25October2014

Log in Register

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
You are here: Home About Us Governance Conflict of Interest
17 April 2014

Conflict of Interest

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Commencement date: November 22, 2004

1. POLICY

1.1 Policy Statement

All staff shall avoid situations in which a conflict of interest exists, or could be perceived

to exist.

1.2 Policy Objectives

To provide a framework for resolving situations where conflicts of interest exist, or might be perceived to exist.

To support the right of staff to freedoms provided by common and statutory law and to academic

freedom, provided that staff members uphold standards of professional behavior and conduct

activities in an effective, efficient, fair, equitable and impartial manner so as to maintain

the confidence and trust of clients.

To communicate the position of International Children’s Network position on conflict of

interest to staff, students, and other associates of ICN.

 


1.3 Definitions

In this Policy Statement

Conflict of interest should be assessed in terms of whether the interests or personal

circumstances of the staff member could influence, or could appear to influence, the

performance of duties assigned to that staff member. If the staff member is in doubt as to

whether a conflict of interest exists, the staff member should implement the procedures set out

in the "Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures".

Sanctions would be determined by the relevant responsible officer(s) of ICN in accordance with

the circumstances in question and may include counseling, use of disciplinary procedures which

operate under the various awards and agreements, suspension, civil action, or reporting of

actions to police which may result in the laying of criminal charges.

 

Related and Associated Legislation

Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act 1987

Sex Discrimination Act 1984

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA)

Disability Services Act 1992 (WA)

Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA)
Anti Corruption Commission Act 1988

Guiding Ethical Principles

Policy on Fraud Control

Grievance Resolution Policy

Internal Audit Charter

The Constitution of ICN

2. GUIDELINES

2.1 Approval Authority

Amendments to this Policy shall be approved by the ICN Board, Officers and Staff.

2.2 Implementation of Policy

2.2.1 It is the responsibility of the ICN Board & Officers to communicate the contents of this

policy to all staff, and to other clients of International Children’s Network.

2.2.2 All staff are responsible for avoiding situations in which a conflict of interest exists,

or could be perceived to exist, by implementing the procedures defined in the Conflict of

Interest Policy and Procedures.

2.3 Monitoring

The Directors of ICN are responsible for monitoring the policy.

2.4 Effective Date

The Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures shall come into effect on the date they were

approved by the board (11/22/04)


2.5 Review

The Members of the board and officers shall review the policy every two years.


3. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

3.1 Responsible Officer

The ICN Board of Directors shall be responsible for preparing procedures which are a guide to

the prevention of conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest.

3.2 Guidelines

3.2.1 Application of Policy

The successful application of this policy relies on all staff taking responsibility for their

own behavior taking into consideration the framework provided in this policy. If there is any

doubt as to the applicability of this policy to a situation, or the appropriate course of

action to be taken, staff members should raise the matter with their supervisor or manager. It

is the responsibility of all staff to familiarize themselves with the contents of this policy

in relation to how it impacts on the responsibilities which are a part of their employment, and

be aware that sanctions will be applied for breach of the policy.

3.2.2 Types of Conflicts of Interests

Conflicts of interest arise when staff members find themselves in situations where they are in

a position to influence the performance of duties (e.g. employment decisions, awarding of

tenders, assessments etc.) according to their own interests and personal circumstances. In many

instances, only the staff member involved will be aware that a conflict of interest exists in a

situation, or that the potential for a perceived conflict of interest exists in a situation. It

is therefore the responsibility of all staff to identify any conflicts of interest and to take

action to avoid situations in which a conflict of interest could arise, or could be perceived

to arise, as soon as the conflict of interest is identified by implementing the procedures

defined in the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures. Examples of circumstances which

could result in a conflict of interest occurring are set out below and further information

about each is contained in Appendix 1.

* Financial Interests
* Personal and Family Relationships between Staff Members
* Personal and Family Relationships between Staff Members and Students
* Acceptance of Gifts or Benefits
* Use of Official Facilities and Equipment
* Use of Official Information
* Personal Beliefs
* Public Comment
* Multiple Roles
* Outside Employment
* Political Participation

3.2.3 Resolution of Conflicts of Interest or Perceived Conflicts of Interest

(i) A staff member is required to notify his/her Head of School/Area* by confidential minute of

the existence of a conflict of interest or the possibility of a perceived conflict of interest

arising, as soon as the conflict of interest, or potential perceived conflict of interest, is

identified. However, to protect privacy, information regarding the nature of the circumstances

leading to the conflict of interest (personal, romantic, sexual, family, financial relationship

etc.) need not be divulged beyond that information which Heads of Area would reasonably require

in order to determine whether a conflict of interest or the possibility of a perceived conflict

of interest exists.

