Conflict of roles

Will a second organisation you have a role in (entity B) be affected by the decision you are making for the public organisation you work for (entity A)? If so, is there a risk that you will be seen to be acting in the interests of entity B rather than entity A? and if you participate in this decision, is there a risk that you might breach obligations you owe to either entity – for example, a duty of loyalty or confidentiality?

The issue with a conflict of roles is not so much whether you personally have a conflict, but whether the interests of the two organisations conflict.

If you have a conflict of roles, you will need to consider whether it is appropriate for you to participate in the decision-making process “on both sides of the table”. You will also need to think about whether you are going to be in a position to fulfil your obligations to both entities at the same time.

If there is a risk that there might be conflicts at some point during the decision-making process, you should discuss your situation with both entities. This gives each an opportunity to consider the risks from their perspective and decide whether they are comfortable with you participating on both sides.

For more, see paragraphs 3.25-3.31 and scenarios 8 and 10 of Managing conflicts of interest: A guide for the public sector.