A conflict of interest (COI) arises in circumstances where an employee’s private interests can influence or be seen to influence a public duty. It can affect employees at all levels of seniority and in every area of work in the department. Conflicts of interest are an inevitable fact of organisational life, and can arise without anyone being at fault. However, where an actual, potential or perceived COI exists, it creates serious risks for the department and for the individual which must be identified and managed appropriately.

Responsible management of COI in the department is based on the following 4 principles:

  • protecting the public interest through upholding public sector values
  • supporting transparency and accountability
  • promoting individual responsibility for integrity and impartiality
  • developing an organisational culture which encourages effective management of COI.

All employees are required to be familiar with their obligations under the department’s COI policy. The policy identifies the responsibilities of employees and their managers in relation to managing risks relating to COI. It provides a comprehensive definition of COI and outlines the required process for the management of COI risks.

All employees are required to ensure that declarations and agreed plans for managing conflicts of interest are recorded in writing.

All staff are required to declare any conflict of interest using the Declaration of Conflict of Interest form in eduPay.

The COI Toolkit (available on the Resources tab) includes practical resources to assist employees and managers in identifying, managing and monitoring COI. Schools, regions and business areas throughout the department are encouraged to assess COI risks inherent to their environment and functions, and to identify reasonable expectations and responses to COI situations to guide their staff members in the application of the policy.

Comprehensive information about the department’s management of COI risks may be found in the COI Framework.

In addition to their obligations under the COI Policy, relevant officers are required to complete the Declaration of Private Interests form. For further information or to find out if this form is relevant to you, read the Declaration of Private Interests frequently asked questions (refer to the Resources tab).

Relevant legislation

Overview of department policy on conflict of interest including 4 main principles

Reviewed 20 December 2023

Policy last updated

21 December 2023


  • Schools
  • School councils
  • All Department staff


Conduct and Integrity Branch

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