Conflict of Interest can mean different things in different contexts, so although most of us think we have a pretty good idea, it pays to refer directly to your Department’s own definitions under their Conflict of Interest Procedure.
For example, the Department of Education’s policy states, “Conflict of interest may occur when financial or other private interests compromise, or have the appearance of compromising an employee’s conduct or judgement in relation to their duties and responsibilities within DoE. Private interests can be associated with a person’s family, friends or associates. A conflict of interest can be actual, perceived or potential, pecuniary or non-pecuniary.”
- Actual conflict of interest: the private interests of an employee interfere with their assigned duties and responsibilities.
- Perceived conflict of interest: it may be perceived that a public officer’s private interests could improperly influence or may have improperly influenced their public duties.
- Potential conflict of interest: the private interests of an employee could interfere with their assigned duties in the future.
- Pecuniary conflict of interest: relate to monetary transactions or financial losses/benefits. This conflict of interest situation could directly lead to a financial advantage for an employee, their family, friends or associates. Page 7 Please check the Department’s website to ensure this is the most recent version.
- Non-pecuniary conflict of interest: relate to benefits which are not monetary or financial. Such a benefit could be gained by an employee themselves, their family, friends or associates.
“So what should I do?“
Our advice – if you’re unsure, then it’s far better to disclose and manage a potential conflict than have a conflict occur.
Employees in Education must disclose any conflict of interests or potential conflict of interest at the earliest opportunity to their Principal/Manager and forward a completed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to the Director Human Resources.
You can familiarise yourself with the requirements by reading the Conflict of interest procedure on your staff intranet.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet also have a Managing Conflicts of Interest in Recruitment policy statement which you can find by Clicking Here.