Chapter 5: Conflicts of Interests

This chapter sets out the department's policy on advoiding, disclosing and managing conflicts of interest. It also sets out the department's policies on outside employment and substantive voluntary work, employment after separation and dealing with lobbyists

Staff should contact the Conduct and Ethics Unit (conduct@dfat.gov.au) if they require clarification on the contents of this Manual or if they are uncertain about the ethical implications of a proposed course of action.

5.1 Avoiding, Disclosing and Managing Conflicts of Interest

What do I need to do?

APS Employees

LES Employees

Contractors

What is a conflict of interest?

5.1.1 A conflict of interest is a situation where an official has private interests which improperly influence or may improperly influence the performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities.

5.1.2 Conflicts of interest may be real, apparent or potential:

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

5.1.3 APS employees, LES employees and contractors have an important duty to uphold and promote the positive reputation of Australia, the Government, the department and (where relevant) the post. This reputation can be compromised by a real or apparent conflict of interest. For this reason, there are direct and indirect references to conflicts of interest in the APS Code of Conduct and the standard LES Code of Conduct.

5.1.4 The APS Code of Conduct requires APS employees to:

Contractors must observe these requirements in accordance with provisions contained in their contracts.

5.1.5 The standard LES Code of Conduct requires LES employees to:

5.1.6   All staff (APS employees, LES employees and contractors) must take reasonable steps to avoid situations where their private financial or other interests (or those of immediate family members, such as spouses/partners or dependants) could or could be perceived to conflict with their official duties. They must not allow their interests to influence the decisions they make, the actions they take or the advice they provide in connection with their official duties. 

5.1.7   All staff must regularly assess whether they have a conflict of interest. In determining whether a conflict of interest exists, staff should consider whether their private interests could or could be perceived to influence the decisions they make, the actions they take or the advice they provide in connection with their official duties. If their interests and duties are in conflict, they must disclose any such conflict to the department.

5.1.8 CEU provides advice about conflicts of interest. APS employees, LES employees and contractors who are uncertain about whether they have a real or apparent conflict of interest should contact CEU on ext 9202 or ext 1519, or by e-mail at coi@dfat.gov.au. CEU is located at N2.501-2 in the R G Casey Building.

Annual Declaration on Conflicts of Interest

5.1.9 All APS employees must make an Annual Declaration on Conflicts of Interest, acknowledging that they have read and understood the department's conflict of interest policies as set out in Chapter 5 of this Manual.

Responsibility to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

5.1.10 APS employees, LES employees and contractors must disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest or any circumstances which may be perceived as involving a conflict to their supervisors as soon as they arise.

5.1.11 Making an annual disclosure of private, financial and other interests (see section 5.2 of this Manual) does not absolve a staff member of the obligation to advise their supervisor directly and immediately, should a conflict between their private interests and official duties arise.

Managing Conflicts of Interest

5.1.12 While avoiding conflicts is generally preferable, in practice there may be some situations in which conflicts of interest cannot be wholly avoided and need to be managed in a way which will withstand external scrutiny.

5.1.13 The action taken to manage a real or apparent conflict of interest will be determined according to the specific circumstances of the individual case, including the role and responsibilities that the person performs for the department and the nature and extent of the conflict.

5.1.14 Without limiting the types of action which could be taken, there are a number of ways in which conflicts of interest may be managed, including:

5.1.15 If a staff member's disclosure presents a real or apparent conflict of interest requiring the department to develop a management strategy, or if the disclosure raises concerns about a potential breach of the APS Code of Conduct or the relevant LES Code of Conduct, the matter should be brought to the attention of CEU. Strategies to manage a real or apparent conflict of interest must be endorsed by FAS CMD or the Deputy Secretary responsible for CMD, as appropriate.

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5.2 Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests

What do I need to do?

Non-SES APS Employees

LES Employees

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Interests Form

Do I need to complete the Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form?

