Code of Ethics
The public Auction subjects all possession to equitable public appraisal and competitive offer and thereby determines fair and current value of all personal goods and estates. The Auctioneer is the master of procedure and conduct of community progress and development. Such functions impose grave responsibility and duty beyond ordinary business policy to which he must dedicate himself and strive to maintain the highest standards of his profession and share with his fellow Auctioneers a common responsibility for its Integrity and Honor. Accepting the Golden Rule as his standard, the Auctioneer pledges himself to observe the Law of God and of the Land in all of his dealings, and to conduct his business in accordance with the following Code of Ethics adopted by the Montana Auctioneers Association.
PART I - PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
In the best interest of the public, of his fellow Auctioneers, and of his own business, the Auctioneer should be loyal to the Montana Auctioneers Association.
The Auctioneer should so conduct his business as to avoid disputes with his fellow Auctioneers, but in the event of a controversy between two Auctioneers who are members of the Montana Auctioneers Association, he should not resort to a law suit, but submit his difference to arbitration by the Montana Auctioneers Association, and the decision of such an arbitration should be accepted as final and binding. If the dispute should be with a non-member, he should offer the services of this Association to arbitrate.
Where a member is charged with unethical practice, he should promptly and voluntarily place all the pertinent facts before the Board of Directors for investigation and report.
A member should never publicly criticize a competitor, and where an opinion is specially requested, it should be rendered in conformity with strict professional courtesy and dignity.
A member should not solicit the services of an employee of a fellow Auctioneer without his consent and knowledge.
In the best interest of society, of his Associates, and of his own business, the Auctioneer should at all times be loyal to the Montana Auctioneers Association and active in its work; and he should willingly share with his fellow members the lessons of his experience.
PART II - RELATIONS TO THE PUBLIC
In justice of those who place their interest in his hands, the Auctioneer should endeavor to keep abreast of business conditions, to keep informed in matters of law and proposed legislation affecting such interests, so as to give intelligent business advice and effective service.
In accepting the sale of real or personal property, the member pledges himself to be fair to both seller and buyer, and to protect the owners interest as he would protect his own.
When consulted for an appraisal of value or liquidation problem, a member should give a well considered opinion, reflecting expert knowledge and sound judgment, taking requisite time for study, inquiry, and deliberation. His council represents a professional service, which he should render in writing and for which he should make a reasonable charge. A member should not undertake to give an appraisal or offer an opinion on any proposition on which he has a direct or even indirect interest, without a full disclosure of such interest.
Before accepting a sale, it is the duty of the Auctioneer, if requested, to advise the owner intelligently and honestly regarding the market value of the business proposition and the reasonable chance of selling at value or above.
PART III - RELATION TO CLIENT
It is the duty of every member to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practices in connection with the sale, disposal, or liquidation of any real or personal property the Auctioneer is called upon to dispose at public Auction.
It is the duty of a member to ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every sale for which he is engaged, so that in offering he may avoid error, exaggeration, and misrepresentation.
An Auctioneer is a confidential trustee of the information given by the seller or gained by him through relationship, and the Auctioneer must never disclose the gross receipts of a sale or any other information that would tend to be a violation of the profession.
No special conditions, real or assumed, or inducements or directions from anyone, relieve the member from his responsibility to strictly observe the Code of Ethics in letter and spirit.
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
Qualification – Election. Any auctioneer who is of good moral character shall be eligible for membership in this Association, provided that he affirms, “to be faithful to the Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, Code of Ethics of the Montana Auctioneers Association, as the same may be amended from time to time”.
Classification. Dues, Initiation Fee, Individuals – Members shall be individual members. Dues of individual members. Dues of individual members shall be such as are established by the Board of Directors and shall be payable in advance.
Vote. Individual members shall be entitled to vote in all meetings of members. Same place as, the annual convention of the Association, at such time and place as shall be designated in notice mailed to all voting members, or published as here in after provided for the election of elective officers and directors and for the transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting.
Special Meetings. Special meeting for the members for any purpose or purposes, unless otherwise prescribed by statue, may be called by the President or by the Board of Directors.
