possible while continuing our work of preserving threatened marine species and their habitats.

Ocean Giants Trust’s vision is to save Ocean Giants from extinction. We work by developing partnerships with international scientists, with local individuals, communities and organisations to engage support and commitment among the people who live in project areas.

Ocean Giants Trust recognises that fulfilling vision inevitably has adverse effects on the environment, but we are committed to mitigating this effect as far as possible while continuing our work.

Ocean Giants Trust will:

  • identify the impacts of our operations on the environment and take all practical steps to reduce them;
  • make all staff aware of the environmental policy and engage the commitment of the staff in developing and implementing the policy; and
  • manage our activities to comply with relevant environmental legislation and regulations, and undertake regular reviews of the policy to assess and enhance its effectiveness.

Where possible and relevant we will seek to support local suppliers and businesses.  We will consider suppliers’ ethical and environmental policy in making purchasing decisions, and challenge practices which we consider to be unsustainable or unethical.

We will work to raise awareness, in the UK and elsewhere, of the need for conservation, to improve understanding and generate support through education, information and fundraising.  In particular, we will support and encourage our corporate supporters in developing and implementing their corporate social responsibility and environmental policies.

We will review this policy annually, or if our business activities change significantly.

Practical steps to implement the policy

We minimise our use of resources by our policy of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’ by:

  • reducing waste and conserving resources (including energy, water, paper, etc);
  • re-using resources where possible (especially paper, packaging);
  • recycling: all staff participate in our in-house recycling scheme, and any waste which cannot be recycled will be disposed of responsibly;
  • where possible communications are electronic (e-mail, electronic conferencing by Skype, etc.);
  • business travel is restricted to essential meetings and events, and appointments are scheduled to reduce travel to a minimum;
  • where practical, public transport is always chosen; and
  • home working arrangements are encouraged.

We work with our supporters and partners to assist and advise them in developing their social responsibility policies and making their operations more sustainable.

This document sets out the policy and procedures of the Ocean Giants Trust (Ocean Giants Trust) against fraud, corruption, bribery and other forms of dishonesty, together with the steps that must be taken where any of these practices is suspected or discovered.

It applies to Trustees, volunteers and partner organisations. Anybody associated with the Ocean Giants Trust who commits bribery, fraud, theft, or any other dishonesty or who becomes aware of it and does not report it, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Statement of Intent

The Ocean Giants Trust will continually strive to ensure that all its financial and administrative processes are carried out and reported honestly, accurately, transparently and accountably and that all decisions are taken objectively and free of personal interest. We will not condone any behaviour that falls short of these principles.

All members of the organisation have a responsibility for putting these principles into practice and for reporting any breaches they discover.

Definitions

Fraud

A deliberate intent to acquire money or goods dishonestly through the falsification of records or documents. The deliberate changing of financial statements or other records by either a member of the public or someone who works for or is a volunteer for Ocean Giants Trust. The criminal act is the attempt to deceive and attempted fraud is therefore treated as seriously as accomplished fraud.

Theft

Dishonestly acquiring, suing or disposing of physical or intellectual property belonging to Ocean Giants Trust or to individual members of the organisation.

Misuse of equipment

Deliberately misusing materials or equipment belonging to Ocean Giants Trust.

Abuse of position

Exploiting a position of trust within the organisation.

Bribery

Offering, promising or giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage them to perform their functions or activities improperly, including where it is known or believed that the acceptance of the advantage in itself constitutes improper performance. It also means asking for or agreeing to accept a bribe.

Facilitation payments

Small bribes paid to speed up a service are sometimes called facilitation payments. Some charities work in areas where such payments are the norm in the local culture, often where charitable need is extreme. Notwithstanding the small amounts usually involved, they are still bribery payments. Therefore, they are an unacceptable use of charity funds.

Culture

Ocean Giants Trust’s culture is intended to foster honesty and integrity, and is underpinned by our values. Trustees and volunteers are expected to lead by example in adhering to policies, procedures and practices. Equally, supporters, partners and external organisations (such as suppliers and contractors) are expected to act with integrity and without intent to commit fraud against the Trust in any dealings they may have with the Trust.

Responsibilities

In relation to the prevention of fraud, theft, misuse of equipment and abuse of position, specific responsibilities are as follows:

Trustees

The Trustees are responsible for establishing and maintaining a sound system of internal control that supports the achievement of the Trust’s policies, aims and objectives, whilst at the same time controlling the risks that the Trust faces. Managing fraud risk is seen in this context.