APS Employees

5.2.1 All SES employees and equivalents (including EL2 HOMs/HOPs, EL2 employees paid as SES or acting in an SES position for longer than three months) must make an annual disclosure of private, financial and other interests. They must make a disclosure by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting it to the Secretary. They must do so within 14 days of appointment and annually thereafter. EL2 employees who are unsure about how long they are required to act in an SES position must also make a disclosure upon appointment. Failure to make a disclosure may affect performance ratings. Disclosures are reviewed by the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary responsible for CMD and FAS CMD.

5.2.2 All non-SES APS employees who hold designated positions (i.e. those whom the Secretary considers the disclosure policy should apply because of their responsibilities or the nature of their work) must make a disclosure of private, financial and other interests. Designated positions may include those involved in approving or managing procurement processes or those that have a significant role in on-going vendor contract management. Non-SES APS employees will be advised by their divisional coordinator if they occupy a designated position. Non-SES APS employees in this category must make a disclosure by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting it to FAS CMD. They must do so within 14 days of such notification and annually thereafter. Failure to make a disclosure may affect performance ratings. Disclosures are reviewed by FAS CMD.

5.2.3 Any APS employee - SES and non-SES - who has a real or apparent conflict of interest, or who has reasonable grounds to think he or she has such a conflict must also make a disclosure of private, financial and other interests. APS employees in this category must make a disclosure by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting it to the Secretary (SES employees and equivalents) or FAS CMD (non-SES employees). They must do so no later than 14 days after becoming aware of a real or apparent conflict of interest. Failure to make a disclosure in these circumstances may affect performance ratings. SES and equivalent employee disclosures are reviewed by the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary responsible for CMD and FAS CMD. Non-SES employee disclosures are reviewed by FAS CMD.

Contractors

5.2.4 All contractors must make an annual disclosure of private, financial and other interests by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting it to the delegate responsible for their contract. Contract managers are responsible for ensuring that contractors do so within 14 days of their initial engagement with the department and annually thereafter. Failure to make a disclosure may be considered a breach of contract. The delegate responsible for the contract will review the disclosure forms and consult with CEU on any forms where he or she assesses a real or apparent conflict of interest may exist.

LES Employees

5.2.5 LES employees whose duties involve approving or managing procurement processes or vendor contract management must make an annual disclosure of private, financial and other interests. LES employees in this category must make a disclosure by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting it to their HOM/HOP. They must do so within 14 days of their employment and annually thereafter. Failure to do so may affect performance ratings. HOM/HOP will review the disclosure forms and consult with CEU on any forms where HOM/HOP assesses a real or apparent conflict of interest may exist.

5.2.6 Any LES employee who has a real or apparent conflict of interest, or who has reasonable grounds to think he or she has such a conflict, must also make a disclosure of private, financial and other interests. LES employees in this category must make a disclosure by completing a Disclosure of Private, Financial and Other Interests Form (at Form A at the end of this Manual) and submitting to their HOM/HOP. They must do so no later than 14 days after becoming aware of a real or apparent conflict of interest. Failure to make a disclosure in these circumstances may affect performance ratings. HOM/HOP will review the disclosure forms and consult with CEU on any forms where HOM/HOP assesses a real or apparent conflict of interest may exist.

All Staff

5.2.7 In addition to the above, any staff member required to make a disclosure of private, financial and other interests must make a new disclosure within 14 days if his or her circumstances change resulting in a new real or apparent conflict of interest. A change in circumstances may arise as a result of a change in the individual's personal circumstances or as a result of a change in official duties.

What type of interests do I need to disclose?

5.2.8   Staff who are required to complete the form only need to provide information about private, financial and other interests that could, or could be seen to, influence the decisions or actions they take or the advice they provide in connection with their official duties.

5.2.9 The types of interests that may need to be disclosed include real estate investments, shareholdings, trusts or nominee companies, company directorships or partnerships, relationships with lobbyists, other significant sources of income, significant liabilities, gifts, private business, employment, voluntary, social or personal relationships, but only those that could, or could be seen to, affect official responsibilities with the department.

