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
2.1 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.
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)
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.
3.2.1 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
(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.
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.
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
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
. 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
. 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
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
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’.