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.


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