Conflicts of Interest (2024)


This live video was filmed to provide clarity regarding the webinar I did yesterday (13 May 2020) in relation to conflicts of interest and the public sector, specifically, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Links referred to in this video include:

APS Values and Code of Conduct in Practice Guide is located here

Commonwealth Ombudsman's Conflict of Interest Guidelines is here


Welcome to another live video, uh, I would like to bring your attention to some concerns that were raised yesterday, I'm, not sure if we're live yet are we live? Um, hello.

Everyone and welcome to another live video, uh, the intention of the video.

This evening is to briefly discuss the intention of the webinar that was held yesterday by myself, uh, in relation to conflicts of interest.

It has been brought to my attention today that some people may have been confused about the message that I was trying to convey.

And so I wanted to make it very clear.

What my position was and make sure that there was no further confusion in relation to my message.

What I would like to do is again, read from a very fixed transcript, uh.

If if you don't mind me reading I'll just continue on.

So the intention of the webinar yesterday was to start a conversation about what the vet and international education sector in australia, considers to be a conflict of interest between its regulators.

And the regulated it was also designed to get people thinking about what their position is on conflicts of interest.

It was to expose an issue that I personally felt was not in the public interest and inconsistent with the objects of the nvr act, and therefore asqua's regulatory ambit.

So often quoted in tribunal matters and to raise concerns about what this might mean for many of my past current and future.

Clients who have either been victims of regulatory decisions, including suspensions cancellations of registration and rejections of applications.

And those people who are equally affected that are not my clients.

One thing I would like to be very clear about in relation to yesterday's webinar.

I am not rescinding my position.

My position remains the same.

I was and still am genuinely shocked about what has ultimately transpired.

I will, however, clarify my reasons for this as it seems that some people have been confused about what I was actually saying at no time did I allege? Nor am I alleging now that there has been an actual conflict of interest.

I did not allege that any law had potentially been broken.

In fact, there are no laws.

If you remember what I did say in relation to these issues was that there is currently no legislation that prevents these types of things from happening.

I also made specific reference to the aps values and code of conduct in practice, guide available on the website of the australian public service commission and to which I will post a link in the comments after this video.

I wish to reinforce that I am shocked because when I worked at the department of education services in international and higher education regulation in western australia.

In 2009, I was required as part of my induction to complete one of the most beneficial valuable and meaningful courses that I have ever completed.

And it still influences every business decision that I make today.

Some 11 years later, that course, was called accountable and ethical decision making in the wa public sector.

I can only imagine that there is a similar course that employees of the australian public service have to complete as they begin their employment in the australian public service, given this context as well as the aps values and code of conduct in practice guide on the australian public service commission website.

I find it incomprehensible that such a situation should become an issue of such magnitude, the aps values and code of conduct in practice, guide very clearly described conflicts of interest as being real.

And or perceived section 5.1.3 describes a real conflict of interest as occurring where there is a conflict between the public duty and personal interests of an employee that improperly influences the employee in the performance of his or her duties.

I did not at any time allege that this happened section 5.1.4 states that an apparent conflict of interest occurs where it appears that an employee's personal interest could improperly influence the performance of his or her duties.

But this is not, in fact, the case often a perceived conflict of interest is defined by the commonwealth ombudsman as where private interests are not, but could come into a into direct conflict with official duties.

I will post the link to this document in the comments also section 5.1.5 of the aps values and code of conduct in practice, guide states that the appearance of a conflict can be just as damaging to public confidence in public administration as a conflict, which gives gives rise to a concern based on objective facts.

It is on this basis that I ask the question of the sector generally, how do you feel about what has transpired? Do you believe this is a potential conflict of interest? Do you believe that this is an issue that needs to be further, investigated by asqua in its employment and separation of employment policies and procedures for all employees or only some employees, where do you draw the line at senior levels of management who have heavily influenced the sector or just auditors or across the board.

These are important questions for our sector to maintain its integrity.

And I am concerned that people may have taken out of context, what I did say and what I meant while I did record the session.

I don't believe that it serves any purpose to release it at this stage.

I encourage everyone to try and jump on and listen as and when I do go live, albeit, I do realize I do not always give a lot of notice if there is a future need to release the video, I may consider it.

But for now I will not.

I am glad that the webinar has led to some critical conversations about conflicts of interest after all.