Interest Disclosures for Immediate Family Members

5.2.10 APS employees, LES employees and contractors must disclose any private, financial or other interests of their immediate family (including spouses/partners and children) they are aware of that could, or could be seen to, influence the decisions or actions they take or the advice they provide in connection with their official duties.

5.2.11 Where an APS employee, LES employee or contractor is obliged to disclose information about private, financial or other interests of an immediate family member, the individual must ask that family member to sign a declaration of consent indicating that they consent to the disclosure of such information. (The declaration of consent is at Step 7 of Form A at the end of this Manual.)

5.2.12 If the immediate family member refuses to provide consent or is unable to do so, the staff member must discuss the real or apparent conflict of interest, in general terms, with the department. SES employees must discuss the issue with the Deputy Secretary responsible for CMD or FAS CMD who will decide what further action should be taken. Non-SES APS employees must discuss the issue with FAS CMD who will decide what further action should be taken. Contractors must discuss the issue with the delegate responsible for their contract who will consult with CEU and decide what further action should be taken. LES employees must discuss the issue with HOM/HOP who will consult with CEU and decide what further action should be taken.

Interest Disclosures and Information Security

5.2.13 Following review by the appropriate senior staff member, all disclosure forms must be retained and stored securely in accordance with the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988. Disclosure forms of APS employees are to be stored securely in CEU. Disclosure forms of contractors are to be stored securely on the relevant contract file. Disclosure forms of LES employees are to be stored securely at post on the relevant LES personnel file.

5.3 Outside Employment and Substantial Voluntary Work

What do I need to do?

APS Employees

LES Employees

What is outside employment?

5.3.1 Outside employment for APS employees means undertaking employment with an organisation outside the department while still employed by the department, including during periods of paid leave (recreation leave, long service leave or personal / carer's leave) and unpaid leave. For LES employees, it means undertaking employment with an organisation other than the relevant post while still employed by the post, including during periods of paid and unpaid leave.

5.3.2 Outside employment includes all forms of paid employment (including self-employment). It also includes substantial voluntary (i.e. unpaid) work, directorships and appointments to non-government boards. Outside employment may include study in situations where an employee receives funding or financial support to study from an organisation other than the department or post.

5.3.3 APS and LES employees may only engage in outside employment if it does not present any real or apparent conflict of interest with their official duties and if it does not adversely affect their performance of their official duties. APS and LES employees should bear in mind that as the prime employer, the department or post has first call on their availability to perform work - they must ensure that they meet this obligation.

Seeking Approval for Outside Employment

5.3.4 APS and LES employees wishing to engage in outside employment must seek and obtain approval before engaging in that employment. Non-SES APS employees must seek approval from AS Staffing Branch (SFB). SES employees must seek approval from FAS Corporate Management Division (CMD). LES employees must seek approval from HOM/HOP. An outside employment permission form is at Form B at the end of this Manual. Following review, all outside employment permission forms must be placed on the staff member's personnel file.

5.3.5 Employees given approval to engage in outside employment must also inform AS SFB (for non-SES APS employees), FAS CMD (for SES employees) or HOM/HOP (for LES employees) if the nature or circumstances of the outside employment changes or if their official duties change in a way which could give rise to a real or apparent conflict of interest with the outside employment.

Case Study — Outside employment

In addition to my DFAT work, I am considering applying for part-time work at a local supermarket. Can I do this?

In this situation, it is highly likely that your application would be approved by the department, provided that it does not interfere with your DFAT work. It is important to bear in mind that as the prime employer, the department has first call on your availability to perform work and you must ensure you meet this obligation.

Staff are required to seek prior approval to engage in any form of outside employment. Such employment will only be approved where the department or post is satisfied that it does not involve real or perceived conflicts of interest with or adversely affect the performance of an employee's official duties. This is consistent with the APSC policy on outside employment. The same requirement applies to LES under the LES Code of Conduct at their post.

