1.5.1 What is a conflict of interest?
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary a conflict of interest is “a situation in which someone cannot make a fair decision because they will be affected by the result”.
The Office of the Auditor-General defines it the following way: “Put most simply, a conflict of interest can arise where two different interests overlap.”
In the public sector, there is a conflict of interest where a member’s or official’s duties or responsibilities to a public entity could be affected by some other interest or duty that the member or official may have.
The other interest or duty might exist because of:
- the member’s or official’s own financial/business interests or those of his or her family
- a relationship or other role that the member or official has
- something the member or official has said or done.