There was a time not too long ago, and even still where rtos and tafes around the country were being deemed, critically, not compliant and threatened with certain suspension or cancellation, because there was a conflict of interest in training and assessment.

It seems appropriate.

Then that similar measures must surely be expected of our regulator.

I encourage everyone to continue the conversation and make your voices and opinions of the issues heard.

Remember if nothing changes, nothing changes.

And these are critical issues at an incredibly momentous time in the reform process of our sector, make sure your voice is heard continue having those discussions continue asking yourself and others.

What are the what are your reflections on those particular issues? And most of all make your voices heard to ministers and to ask for themselves, when the escort stakeholder liaison group is established whoever's on it.

If you are able to also make your voice and your opinion heard and noted officially via that mechanism.

I believe it will have the potential to make some great change.

But while issues like this continue to surround our sector and make us question and have lack of confidence in public administrative decisions by a statutory regulatory body, we will continue to have potential scandals.

Thank you very much everyone.

And I look forward to hearing from you again.

Soon please continue those conversations on social media.

They have been fantastic.

I just wanted to clarify my own personal position.

And to make it very clear.

I did not make any allegations that there was misconduct or improper conduct.

I was simply asking questions about perceived conflicts of interest and whether or not certain guidelines and policies had been followed in accordance with the australian public service commission website.

Thank you very much and bye for now.

Conflicts of Interest (2024)


How do you answer a conflict of interest question? ›

Follow these steps to help you successfully answer interview questions about dealing with conflict:
  • Briefly describe the conflict that occurred. ...
  • Mention your role in the situation. ...
  • Explain how you approached the problem and any actions you took. ...
  • Share results that prove how the outcome was positive.
Aug 24, 2021

What are the 4 examples of conflict of interest? ›

Examples of Conflicts of Interest At Work
  • Hiring an unqualified relative to provide services your company needs.
  • Starting a company that provides services similar to your full-time employer.
  • Failing to disclose that you're related to a job candidate the company is considering hiring.

When should you declare a conflict of interest choose all correct answers? ›

A disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and/or duality of interest form should be signed annually by all employees who have business dealings with outside individuals, agencies, or vendors.

What is the best way to explain conflict of interest? ›

What is a Conflict of Interest? A conflict of interest occurs when an individual's personal interests – family, friendships, financial, or social factors – could compromise his or her judgment, decisions, or actions in the workplace. Government agencies take conflicts of interest so seriously that they are regulated.

What is a good example of conflict resolution for interview? ›

Sample Answer: “In most cases, I handle conflict well. I value diversity and understand that different people have different opinions, which may lead to conflict. When faced with conflict, I work to collaborate with others to resolve the issue in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

Can I get fired for conflict of interest? ›

Being involved in a conflict of interest within an employment relation is grounds for dismissal. This is because an employee has an implied duty of loyalty and good faith when providing service so that the employer's interests are protected.

What is a simple conflict of interest statement? ›

I confirm that neither I nor any of my relatives nor any business with which I am associated have any personal or business interest in or potential for personal gain from any of the organizations or projects linked to XYZ AIS.

What are the three 3 types of conflict of interest? ›

Part 3: Different types of conflicts of interest
  • financial conflict;
  • non-financial conflict;
  • conflict of roles; or.
  • predetermination.

What is failure to declare conflict of interest? ›

Failure to disclose a financial interest in another company can also constitute a breach of the employee's obligation to act in good faith towards his or her employer where the employee stands to gain financially from dealings between the employer and the company in which he or she has an interest.

How do you state no conflict of interest? ›

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. All co-authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript and there is no financial interest to report. We certify that the submission is original work and is not under review at any other publication.

What is actual conflict of interest? ›

A conflict of interest is where an employee or director has private interests that could improperly influence, or be seen to influence, their decisions or actions in the performance of their duties.

What are at least three examples of conflicts of interests? ›

Some types of conflicts of interest include:
  • Nepotism. ...
  • Self-dealing. ...
  • Gift issuance. ...
  • Insider trading. ...
  • Review the employee handbook. ...
  • Attend business ethics training. ...
  • Report conflicts of interest. ...
  • Disclose.
Mar 10, 2023

How do you identify conflict of interest? ›

In assessing a potential conflict of interest situation, consider: “Would a reasonable, disinterested observer think that an individual's competing personal interests' conflict appear to conflict, or could conflict in the future, with the individual's duty to act in the University's best interests?”