5.3.6 In examining requests for outside employment, approvers will give consideration to whether it presents any real or apparent conflict of interest with official duties and whether it adversely affects the performance of official duties. Factors to be considered include number of hours and frequency of the proposed outside employment; any additional risks to health or of possible injury; the nature of the outside employer and its relationship to the Government, department or post.

5.3.7 As outside employment activities may be relevant to an employee's security clearance, APS employees and LES employees seeking approval to engage in any outside employment accept that relevant details of approved outside employment may be passed to the department's Security Policy and Operations Section (SPO) in the Diplomatic Security and Services Branch (DSB).

Employment as LES at DFAT-Managed Posts

5.3.8 APS employees on leave without pay wishing to work as LES at DFAT-managed overseas posts are not required to seek prior approval to do so. However, they must inform AS SFB (for non-SES employees) or FAS CMD (for SES employees) at the earliest opportunity that they have accepted an offer of employment as an LES at a DFAT-managed overseas post. They must separately contact Security Policy and Clearance Section (SPC), should they require re-activation of their security clearance to undertake this work.

Voluntary Work

5.3.9 Staff are not normally required to seek and obtain permission to engage in voluntary (i.e. unpaid) work. But some types of substantial voluntary work may still conflict with, or adversely affect the performance of, official duties in similar ways to paid outside employment: for example, where the relevant voluntary organisation has interests or aims in relation to or in conflict with policies or programs of the Government or the department; where the number of hours and frequency of the voluntary work are significant; or where the voluntary work presents additional risks to health or of possible injury.

5.3.10 Substantial voluntary work (including during periods of paid leave) is considered outside employment, and APS employees and LES employees must first seek and obtain approval (as set out in section 5.3.4 of this Manual) before engaging in such voluntary work. Staff in doubt about whether proposed voluntary work requires prior approval should contact the Conduct and Ethics by e-mail to coi@dfat.gov.au.

Directorships and Appointments to Non-Government Boards

5.3.11 Directorships and appointments to non-government boards (including private sector and charitable organisations) are considered outside employment regardless of whether the positions are paid or unpaid. APS employees and LES employees must first seek and obtain approval (as set out in section 5.3.4 of this Manual) before accepting such positions.

Case Study Appointments to non-government boards

I currently work in the department's Human Rights Section and have been asked to join the board of an international human rights not-for-profit organisation. I am a BB3 officer and do not consider that I influence policy and am often not privy to decision-making processes.

In this instance, the department would be unlikely to approve your request to join the board. While you may not consider yourself as influential, you still have access to a range of sensitive information regarding human rights.

Even if you joined the board in your personal rather than professional capacity, there could still be a perception that you were asked to join the board because of your DFAT connection, the area in which you work in and your ability to access information.

5.3.12 In examining requests to assume directorships and appointments to non-government boards, approvers will give particular consideration to whether the organisation in question is in a contractual relationship with, or has received or is likely to receive financial assistance from the Commonwealth; whether its primary role is to lobby Ministers or Government; whether it is regulated by a Government agency; or whether it would give another similar organisation reasonable grounds to perceive a conflict of interest.

5.3.13 Ex-officio appointments to boards (i.e. appointments to boards which are direct consequences of the official positions employees may hold) also need to be carefully assessed. Senior employees (notably HOMs/HOPs) are often invited to take up roles as honorary directors or board members with charitable or educational institutions. The department recognises that these roles create goodwill and make a positive contribution to relations with host countries or to other departmental aims. However, the criteria set out in section 5.3.12 of this Manual still apply.

5.3.14 There are a number of possible ways in which conflicts of interest relating to board appointments may be managed, including removing the employee from any decision-making role in relation to any financial relationship the department has or may have with the organisation; and restricting the employee's access to certain relevant information.

Case Study Ex-officio appointments

I am a DHOM and have been asked to join the local board of an Australian charity. As part of my official duties, I have oversight of the post's development assistance program (DAP) committee. The charity has recently applied for and received DAP funds. Can I join the charity's board or does this present a conflict of interest?

The department would be unlikely to approve your request to join the charity's board. If you were to join the board, there would be a strong perception that you would/could influence the DAP committee to fund projects of the charity.

