Managing conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest for CLMs occurs when private interests may improperly influence public duty.

A conflict of interest is not ‘wrong’. Public officials (including CLMs) are also private individuals, and there will be occasions when private interests are in conflict with their duty to the public. Having a private interest in conflict with public duty may not be a problem, as long as the conflict of interest is managed in a transparent and accountable manner.

Conflict of interest categories

Conflicts of interest can be categorised as one or both of the following:

  • Pecuniary (financial) interests include potential, perceived or actual financial gain or loss. However, this does not necessarily mean that money needs to change hands.
  • Non-pecuniary interests may arise from personal or family relationships that do not amount to a pecuniary interest.

Types of conflict of interest

Table 1 highlights the different types of conflict of interest: actual, perceived and potential

Table 1 Types of conflicts of interest

A public official
is in position to be influenced is in a position to appear to influenced is in a position where they may
be influenced in the future
by their private interests when doing their job

Conflict of interest examples

The progressive scenario in Table 2 demonstrates types of conflict of interest. These examples are indicative only and there may be other situations that can lead to potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest of a pecuniary and/or non-pecuniary nature.

Table 2 Examples of conflicts of interest

Scenario Type of conflictExplanation
you are a CLM board member with no affiliations who performs tasks for the CLM No conflict Your appointed duties as a CLM have no relevance to your private interests so there will be no conflict with carrying out these duties
You are a CLM board member who performs tasks for the CLM and has an acquaintance who owns a catering company Potential conflict Your private interests are currently not relevant to your appointed duties, but they could be in the future if the catering company wish to, for example, hire the reserve's kitchen facilities
You are a CLM board member who performs tasks for the CLM and has a close friend of family member who owns a catering company Perceived conflict Some may consider your private interests are relevant to, and may have influenced, final decisions related to the catering company, for example, hiring the reserve's kitchen facilities
You are a CLM board member who performs tasks for the CLM and also owns a catering company Actual conflict Your private interests are relevant to your CLM role and could improperly influence a decision. That is, your catering company is a related body who stands to benefit or lose by decisions made by the CLM.

Process flow steps in dealing with conflicts of interest

Conflict of interest process flow

Conflict of interest templates

The following templates are available to assist with conflict of interest activities:

Conflict of interest - Gift benefit declaration

Conflict of interest - Individual declaration

Conflict of interest - Policy procedure

Conflict of interest record template

Other resources

Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): Identifying and managing conflicts of interest in the public sector, July 2012, available from the ICAC website.

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