To detail the minimum requirements for the identification, declaration, management and monitoring of conflicts of interest that may arise for employees of the department.
This procedure is supported by the Department of Education and Training
Conflict of Interest Procedure – guidelines
The public has a right to expect that all public officials will perform their duties in a fair and unbiased way, and that the decisions they make are not affected by self-interest, private affiliations, or the likelihood of personal gain or loss.
As the integrity of public sector officers and processes is fundamental to the rule of law, conflicts of interest are a major risk in all areas of government. It is therefore crucial that all conflicts of interest are managed and resolved in the public interest.
Principle 1.2 of the
Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service states as public service employees we are committed to demonstrating our impartiality and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and as such we will:
actively participate with our agency in developing and implementing resolution strategies for any conflict of interest, and
The department is committed to ensuring conflicts of interest are identified, disclosed and managed in a transparent and accountable manner. A transparent system that is observed by all employees as a matter of course will also demonstrate to the public and others who deal with the department that the department’s role is performed in a way that is fair and unaffected by improper considerations.
Public sector officials can fulfil their public duty to put the public interest first by carrying out their duties fully and effectively within established ethical frameworks and identifying and managing any actual, perceived (apparent) or potential conflicts of interests.
Pursuant to the
Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, this involves:
Department of Education and Training:
Essentially, the department’s responsibilities are to:
Directive 01/15 – Declaration of Interests – Chief Executives states:
Ethical Standards Unit:
Regardless of their level, all employees have a responsibility to follow policy and procedural requirements for managing conflicts of interest.
Directive 03/10 – Declaration of Interests – Public Service Employees (other than chief executives) requires all employees who are non Chief Executives to:
Conflict of Interest Policy(DET employees only) reinforces these obligations.
The process for managing conflicts of interest consists of three stages.
STAGE 1: Identify
STAGE 2: Manage
STAGE 3: Monitor
Managing a conflict of interest will involve the input of managers/supervisors and individuals. The Department of Education and Training
Conflict of Interest Procedure – guidelines provides further information regarding the three stage process and the
Conflict of Interest Decision-Making Flowchart provides a diagrammatic illustration of the steps that should be taken in deciding how to deal with conflicts of interest.
Proper record keeping is fundamental to any effective decision-making process as it promotes fairness, transparency and accountability. Public authorities are required to make ‘full and accurate records’ of their activities in accordance with the
Public Records Act 2002. It is recommended that you use the
Form for Resolving or Managing a Conflict of Interest to formally record the identification, management and monitoring process of conflicts of interest and that this form be attached to the appropriate
Declaration of Interests Form.
Establish that a conflict of interest exists
Assess the situation and the circumstances of the situation to determine if a conflict of interest exists. If you are unsure that you have a conflict of interest you may refer to the checklists located in the
Crime and Corruption Commission – Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector: toolkit for guidance. (Tools 8.1: Checklist for identifying a conflict of interest and 8.2: Checklist for identifying a pecuniary interest).
Disclose the conflict of interest
As soon as you recognise that the potential or perception of a conflict of interest may exist you must declare the conflict in writing to your manager/supervisor/principal. Your disclosure is to be made using the appropriate
Declaration of Interests Form. Your manager/supervisor/principal will assess the situation and seek advice if necessary to determine the appropriate action.
To maintain openness and transparency in disclosing conflicts of interest you should observe the following steps:
You must declare as much information as is necessary to allow the matter to be adequately assessed and/or investigated to determine whether a conflict exists.
When a written declaration is not immediately practicable
There may be times when you are in a position that does not allow you to disclose a conflict of interest in writing. For example, you may be in a meeting where, without prior warning, a matter is introduced in which you recognise you may have a conflict of interest. In such circumstances you should observe the following steps:
Once the potential for a conflict of interest is reported by an employee to their manager/supervisor/principal, the manager/supervisor/principal must determine whether a conflict of interest exists and make a decision as to the action required to address the situation in the public’s interest.
While conflicts of interest may be resolved or managed in a variety of ways, the choice of strategy will depend on an assessment of the individual circumstances of each case.
The six major options for managing conflicts of interest are:
Conflict of Interest Management Options Ready Reckoner provides a brief description of the types of situations when certain options would be considered more suitable, and when such options might be considered least suitable. Further information regarding each of these management options can be located in the
Crime and Corruption Commission – Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector: toolkit.
NB In all cases, the ultimate decision maker with respect to conflict of interest matters is the Director-General.
Formal records should be kept of all assessments, decisions made and actions taken in relation to all conflicts of interest. The completed declaration of interests form involving an employee other than a Chief Executive, Senior Executive or equivalent level is to be stored in the employee’s personal employment file.
Monitoring is an essential component of any strategy adopted to manage conflicts of interest. Ongoing monitoring and regular reviews of identified conflicts of interest allow changes to be made to the management strategy if the need arises.
It is important to regularly review and assess the:
A checklist for managing conflicts of interest is located in the Department of Education and Training
Conflict of Interest Procedure – guidelines.
Consequences for non-disclosure
If an employee fails to disclose a conflict of interest they may be in breach of the department’s
Standard of Practice, the
Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service and be liable to disciplinary action.
An employee’s refusal to take any action directed by the department to resolve or manage a conflict of interest may be in breach of the department’s
Standard of Practice and
Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service and subsequently the
Public Service Act 2008 and may render the employee liable to disciplinary action.
The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission has produced the following publications jointly with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption:
Both of these publications can be accessed using the following link:
Conflict of interest
Involves a conflict between a public official’s duty to serve the public interest and the public official’s private interests. A conflict of interest can arise from avoiding personal losses as well as gaining personal advantage, financial or otherwise. A conflict of interest occurs when the private interests of a public sector officer interfere, or appear to interfere, with the performance of their official duties.
A conflict of interest can occur when an employee has, or is seen to have, a private interest, either pecuniary or non-pecuniary, which conflicts or may conflict with the discharge of the employee’s duties.
Types of conflicts of interest:
Is anything that can have an impact on an individual or group. Anything that can bring a benefit or disadvantage to us as individuals, or to others whom we may wish to benefit or disadvantage. Interests may be pecuniary or non-pecuniary.
Private or personal interests
For further information, please contact:
Ethical Standards UnitEmail:
firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: (07) 3055 2955
Uncontrolled copy. Refer to the Department of Education Policy and Procedure Register to ensure you have the most current version of this document.
How would you rate this page?
Thank you! We appreciate your feedback.
Share with Facebook
Share with Twitter
Share with LinkedIn
Share with Google+
Share with Pinterest