The APS Code of Conduct requires an APS employee to disclose and take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest in connection with their employment. The conflict may be real or apparent.

Appointments to Government Boards

5.3.15 Employees who sit on department-related Foundations, Councils and Institutes should be guided on conflict of interest issues by Administrative Circular P0907 on Policies and Procedures for the Management of Foundations, Councils and Institutes and Other Grant Programs.

5.3.16 Staff who sit on other Government boards and committees can find useful guidance on the APSC website.

5.4 Employment after Leaving the Department

What do I need to do?

APS Employees

LES Employees

Contractors

SES Employees and Higher Duty EL2s

5.4.1 Real and apparent conflicts of interest can arise between current official duties and proposed future employment.

5.4.2 For this reason, APS employees, LES employees and contractors must inform the department immediately if they are approached with a formal offer of employment or if they apply for employment, where a real or apparent conflict of interest between their current official duties and the proposed future employment could arise.

5.4.3 They should inform the department in writing, outlining any relationship between the employment offered or applied for and their current official duties. They should describe any real, apparent or potential conflict of interest which the offer or application raises.

5.4.4 APS employees should inform FAS CMD. LES employees should inform their HOM/HOP. Contractors should inform the delegate responsible for their contract. HOMs/HOPs and delegates responsible for contracts should consult with CEU if they believe there is a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest.

5.4.5 If FAS CMD, HOM/HOP or the delegate responsible for the contract (as appropriate) determines that a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists, the department will implement a plan to manage access to official information and resources pending a decision by the relevant staff member on the employment offer, the outcome of the application process and / or the separation by the staff member from the department or the post.

5.4.6 APS employees, LES employees and contractors considering or undertaking separation must also comply with the department's policies in relation to the protection of official information (see section 7.1 of this Manual).

5.4.7 It is an offence under section 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 for "Commonwealth officers" (which for the purposes of section 70 includes APS employees, LES employees and contractors) to publish or communicate without authorisation official information which comes to their knowledge or possession by virtue of employment or engagement with the department. Further, it is an offence under section 70(2) of the Crimes Act 1914 for former APS employees, LES employees and contractors to publish or communicate without authorisation official information which came to their knowledge or possession by virtue of employment or engagement with the department.

Engaging in Lobbying after Separating from the Department or Post

5.4.8 A further component of the department's post-separation employment policy relates to engaging in lobbying activities. Under the Government's Lobbying Code of Conduct, SES employees and equivalents (EL2 HOM/HOPs, EL2 employees paid as SES and EL2 employees acting as SES for 12 months or longer) must not for a 12 month period engage in lobbying Government representatives on any matters on which they have had official dealings as public servants over their last 12 months of employment with the department. This restriction also extends to former staff employed in the offices of Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries at Adviser level and above under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MoP(S) Act).

5.4.9 The temporary restriction on senior APS employees and MoP(S) Act staff applies only to those who work as lobbyists. It does not apply to those who separate and then work as in-house lobbyists (i.e. lobby the Government on behalf of the company which employs them).

5.5 Dealing with Lobbyists

APS Employees

Contractors

All Staff at Posts

Lobbying Code of Conduct and Register of Lobbyists

5.5.1 Because lobbying of Government representatives can create real or apparent conflicts of interest for those representatives, the Australian Government has a Lobbying Code of Conduct and a Register of Lobbyists, both of which are available at http://lobbyists.pmc.gov.au/lobbyistsregister. The central aim of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and the Register of Lobbyists is to allow and require Government representatives to establish the interests a lobbyist represents when the lobbyist seeks to influence Government policy or decisions.

5.5.2 The Lobbying Code of Conduct applies to Government representatives. APS employees and contractors in the department are defined as Government representatives for the purposes of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and must comply with the Lobbying Code of Conduct.