What does it mean to have a conflict of interest give an example? ›

A conflict of interest involves a person or entity that has two relationships competing with each other for the person's loyalty. For example, the person might have a loyalty to an employer and also loyalty to a family business. Each of these businesses expects the person to have its best interest first.

What are the 3 steps in the conflicts of interest process? ›

3 Steps for Implementing Conflict of Interest Software
  • 1 — Disclosure Submission. Employees should be able to submit their disclosures quickly and easily. ...
  • 2 — Disclosure Review. Disclosure reviews are a critical step in any effective conflict of interest program. ...
  • 3 — Case Management.
Jul 11, 2022

What is professional conflict of interest? ›

The Board defines conflict of interest as an opposition between the private interests and the official or professional responsibilities of a person in a position of trust, power, and/or authority.

How do you handle conflict of interest at work? ›

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace
  1. Talk with the other person. ...
  2. Focus on behavior and events, not on personalities. ...
  3. Listen carefully. ...
  4. Identify points of agreement and disagreement. ...
  5. Prioritize the areas of conflict. ...
  6. Develop a plan to work on each conflict. ...
  7. Follow through on your plan. ...
  8. Build on your success.
Jan 5, 2018

What is an example of tell me about a time you had a conflict at work? ›

Example: "I worked as a receptionist where I once encountered a furious client. The client came in yelling and visibly angry. After some time, I managed to calm them down and asked what was wrong. While the client's responses were rude, I focused on their complaints.

What are any five good conflict resolution? ›

Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann developed five conflict resolution strategies that people use to handle conflict, including avoiding, defeating, compromising, accommodating, and collaborating. This is based on the assumption that people choose how cooperative and how assertive to be in a conflict.

What is a simple example of conflict resolution? ›

When there is conflict, you can arrange the environment around you to make resolution easier. For example, a manager who oversees two different groups might bring those groups together in a comfortable conference room to address points of disagreement on a joint project.

How bad is conflict of interest? ›

Conflicts of interest increase the risk of unintentional bias. Unintentional bias can be a more serious threat than deliberate misconduct, because even those who are biased would be unaware of the ways in which their actions were effected.

Can you get in trouble for conflict of interest? ›

Is a conflict of interest illegal? It can be. There are multiple federal and state laws that criminalize and prosecute conflicts of interest. Even if a conflict of interest is not illegal, it is likely to lead to suspension or job loss when discovered.

Do I disclose conflict of interest? ›

Always disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate delegate as soon as this is identified, so that the delegate can consider whether any action needs to be taken now or in the future to manage the conflict. Having a conflict of interest is not in itself wrong.

What is undisclosed conflict of interest? ›

A conflict of interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations from authors or reviewers have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity.

What are examples of conflict statements? ›

A man's girlfriend gets pregnant, but he isn't ready to be a father. A child blames himself for his parents' divorce. An old woman wishes to reconnect with her family but is slowly losing her memory. A woman wishes to travel the world but is too scared to leave her home.

What are the two major causes of conflict of interest? ›

Interest conflicts are caused by competition over perceived or actual incompatible needs. Such conflicts may occur over issues of money, resources, or time. Parties often mistakenly believe that in order to satisfy their own needs, those of their opponent must be sacrificed.

What are the three C's of conflict? ›

Three C's for resolving conflict
  • Metrics are critical, but metrics are mirrors. ...
  • Communicate: This may seem like an obvious step, but making a genuine effort to resolve the problem is often the first step in solving the situation. ...
  • Consistency: Make sure that your approach to conflict is consistent. ...
  • Composure: Stay calm.
Mar 13, 2017

What are 3 potential consequences of a conflict of interest? ›

When conflict of interest does occur, it can erode public and internal trust, damage the organization's reputation, hurt the business financially, and in some cases, even break the law. This issue impacts organizations across the board – non-profits, public sector, and private sector.

What warrants a conflict of interest? ›

A conflict of interest arises when you have a financial or personal interest that could interfere with your obligation to act in the best interests of the Company, or when you use your position with the Company for personal gain.

What is an example of a no conflict of interest statement? ›

I do not have any conflict of interest, personal or organizational, real, apparent or potential, in participating in this grant proposal review.