Place of Meeting. Any annual or special meeting may be held either within, or without the state of Montana. The place of meeting shall be designated in notice thereof.
Notice of Meeting. Written or printed notice, stating the place, day and hour of the meeting and in case of a special meeting, the purpose for which the meeting is called, shall be mailed to each voting member of the association.
Quorum. Those individual members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the members.
A majority of the members present may adjourn the meeting to a subsequent time, without further notice. A meeting of the members, at which a quorum is present, may be adjourned by vote of a majority of the members, without further notice. At any adjourned meeting at which a quorum shall be present, any business may be transacted which might have been transacted at the meeting as originally notified.
Termination of Membership Classification. Non-payment of dues – Should any member fail to pay dues when due as specified by association’s billing therefore, the membership of such member shall automatically terminate forthwith. Such membership may be automatically reinstated by payment of such delinquent dues.
Resignation. Any member may resign from the association by delivering a written resignation to the President or Secretary of the Association.
Rights of Members. The right of a member to vote on or participate in any activities of the Association shall cease on termination of his membership.
Associate Members. Rights of Associated Members – The right of an associate member to participate in any activities, excluding the right to vote or hold an office, of the Association shall cease on the termination of his membership.
ARTICLE II – DIRECTORS
General Powers. The business and affairs of the corporation shall be managed by its board of directors.
Number of Directors, Election, and Term of Office. The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice president, Secretary-Treasurer, the immediate past president, and six (6) elected members of the Association, two (2) of whom shall be elected annually. The President, vice president, and Secretary- Treasurer shall hold office as Directors so long as they hold their respective positions. The terms of office of the elected directors shall be for three (3) years.
Special Meetings. Special meeting of the Board of Directors may be called by, or at the request of the President or and four (4) Directors. The President shall designate the time and place for any special meeting which has been duly called which may be within or without the State of Montana.
Notice. Notice of any special meeting shall be given by mail posted at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.
Quorum. A majority of the Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board of Directors. But if less than such majority is present at a meeting, a majority of the Directors present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS
The elective officers of the Association shall be President, Vice President, and a Secretary / Treasurer – In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall perform his duties.
Election and Term of Office – The elective officers of the corporation shall be elected at the annual meeting of the membership. All officers shall serve for one (1) year or until their successors are elected.
Duties of Officers. The duties of the officers shall be such as their titles by general usage would indicate and such as may be assigned to them, respectively, by the Board of Directors from time to time, and such as are required by law.
Vacancies. Vacancies among the officers of the Association shall be filled by a majority vote of a quorum of the Board of Directors and the Officers so chosen shall serve the unexpired term of the office for which he has been appointed. Vacancies by the officers, other than the President need not be filled if the Board of Directors do not deem it advisable to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE IV – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Association shall be the same as the calendar year.
ARTICLE V – CODE OF ETHICS
The Montana Auctioneers Association will follow the Code of Ethics of the National Auctioneers Association and these shall be binding upon each member of the Association.
ARTICLE VI – ANNUAL CONVENTION
The time and place of the annual convention shall be determined by the Board of Directors or at the annual business meeting by the members.
ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENT OF BY- LAWS
The Board of Directors shall have power to make, alter, amend, and repeal the By-Laws of the corporation by affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present, provide, however, that notice has been given to the Board of Directors of the proposed action at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which such action is taken.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Executive Committee. The Board of Directors may create an Executive Committee from its own membership, which may exercise to the extent permitted by law and not otherwise specifically provided in the Articles of Incorporation or these By-Laws. All or such part of the authority of the Board of Directors as may be provided by resolution of the Board of Directors.
Other Committees. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, may appoint such other committees, as he deems advisable. The President shall be and ex-officio member of all committees.
Duties of Committees. Committees shall have such duties as their title indicates and as the Board of Directors may assign. All action of committees shall be subject to approval by the Board of Directors or membership.
ARTICLE IX – ORDER OF BUSINESS
Rules of Order. Except as otherwise provided in the By-Laws, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall determine procedure in all meetings of the members and the Board of Directors.