Conflict of Interest Policy

Introduction

Conflict of interest is defined as "A situation where a person has a personal interest in a matter the subject of a decision or duty of the person".
 
A conflict of interest may arise in the discharge of a staff member's official functions or duties, including: decision-making, handling complaints, applying policy, procedures, or codes, reporting or supervising staff and employees.
 

General Principles 

  • Conflicts of interest can be financial or personal and involve the interests of the member of staff or members of the staff member's family.
  • Members of staff who discharge official functions or perform official duties must not take into account personal interests or any other irrelevant considerations.
  • A lack of impartiality may arise as a result of a family relationship, close friendship or enmity, whether or not financial loss or gain is involved.
  • Members of staff should avoid situations in which private interests impact upon or may impact upon the discharge of duties as an employee of the organisation.

Avoiding and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest

Financial and Other Interests

  • Members of staff should avoid any financial or other interest or undertaking that could directly compromise the performance of their duties. If the member of staff has a potential or actual conflict of interest (that is, where the staff member could be influenced or could appear to be influenced in the performance of duties) the member of staff must notify their manager.
  • In relation to a consultant to the organisation or a contractor for any other services to the organisation, a member of staff who is a decision-maker, providing a recommendation or report on any matter to an organisation decision-maker, administering an organisation account or in receipt of organisation funds under any form of agreement with the organisation must disclose any financial interest that the person or a close member of the person's family has or may have in the matter.
  • A member of staff must:
    1. perform the duties impartially;
    2. avoid situations in which private interest, whether financial or otherwise, conflicts or might reasonably be thought to conflict with the public duty;
    3. disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest to management;
    4. disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest of a member of the immediate family;
    5. in cases where a conflict of interest exists or might reasonably appear to exist obtain the written authorisation of management to continue to discharge the duties in question or cease the duties in question until management has examined the matter and directed the staff member about further action and duties; and
    6. not solicit or accept from any person any remuneration or benefit for the discharge of duties to gain directly or indirectly a financial advantage for themselves or any other person over and above the official remuneration, nor accept any gift, hospitality or concessional travel other than permitted by the organisation.

Disclosure

In any matter where an actual or potential conflict of interest arises, the member of staff must immediately report such conflict to management and seek direction as to what if any future involvement there should be in the matter.

Implementation by Management

Where a disclosure is made to management, the manager may:

  • authorise continuation of the involvement of the member of staff in the matter;
  • require the staff member to cease acting in any or all aspects of the matter;
  • direct the member of staff to cease supporting or involvement with a third party to the matter; or
  • direct the member of staff to cease supporting or involvement with a third party to the matter; or
  • issue any other directive required to avoid the conflict of interest.

Where a manager is or may be involved in the matter and where potential or actual conflict of interest involves or may involve the manager directly or indirectly, the manager shall take no action other than to immediately refer the matter to the Board of Directors.

Management should record in writing all reports of conflicts of interest and all directions given about handling each matter.