09 Sep 2020

HSSEQ Bulletin: Do you understand Conflict of Interest?

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In simple terms, a Conflict of Interest is a situation in which a person, or related parties, can derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.

You may be thinking, ‘this doesn’t really impact me, I’m not the CEO’. Don’t let apathy put you or the people you know in a compromised position!

You don’t need to fear Conflict of Interest laws but you do need to raise your knowledge and remove any confusion.

If you start a part-time business offering similar services to your employer, this is a conflict of interest.

If you accept a gift from a supplier in exchange for business over other suppliers, this a conflict of interest.

If you fail to disclose that you are related to a candidate you are considering for a job, this is a conflict of interest.

But it’s fine to recommend people you know for roles or introduce new suppliers, so long as you disclose your relationship and remove yourself from any decision making.

You can see how it can be complicated.

The general advice is to ask if you’re not sure. Be prudent, disclose, ask questions, gain clarification.

Seek information and understand your situation. After all, it is in your best INTEREST!

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