(ii) Once notified, the Head of Area must determine whether a conflict of interest or the

possibility of a perceived conflict of interest exists. In assessing conflicts of interest, the

Head of Area should focus on whether the particular interests or personal circumstances of the

staff member are likely to compromise, or are likely to be perceived as compromising, that

staff member's ability to carry out his/her duties impartially.

(iii) Once an assessment has been made, the Head of Area must immediately notify the staff

member by confidential minute of his/her decision.

(iv) Where it has been decided that a conflict of interest exists, or that it could reasonably

be perceived that a conflict of interest exists, the Head of Area must immediately:

(a) authorize the staff member to continue in his/her current duties by confidential minute; or
(b) reorganize the duties of the staff member so as to remove the conflict of interest and

notify the staff member of these changes by confidential minute; or
(c) put in place additional processes to ensure the impartiality of the staff member in the

performance of his/her duties and notify the staff member of these processes by confidential

minute.

(v) Staff members who are authorised to continue to perform their normal duties must

immediately report any change in circumstances, which could affect the relevance of that

authorisation, to their Head of Area by confidential minute. Once notified, the Head of Area

should review the situation according to the procedures set out above.

(vi) Ignorance of these procedures will not generally be accepted as an excuse for non-

compliance. Only in extreme cases and where such ignorance can be demonstrated to have occurred

through no fault of the individual concerned will the International Children’s Network Board of

Directors accept such argument. Sanctions may be applied if this policy is breached. Depending

on the nature of the breach, these sanctions will vary from counseling, use of disciplinary

procedures which operate under the various awards and agreements, use of disciplinary

procedures which operate under the various awards and agreements, suspension, civil action, or

reporting of actions to police which may result in the laying of criminal charges.
(vii) Victimization of an individual as a result of disclosure of an actual or potential

perceived conflict of interest is not permitted and may result in use of disciplinary

procedures which operate under the various awards and agreements.

3.2.4 Where the staff member experiencing the actual or perceived conflict of interest is a

Head of Area, Board of Director of Branch or Division, or where the Head of Area, Staff or

Board of Director of Branch or Division is involved in the circumstances leading to the actual

or perceived conflict of interest, the matter should be brought to the attention of the staff

member to whom they report. Where the staff member experiencing the actual or perceived

conflict of interest is a member of ICN’s Board, position of office, ICN Staff member or where

any ICN senior level leader is involved in the circumstances leading to the actual or perceived

conflict of interest, the matter shall be drawn to the attention of the entire ICN Board of

Directors and officers.

3.2.5 Confidentiality

It is imperative that all information regarding conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of

interest be kept confidential and disclosed only to staff with delegated authority for dealing

with such matters. It is legitimate for those involved in resolving a matter to seek advice

and/or assistance from people with relevant expertise. It should be noted that any

documentation is subject to freedom of information legislation.

3.2.6 Record Keeping

ICN shall take all necessary steps to ensure the confidentiality of information relating to

conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest. Internal disclosure should be limited

strictly to those staff members who need to have access for official purposes. The need to

restrict access and maintain confidentiality affects filing and storage practice. Details of

matters relating to conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest shall be kept in

confidential files held in the office of ICN officers with responsibilities under the Conflict

of Interest Policy and Procedures. All records shall be kept for a period of seven years.

3.2.7 Publicity

It is the responsibility of International Children’s Network to communicate the contents of

this policy to all staff, ICN members and all other clients.

3.2.8 Authority for Approving Amendments to the Administrative Procedures of the Conflict of

Interest Policy and Procedures

Following approval of the Policy the Grievance Resolution Officer in consultation with the

Directors are responsible for ensuring that the administrative procedures are updated as

required.
APPENDIX 1

1 Financial Interests
Financial interests might include investments, ownership or directorship of companies,

consultancies, provision of goods or services, receipt of royalties or other consideration,

etc. Staff members performing finance or audit related duties must be impartial and be seen to

be impartial in the performance of these duties, and must not use information obtained in the

course of their work for their own personal benefit or disclose such information to a third

party except where consent has been obtained or there is a legal or professional duty to

disclose. Financial conflict of interest might arise where a staff member who has a financial

interest in a company holds a position within ICN where they could influence, or could be

perceived to influence, the awarding of contracts ICN to that company, where a staff member

holds a directorship of a company which is in a position to exert significant influence over

ICN, where ICN or one of its Centers or partners is providing services to an organization in

which a staff member has interests, or where a staff member is required to perform an audit on

an operation in which they have a personal interest.

