Public sector conflicts of interest: New ICAC guidelines released
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which this week began hearings in Operation Eclipse - an investigation in the regulation of lobbying, access and influence in NSW – has recently published new guidelines specifically on the topic of conflicts of interest in the public sector.
The Guidelines, titled 'Managing Conflicts of Interest in the NSW Public Sector', adopt a more succinct and flexible approach to managing conflicts of interest compared to that of its predecessor 'Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector Toolkit' which was a joint publication prepared by ICAC and the Crime and Misconduct Commission in Queensland in 2004.
In particular, the new ICAC Guidelines offer guidance to public officials in NSW by:
- providing a clear definition and test to assist in the identification of a conflict of interest
- recommending an easy-to-find conflict of interest policy with clear requirements for all relevant groups of people and other entities
- suggesting risk-based management by locating vulnerable units and branches
- advising the avoidance of unnecessary conflicts of interest in their private capacities
- encouraging disclosure and registration of personal interests
- urging regular and proactive review and monitoring of the conflicts of interest
- outlining procedures for investigation of alleged breaches and complaints of conflicts of interest.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.