Volunteers

Every volunteer is responsible for:

  • acting with propriety in the use of the Trust’s resources and the handling and use of funds whether they are involved with cash, receipts, payments or dealing with suppliers;
  • being alert to the possibility that unusual events or transactions could be indicators of fraud;
  • reporting details immediately if they suspect that a fraud has been committed or see any suspicious acts or events; and
  • co-operating fully with whoever is conducting internal checks or reviews or fraud investigations.

Detection and Investigation

Whilst having regard to the requirements of the Data Protection legislation, the Trust actively participates in an exchange of information with external agencies on fraud, corruption and bribery. It is often the alertness of Trustees, staff or volunteers and the general public to the possibility of fraud and corruption that leads to detection of financial irregularity.

The Chair of the Board of Trustees must be notified immediately of all financial or accounting irregularities or suspected irregularities or of any circumstances which may suggest the possibility of irregularities including those affecting cash, stores, property, remuneration or allowances.

Reporting of suspected irregularities is essential as it initiates:

  • a proper investigation by experienced staff, and ensures the consistent treatment of information regarding fraud and corruption;
  • appointment of a designated officer, auditor or other adviser, by the Chair to conduct investigations;
  • the designated officer, auditor or other advisor will:
    • deal promptly with the matter;
    • record evidence received;
    • ensure the security and confidentiality of evidence;
    • work closely with senior managers of the Trust and other agencies, such as the Police and Courts to ensure that all issues are properly investigated and reported upon; and
    • ensure maximum recoveries are made on behalf of the Trust.

Review

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Please read these terms and conditions of content and copyright before using content and images from this, or other Ocean Giants Trust websites.

All photographs, information, materials and other content featured on this website are owned by the Ocean Giants Trust and/or its contributors.

Terms of use

Images

In most cases we are happy for others to use our images for non-profit use, but please contact Ocean Giants Trust first to discuss your intentions.

  • Images used should credit Ocean Giants Trust/the photographer (if known) and include a link to our website in the image caption or elsewhere near the image.
  • For images on the Ocean Giants Trust site where the copyright is credited to a specific person or organisation other than Ocean Giants Trust, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Contact Ocean Giants Trust with your request and we will pass it on to the copyright holder if we can.
  • If you would like to use one of our images you should save a copy on your own web server. Please do not link to images on the Ocean Giants Trust site – this uses our bandwidth and may end up costing us money.

Content

Content from our news feeds can be used on other websites as long as the content is credited to Ocean Giants Trust, and the page includes a link to the relevant Ocean Giants Trust web page. Other content may be reproduced as agreed. Please contact Ocean Giants Trust to discuss your intentions.

Ocean Giants Trust carries out an annual risk assessment of all its activities, and when appropriate this can be made available to funding bodies and partner organisations.

The Trustees have a duty to assess annually risks that may affect the Trust’s operations and take appropriate action. Inter alia the following categories of risk are assessed:

External:

  • Impact of foreign governmental action on activities/projects
  • Relationship with partners
  • Public perception

Financial:

  • Commercial activities
  • Financial management
  • Fraud & dishonesty

Governance and Management:

  • Compliance
  • Professional and executive liabilities
  • Composition of Board of Trustees
  • Trustees knowledge of their legal responsibilities
  • Conflicts of interest

Operational:

  • Capacity
  • Contracts/safeguarding of intellectual property
  • IT security
  • Liability towards volunteers and other collaborators
  • Public liability

Special Risks

  • Miscellaneous risks relating to Ocean Giants Trust operations

If you are a business wishing to work with us, we would be happy to share full details of our risk assessment with you

Personal information collected by Ocean Giants Trust from its website by visitors, or through any other medium, is never sold, traded or rented to other organisations or disclosed to persons outside Ocean Giants Trust other than to those who carry out work on our behalf, such as processing online donations, or unless we are legally obliged to do so.

This Privacy Policy details what personal information Ocean Giants Trust (Ocean Giants TrustT) collects and how this information is used.

Ocean Giants Trust is governed in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom.  The information you give us is treated in confidence and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

What personal information does Ocean Giants Trust collect?

Ocean Giants Trust collects personal information that is knowingly and voluntarily given through our website and social media channels, as well as postal, telephone and personal contact. This might include, as appropriate, information including (but not exclusively) contact details, financial information, transaction history, communication history, fundraising activities on behalf of Ocean Giants Trust, links with other Ocean Giants Trust contacts and related organisations, site registrations. This data is held as paper records or in electronic form on secure servers as appropriate, and is managed according to the principles of Ocean Giants Trust’s Data Protection Policy. All credit or debit card data is managed securely in compliance with the principles of the PCI Data Security Standard.