International children’s Network provides a Staff Declaration of Interests Form which is used

by staff to inform ICN that from time to time either the staff member, or family interests of

the staff member, will be involved in providing services to ICN. However, it should be noted

that while this form provides a general notification of interests, staff members are still

required to assess whether a conflict of interest or the potential for a perceived conflict of

interest exists in each individual circumstance where they or their family interests are, or

have the potential to be, involved in providing services to ICN. Where a conflict of interest

or the potential for a perceived conflict of interest is established, the staff member should

follow the procedures outlined in this document.

2 Personal and Family Relationships Between Staff Members
The Equal Opportunity Amendment Act 1992 (WA) prevents discrimination against a person on the

ground of their family status generally. However, it does allow for alterations in employment

arrangements in circumstances where the employment of a relative of an employee might result in

damage to the business of an organization. Section 35M allows an employer to:

"restrict the employment of a person if-
(a) that person is a relative of an employee of the employer; or
(b) that person is a relative of an employee of another employer,
and the first mentioned employer can demonstrate, after making reasonable enquiries, that there

is a significant likelihood of collusion between that person and the person's relative which

would result in damage to the business of the first mentioned employer."

Family responsibility or family status in relation to a person is defined in the Act as:

"(a) having responsibility for the care of another person,
whether or not that person is a dependent, other than in
the course of paid employment;
(b) the status of being a particular relative; or
(c) the status of being a relative of a particular person."

A relative is defined in the Act as:

"a person who is related to the first mentioned person by blood, marriage, affinity or adoption

and includes a person who is wholly or mainly dependent on, or is a member of the household of,

the first mentioned person"

(Note that this definition includes de facto, extended family and same sex relationships.)

While legislation prevents discrimination against staff on the ground of family status, it must

be recognized that supervisory and managerial staff have a responsibility to all staff to

operate fairly, objectively and consistently in relation to all staff in the work area A

personal (romantic, sexual, financial etc.) or family relationship between a supervisor/manager

and a staff member has the potential to compromise this responsibility directly where the

supervisor/manager is responsible for the recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer,

conditions of employment, access to staff development, benefits, supervision, performance

appraisal, reward management, or dismissal of an employee, or indirectly by affecting the staff

member’s interaction with ICN. For example, a conflict of interest exists where a person who is

in a family or personal relationship with another member of staff is responsible for that

person's performance review, or where a person who is in a family or personal relationship with

another member of staff is in a position where they supervise the person with whom the

relationship exists and where the responsibilities of that person involve the receipt or

expenditure of money, or the allocation of financial resources.

3 Personal and Family Relationships Between Staff Members and Students


The Equal Opportunity Amendment Act 1992 (WA) prevents discrimination against a person on the

ground of their family status generally (see above). Specifically, it is unlawful for an

educational authority to discriminate against a person on the ground of a person's family

status:

. by refusing or failing to accept the person's application for admission as a student
. in terms of the conditions on which it is prepared to admit the person as a student
. by denying a student access, or limiting a student's access, to any benefit provided by the

educational authority
. by expelling the student
. by subjecting the student to any other detriment.

While legislation prevents discrimination against any staff on the ground of family status, it

must be recognized that allstaff are required to assess work fairly, objectively and

consistently across the candidature of the particular subject/course. A personal (romantic,

sexual, financial etc.) or family relationship between staff members has the potential to

compromise this responsibility directly where an ICN member is responsible for the supervision,

teaching and/or any level of assessment of that student, or indirectly by affecting any staff

interaction with ICN. In addition, mutual trust between staff and any ICN member is central to

maintaining a culture that fosters professional and personal growth. This trust can be put at

risk when persons of unequal power within ICN engage in personal relationships because the

person with greater power is in a position of authority to assess and make decisions about the

other person in the relationship. In such situations a conflict of interest occurs because the

potential exists for decisions to be made which have been influenced by the fact that a

relationship exists, and biased decisions, or even the perception among other staff and ICN

members that biased decisions have been made, can seriously damage the integrity & culture of

ICN.

