Presentation on theme: "1 Identifying Conflict of Interest in the Public Service Rabat, 25 May 2007 János Bertók Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate OECD."— Presentation transcript:
1 Identifying Conflict of Interest in the Public Service Rabat, 25 May 2007 János Bertók Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate OECD
2 Conflict of interest: A major challenge What is conflict of interest? What is conflict of interest? Origin Origin Sources Sources Why conflict of interest is an issue? Why conflict of interest is an issue? How to manage conflict of interest? How to manage conflict of interest?
3 What is conflict of interest? Origin Origin Personal bias -- no one may judge his/her own case Code of Hammurabi Personal bias -- no one may judge his/her own case Code of Hammurabi 1760 BC Sources = Private Interests Sources = Private Interests Relationships (family, friendship) Relationships (family, friendship) Activities (positions) Activities (positions) Business interest Business interest
4 Defining Private Interests Interests not defined exhaustively; the include: Personal assets and family interests Debts and other obligations Religious, community or ethnic associations Professional, party-political, etc, alignments Personal affiliations or relationships, etc. Any specific private (i.e non-public) interest could be relevant if it could reasonably be considered as likely to influence improperly the officials performance of their duties in relevant circumstances.
5 Sources of Conflict of Interest Gifts, benefits and hospitality Business interest External activities and positions Family relationships Personal relationships AssetsLiabilities, debts Number of countries
6 Business interests, external activities and positions Secondary employment in the private sector Partnerships Shareholdings In an entity with a contractual or regulatory relationship with gov. Investments In a political party In trade unions In elected public entity Number of countries
7 What is CoI? Definition A reasonable person, knowing the relevant facts, would conclude that the officials specific private-capacity interest was such that it could improperly influence the officials conduct or decision-making. The key terms - private interests public official andofficial duty have been defined specifically, to remove the possibility of doubt in application, and what is relevantimproper conduct is codified.
8 Is CoI situation corruption? Compare -- placing the King in check in Chess: – being in check must be resolved, but – it is not of itself fatal unless the conflict cannot be resolved Conflicts of interest are not necessarily Corruption, but are damaging/dangerous; it MUST be managed. A CoI situation which is not identified, managed and resolved appropriately can lead to corruption.
9 Why conflict of interest is an issue? Conflict of interest was identified as a major challenge in the private sector Heart of the mission of public service Heart of the mission of public service Rapidly changing socio/eco environment Rapidly changing socio/eco environment public/private interface - new forms of co-operation, emerging and grey areas public/private interface - new forms of co-operation, emerging and grey areas Changing society - educated, multi-cultural Changing society - educated, multi-cultural Demand for information - Demand for information - critical media Declining confidence in public institutions
10 Toolkit AIM: HELP officials put conflict of interest regulations into practice Understanding Skills to recognise and resolve Collection of explanations, checklists, model codes, procedures, self-test, training materials, case studies
11 Tool No. 1: defining CoI situations an objective test 1. Is Joe / Joanna a public official of a relevant kind ? 2. Does he / she have private interests of a relevant kind ? If the answer to both is Yes, then Joe / Joanna has a [real/ actual] conflict of interest. What is relevant is context-dependent - determined by the circumstances, (conflict) - determined by relevant law (incompatibility)
12 Tool No. 8: Gifts checklist G enuineIs this gift genuine, in appreciation for something I have done in my role as a public official, and not sought or encouraged by me? I ndependentIf I accepted this gift, would a reasonable person have any doubt that I would be independent in doing my job in the future, when the person responsible for this gift is involved or affected? F reeIf I accepted this gift, would I feel free of any obligation to do something in return for the person responsible for the gift, or for his/her family or friends/associates? T ransparent Am I prepared to declare this gift and its source, transparently, to my organisation and its clients, to my professional colleagues, and to the media and the public generally?
13 Who is covered by Conflict of Interest policy? Ministers Customs officers Senior public servants Contract managers Prosecutors Tax officials Judges Procurement officials Ministerial cabinet staff Auditors Number of countries
14 Why managing conflict of interest? Two major approaches Two major approaches description -- principle-based description -- principle-based prescription -- rule-based prescription -- rule-based enforceable enforceable enacted standards -- formal procedures enacted standards -- formal procedures Reflect the social-political-administrative context Evolution -- seek to strike a balance
15 CONCLUSIONS Conflict of interest is a Reality Needs identification, prevention, resolution & proper management OECD Guidelines & Toolkit provide reference