What information collected by our web server?

Ocean Giants Trust’s web server does not automatically collect or recognise information about individual site visitors such as domain or email address information. Anonymous information, such as the number of site visitors in a specified period, is collected for statistical purposes, but this cannot be used to identify an individual user.

If you visit a Ocean Giants Trust website, we may place a cookie on your computer. A cookie is a file created by a website to store information on the site visitor’s computer, such as personally identifiable information or preferences specified by the site visitor.  They also help us, through the website monitoring service Google Analytics, to learn which advertisements bring visitors to our website and which pages these visitors view. This information is anonymous and not personally identifiable.  Some features of the website need cookies to function properly (for example, our online donation system).  If you do not wish your computer to accept cookies you may disable them by clicking on the icon on the bottom left of your screen, but if you do so some features of the website will not work as expected.

We retain all information you submit while on the Ocean Giants Trust website (e.g. if you register to create an account or while making an online donation or purchase).  If you have donated via one of our affiliate partners we will retain only the donation ID code and the amount donated for the purposes of communication with our affiliate partners. If you have donated via a third party website (such as JustGiving) please refer to their Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy; we will only receive the data passed to us according to the donor’s preferences. This information cannot be used to track individual details by third parties.

If you subscribe to our email newsletter, your clicks on links in the newsletter are monitored by us. These clicks are associated with the subscriber’s email address, but the information is only available to Ocean Giants Trust and is used solely as a measure of how popular the newsletters and its links and articles are. We would not use this information for targeted communications to our subscribers. The information cannot be used to track individuals by third parties.

How is the collected information used?

The information we collect is used to communicate with our supporters, gift recipients and enquirers to improve the content of our website, for marketing purposes and to provide updates on research and conservation activities and Ocean Giants Trust events.  We may contact you, by post or email, with information about our research or conservation programmes, news about Ocean Giants Trust, upcoming events and the occasional survey.  If you do not wish to receive such mailings, please let us know by contacting us submitting the contact form on this website. All email updates will provide you with the opportunity to update your preferences, or to unsubscribe from all future emails.

Communications with supporters

If you make a donation you will receive an acknowledgement by post or email, and you can opt to receive our newsletters. These publications are sent out to keep our supporters up-to-date with our work, and to let you know how your money has been used. From time to time you may also receive urgent appeals or mailings with information on new projects, upcoming events or supporter questionnaires.

We hope that you will wish to be kept involved with Ocean Giants Trust in this way, but if you do not want to receive communications from us in the future, please let us know by contacting us submitting the contact form on this website.

Other uses of personal information

We will not use your personal information for purposes that we have not previously advised you of.  If our information practices change at some time in the future we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out. We will do our best to obtain your consent should we wish to use personal information for new, unanticipated purposes, and we will always respect your decision if you wish to opt out of receiving communications from us.

How can I access the information maintained about me?

Upon request we will provide individuals with access to the personal information that we hold about them, and will correct any inaccurate details (Subject Access Requests).  We may make a charge of £10 to cover our administration costs for each request.  To verify the person’s identity we will require full name, address and email address of the person making the enquiry, and their relationship with Ocean Giants Trust, and the time period relating to their enquiry; in addition we may ask additional security questions or require further proof of identity.  Please note that we will disclose information relating only to the individual making the request, or to someone who is acting on their behalf (such as a solicitor, or someone with verified power of attorney): in such cases we will need written evidence that the person making the request has the authorisation of the individual concerned.  Individuals wishing to request access to their information should do so in writing to the registered office.

How secure is the information collected and stored by Ocean Giants Trust

Collection of information

When we transfer and receive financial information, we use a secure server. Our feedback form and any emails sent to Ocean Giants Trust are transferred via a standard, non-encrypted server, and could potentially be read by a third party. We therefore ask you not to send credit card details or other sensitive information in this way.

Storage of information

Personal information is held in a secure database, which is protected by password; only those authorised to view and process the information are able to access it.  We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you.

Ocean Giants Trust’s Data Protection Policy is published on this website.

Ocean Giants Trust (Ocean Giants Trust) needs to keep certain personal information to carry out its day to day operations, to meet its objectives and to comply with legal obligations. The organisation is committed to ensuring any personal data will be dealt with in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. To comply with the law, personal information will be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed to any other person unlawfully.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone handling personal data is fully aware of the requirements and acts in accordance with data protection procedures. This document also highlights key data protection procedures within the organisation.

