ESAC's board of directors is responsible for ensuring the confidentiality and security of information provided by participating PEOs. Only ESAC’s Independent Directors vote on the accreditation and compliance of a specific PEO or serve on the Accreditation and Compliance Committees. Industry directors do not have access to confidential PEO information. Applicants and accredited PEOs have the right to request the recusal of any director with respect to any matter with which the director might have a conflict of interest. Board meetings are open to the public, except for executive sessions when a matter related to the accreditation of a specific PEO is being considered.
The fundamental credibility of ESAC and of the entire accreditation and financial assurance process depends on the accredited PEO information provided to ESAC being used appropriately and held in strict confidence. The following principles of conduct will be adhered to by ESAC staff, officers, Board of Directors, service providers, and trusted advisors:
- Only ESAC's Independent Directors have access to confidential information and vote on the accreditation or compliance of an applicant or accredited PEO. Matters related to a specific applicant or accredited PEO are discussed only in executive session by ESAC's Board of Directors. Executive sessions are closed to all persons except authorized representatives of the applicant or accredited PEO, Board members, Board advisors and ESAC staff.
- Every applicant or accredited PEO must be provided with 10 business days’ prior written notice, whenever matters specifically pertaining to them are included in the discussion agenda of any Board meeting, except in the case of an urgent situation involving an alleged default of employer responsibilities by an accredited PEO in which case notice provided to the PEO may be less than 10 business days.
- Any applicant or accredited PEO has the right to petition the recusal of any Board member it reasonably believes possesses a bias against it, has a conflict of interest, or is otherwise unable to cast an objective decision on the matter at hand. Such petition must be received by ESAC in writing at least 3 business days prior to such Board action and must include the reason why recusal is requested. A copy of the petition shall be provided to the Board member in question, and he or she shall be required to respond in writing. The Board will evaluate such petition and the Board member’s response, and will vote whether to require the recusal of the member as requested by the petitioner. The affected Board member shall not vote on the petition for his or her recusal. The Board shall be liberal in approving such requests for recusal based on receipt of factual justification.
- ESAC shall hold all information submitted by an applicant and the fact that an applicant has applied in strict confidence, except for basic public information and the announcement of approved applicants. The proceedings of ESAC are not subject to any Freedom of Information or "Sunshine" laws. Such information is for the exclusive use by ESAC for the purpose of accreditation and program administration, and is not released to anyone outside of ESAC, except upon an order from a court of competent jurisdiction or as specifically authorized by the accredited PEO as part of ESAC's regulatory compliance services related to state registration and licensing.
- All Board members, Board advisors, ESAC staff and service providers are required to execute a comprehensive, enforceable non-disclosure agreement protecting the confidentiality of information submitted by applicants and ESAC-accredited PEOs, and such individuals are subject to removal for violating the terms of such agreement.
- Financial statements provided to ESAC by an applicant or accredited PEO are for evaluation by ESAC's independent financial advisor and the surety and/or insurance carrier(s) backing the Client Assurance Program, or their authorized agent. Such financial statements and the confidential information contained therein are not provided to the ESAC Board or any other party without the written consent of the applicant or accredited PEO unless staff or the Compliance Committee finds probable cause of a material standards violation in which case confidential information will be shared with ESAC's Independent Directors.