4 Acceptance of Gifts or Benefits
Generally, it is acceptable for staff to give or receive small token gifts of a personal

nature. It is not acceptable for a staff member to give or receive a gift or favor that may:

Compromise his or her judgment;
Create a conflict of interest;
Damage relationships with others; or
Indicate any favoritism or prejudice towards a person or group of people.

Under no circumstances should a gift be solicited or a gift of money or a loan be accepted.

In the acceptance or refusal of gifts, staff should be careful to consider the cultural context

in which the gift is offered and endeavor to avoid giving offense.

It is often difficult for staff to make such judgments, and therefore if staff are in doubt

they should seek advice from their Head of Area, Board of Directors and/or ICN officers.


5 Use of Official Facilities and Equipment


Staff members are expected to use all facilities and equipment efficiently and effectively and

not to permit their abuse by others. Official facilities and equipment should only be used for

private purposes when official permission has been given by ICN Board & Officers’ approval.

Guidelines for the use of facilities and equipment in relation to consultancies are contained

in the ICN Consultancy Policy.

6 Use of Official Information
Staff members are expected to maintain confidentiality, integrity and security of official

information for which they are responsible. However, it should be noted that:

- ICN is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992 under which ICN can be required to give

individuals access to information. Staff should refer any requests for information from persons

not normally authorized to have such access to their Head of Area. Staff should refer all

requests for information made under the FOI Act to the FOI Co-ordinator.
- The Anti Corruption Commission Act provides for the voluntary reporting to the Commission by

an employee of any statutory authority of a matter which the employee suspects on reasonable

grounds concerns, or may concern, a corrupt act or an offence as defined in the Act. (The Act

also includes special provisions to protect persons assisting the Commission from

victimization.)

7 Personal Beliefs
The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religious or

political conviction in the areas of employment and education.

ICN’s Guiding Ethical Principles state that “all individuals have the right to express their

ideas, theories, beliefs and values” but that they “should respect the rights of others,

including any and all staff members, to do the same”. While the recognition and exercise of

freedom of ideas and speech are recognized as being fundamental to a democratic community, it

is noted that “some extremely personal or quirky beliefs outside a person’s professional or

other function may not legitimately be considered to fall within this brief.” While ICN cannot

dictate the beliefs of its members or employees, the Guiding Ethical Principles state that

“members of staff should ... consider carefully whether the dissemination of such beliefs or

ideas might not be regarded as ethically outside ICN’s intellectual, administrative or social

obligations". ICN recognizes that all staff perform the duties associated with their positions

diligently, conscientiously and to the best of their ability, and that any decisions made will

be without bias and based on the best factual information available.

8 Public Comment
Public comment includes public speaking engagements, comments to the media, letters to the

media, books, journals articles, notices and use of electronic communications media such as

facsimile machines, E-mail, Internet etc. where it might reasonably be expected that the

publication or circulation of the comment will spread to the community at large.

All staff have the right to express their views as private citizens on any matter of public

interest. Written or oral statements made in this context should not suggest in any way that

the views expressed are those of the ICN as a body

ICN letterhead should be used for official communications only.

9 Multiple Roles
Staff members may perform other roles in addition to the duties of the position to which they

are appointed (e.g. Occupational Health and Safety Representative, Sexual Harassment Contact

Officer, Union or Staff Representative). In some cases, the dual roles performed by a staff

member may come into conflict, or may result in the staff member feeling they are not able to

fulfill the responsibilities of each role in their entirety.

10 Outside Employment
All employees are permitted to engage in outside employment under certain conditions. However,

staff members should ensure that outside employment does not adversely affect their work

performance with ICN.

N.B. This policy is referred to in the policies ‘Consultancy’,
‘Ownership of Intellectual Property’ and ‘Fraud Control’.



More in this category: Privacy Policy »

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

 

goldstar

 

International Children's Network (ICN) has been a member of honor with GuideStar since 2002.
GuideStar is the nonprofit organization watch dog/ approval service for USA Fortune 500 Companies.
This organization has earned the GuideStar Exchange Seal, demonstrating its commitment to transparency

We have 10 guests and no members online