This policy covers:

  • patrons & Board members
  • volunteers, interns and students on placement
  • supporters, partners & gift recipients
  • contacts & business associates

Definitions:

Personal Data is personal information which is recorded (either electronically or in paper form) about a living individual who can be identified by the data. If the person is not alive or cannot be identified by the data, or the data is not recorded, it is not personal data.

Sensitive Personal Data is Personal Data that concerns an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or ethical beliefs, membership of a trade union, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal record. Processing is obtaining, using, holding, amending, disclosing, destroying and deleting personal data. This includes some paper based personal data as well as that kept on computer.

Data Subject is any individual we hold information about. That person must be living, and identifiable from the data.

Data Controller is Ocean Giants Trust. Data processor is any individual or organisation that processes data on behalf of the Data Controller.

Gathering and checking information

Before personal information is collected, we will consider:

  • what details are necessary for our purposes; and
  • how long we are likely to need this information

We will inform people whose information is gathered about the following:

  • why the information is being gathered;
  • what the information will be used for; and
  • who will have access to their information (including third parties)

We will implement measures to ensure that personal information kept is accurate. Sensitive personal information will not be used apart from the exact purpose for which permission was given.

Data Security

Ocean Giants Trust will take steps to ensure that personal data is kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure. The following measures will be taken:

  • all volunteers, consultants and Board members are required to sign confidentiality agreements;
  • access to personal information will only be given to those individuals who require access to personal data to carry out their work;
  • paper records containing personal data are kept in lockable cupboards with restricted access;
  • personal information stored on computer systems in areas with restricted access, computer networks password protected;
  • use of mobile devices linked to Ocean Giants Trust servers controlled by strict security policy; and
  • back up of data on computers.

Any unauthorised disclosure of personal data to a third party by an employee may result in disciplinary proceedings and in serious cases may be considered gross misconduct.

Subject Access Requests

Anyone whose personal information we process has the right to know:

  • what information we hold and process on them;
  • how to gain access to this information;
  • how to keep it up to date; and
  • what we are doing to comply with the Act.

They also have the right to prevent processing of their personal data in some circumstances and the right to correct, rectify, block or erase information regarded as wrong. Any person wishing to make a Subject Access Request to exercise this right should apply in writing. We may make a charge of £10 on each occasion access is requested. The following information will be required before access is granted:

  • full name and contact details of the person making the request • their relationship with the organisation; and
  • any other relevant information- e.g. timescales involved.

Before access is granted we may also ask further security questions and require proof of identity (e.g. copy of passport, driving licence, or recent utility bill). Queries about handling personal information will be dealt with swiftly and politely. We will aim to comply with requests for access to personal information promptly, but will ensure it is provided within the 40 days required by the Act from receiving the written request (and relevant fee).

Notification

The needs we have for processing personal data are recorded on the public register maintained by the Information Commissioner. We notify and renew our notification on an annual basis as the law requires. If there are any interim changes, these will be notified to the Information Commissioner within 28 days. The name of the Data Controller within our organisation as specified in our notification to the Information Commissioner is OCEAN GIANTS TRUST (registration no. *******).

Responsibilities

Overall responsibility for personal data rests with Trustees, as Ocean Giants Trust’s governing body. Anyone working on the Trust’s behalf in whatever capacity who process personal information held by Ocean Giants Trust must ensure they not only understand but also act in line with this policy and the data protection principles. Breach of this policy may result in disciplinary procedures, and in some circumstances may be considered gross misconduct. Sanctions against other individuals in breach of this policy may include dismissal in the case of volunteers and interns, and potential legal action in the case of contractors and sub-contractors who may have breached their contractual obligations.

Policy Implementation

Ocean Giants Trust will seek to abide by the five key principles of good data governance on which best practice is based as outlined in the Personal Data Guardianship Code:

  • Accountability: those handling personal data follow the data protection principles set out in the Act, in order to help gain public trust and safeguard personal data.
  • Visibility: Data subjects should have access to the information about themselves that an organisation holds. This includes the right to have incorrect personal data corrected and to know who has had access to this data.
  • Consent: The collection and use of personal data must be fair and lawful and in accordance with the DPA’s eight data protection principles. Personal data should only be used for the purposes agreed by the data subject. If personal data is to be shared with a third party or used for another purpose, the data subject’s consent should be explicitly obtained.
  • Access: Everyone should have the right to know the roles and groups of people within an organisation who have access to their personal data and who has used this data.
  • Stewardship: Those collecting personal data have a duty of care to protect this data throughout the data life span.