What are the US conflict of interest rules? ›

The federal conflict of interest rules are found at 18 U.S.C. § 208 with implementing regulations at 5 C.F.R. § 2635.402. Essentially, these rules prohibit you from taking official action in a particular matter involving any entity in which you, or someone whose interests are imputed to you, have a financial interest.

Why is conflict of interest unethical? ›

First, a person who is in a conflict of interest may not be able to exercise his or her duties in an objective, professional manner. In spite of his or her best intentions, his or her judgment may be biased in a way that leads to giving bad advice or making a bad decision.

How do you respond to conflict of interest in the workplace? ›

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace
  1. Talk with the other person. ...
  2. Focus on behavior and events, not on personalities. ...
  3. Listen carefully. ...
  4. Identify points of agreement and disagreement. ...
  5. Prioritize the areas of conflict. ...
  6. Develop a plan to work on each conflict. ...
  7. Follow through on your plan. ...
  8. Build on your success.
Jan 5, 2018

Can you give an example of a situation where you had to deal with a conflict at work or in life what did it consist of how was it resolved? ›

Example: "I worked as a receptionist where I once encountered a furious client. The client came in yelling and visibly angry. After some time, I managed to calm them down and asked what was wrong. While the client's responses were rude, I focused on their complaints.

Can you give me an example of when you had to deal with conflict? ›

Example: “I was working as a project manager on an IT project, and one technician was constantly late finishing tasks. When I approached him about it, he reacted defensively. I kept calm and acknowledged that the deadlines were challenging and asked how I could assist him in improving his performance.

What is conflict of interest and provide three examples? ›

Examples of conflicts of interest include:
  • an employee starts a part-time business offering similar services.
  • an employee accepts a gift from a supplier in exchange for business over other suppliers.
  • a manager fails to disclose that they are related to a candidate being considered for a job.
Apr 7, 2021

What are 5 ways to resolve conflict? ›

The Top 5 Conflict Resolution Strategies
  • Don't Ignore Conflict. ...
  • Clarify What the Issue Is. ...
  • Bring Involved Parties Together to Talk. ...
  • Identify a Solution. ...
  • Continue to Monitor and Follow Up on the Conflict.

What are the 5 ways to deal with conflict? ›

This article outlines five different approaches to conflict management and the situations they are most appropriate for.
  • Accommodation. This is a lose/win situation. ...
  • Compromise. ...
  • Avoidance. ...
  • Competition. ...
  • Collaboration.

What is the best way to avoid conflicts of interest? ›

The most effective way to prevent conflicts of interest is to follow ethical standards. Ethical conduct includes honesty, fairness, accountability, objectivity and confidentiality.

What are 4 examples of situations that may cause a workplace conflict? ›

Causes of conflict in the workplace
  • poor management.
  • unfair treatment.
  • unclear job roles.
  • inadequate training.
  • poor communication.
  • poor work environment.
  • lack of equal opportunities.
  • bullying and harassment.

Can you tell me about a conflict you ve had with a coworker and how you resolved it? ›

"Once, a co-worker and I disagreed on the way an unsatisfied customer was dealt with. I decided to meet with them one on one to talk and resolve our dispute in a peaceful manner. We both agreed that our goal was to keep the customer happy and came to a compromise that consisted of both of our ideas."

What do you do if you disagree with someone at work answer? ›

Be professional, polite, and respectful, keeping the disagreement impersonal and your emotions intact. Practice reflective skills by listening to your coworker, seeing their point of view, and repeating back to them their main points. Find a shared outcome or common ground to make the disagreement less contentious.

What are 3 positive ways to respond to conflict? ›

Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Use yes, and statements.
  • Don't point fingers.
  • Let the person explain themselves, and actively listen.
  • Use I statements.
  • Maintain a calm tone.
  • Show a willingness to compromise or collaborate.
  • Don't talk behind people's backs.
  • Don't take anything personally.
May 10, 2021

What are 3 things that you can do to resolve conflict with someone? ›

Some Ways to Resolve Conflicts
  • Talk directly. Assuming that there is no threat of physical violence, talk directly to the person with whom you have the problem. ...
  • Choose a good time. ...
  • Plan ahead. ...
  • Don't blame or name-call. ...
  • Give information. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Show that you are listening. ...
  • Talk it all through.

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