5.5.3 The Lobbying Code of Conduct also applies to all lobbyists operating in Australia, including foreign lobbyists based in Australia and overseas-based lobbyists visiting Australia to lobby Government representatives. It defines a lobbyist as "any person, company or organisation that conducts lobbying activities on behalf of a third party client". This excludes people or businesses lobbying on their own behalf. Additionally, the Lobbying Code of Conduct does not apply to charitable or religious organisations or to associations or organisations constituted to represent the interests of their members such as peak industry groups, trade unions and professional organisations. The Lobbying Code of Conduct also excludes non-profit organisations such as NGOs, members of trade delegations visiting Australia and individuals making representations on behalf of relatives or friends about their personal affairs.

5.5.4 The Lobbying Code of Conduct defines "lobbying activity" as any communication a lobbyist has with a Government representative which aims to influence a Government decision, such as a change to legislation, policy, programs, funding arrangements, grants or contract decisions. Exclusions from the definition of lobbying activities are outlined in Clause 3 of the Lobbying Code of Conduct.

Responsibilities under the Lobbying Code of Conduct

5.5.5 Under the Lobbying Code of Conduct, APS employees and contractors must only deal with registered lobbyists. Before any lobbying activity commences, a lobbyist must confirm that he or she is on the Register of Lobbyists and must advise the name of the client represented and the nature of the matter the client wants to convey. APS employees and contractors must attempt to check whether a lobbyist is on the Register of Lobbyists before meeting that lobbyist.

5.5.6 APS employees and contractors must also seek assurances from lobbyists (who approach them) that they are not subject to any post-employment restrictions. (Under the Lobbying Code of Conduct, persons who retire from office as a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary, shall not, for a period of 18 months after they cease to hold office, engage in lobbying activities relating to any matter that they had official dealings with in their last 18 months in office. Persons who were employed in the Offices of Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 at Adviser level and above, members of the Australian Defence Force at Colonel level (or equivalent) or above, and Agency Heads or persons employed under the Public Service Act 1999 in the Senior Executive Service (or equivalent), shall not, for a period of 12 months after they cease their employment, engage in lobbying activities relating to any matter that they had official dealings with in their last 12 months of employment.)

5.5.7 In the absence of such information or assurances, APS employees and consultants must decline to participate in the discussion.

5.5.8 The Lobbying Code of Conduct recognises that contact with lobbyists may occur during informal/social settings. In these situations, it is appropriate to accept statements by lobbyists that they and their clients are properly registered and to ascertain the issues they want to raise on behalf of their client. At the first available opportunity, APS employees and contractors must check whether a lobbyist is on the Register of Lobbyists. By following these procedures, APS employees and contractors should not be in breach of the Lobbying Code of Conduct.

5.5.9 In dealing with lobbyists, APS employees and contractors need to be aware of and manage any real or apparent conflicts of interest between their official duties and their relationships with lobbyists. This could include personal, financial or other interests in the organisations the lobbyist is representing or some form of personal or social relationship with the lobbyist. The department's policy on conflicts of interest (as set out in sections 5.1-5.2 of this Manual) outlines staff responsibilities to declare conflicts of interest.

5.5.10 If APS employees or contractors become aware of any breaches of the Lobbying Code of Conduct; they should in the first instance report their concerns to the Conduct and Ethics Unit. The department may then report the issue to the Secretary of PM&C.

Dealing with Lobbyists at Posts Overseas

5.5.11 The Lobbying Code of Conduct does not apply to overseas-based lobbyists engaged in lobbying Government representatives overseas. Lobbyists operating in these circumstances are not required to register on the Register of Lobbyists. However, all staff at posts overseas should comply, to the extent possible, with the spirit of the Lobbying Code of Conduct. They should find out the interests a person who lobbies the post represents.

5.6 Conflict of Interest Case Studies and Possible Remedies

5.6.1 To guide staff, the following are case studies on conflict of interest issues. The advice contained in these case studies does not constitute legal advice. Different solutions and outcomes may apply in individual circumstances. For further guidance on how to interpret conduct and ethics policies as they relate to individual circumstances, staff should contact the Conduct and Ethics Unit at coi@dfat.gov.au.

Interest Type Details Reason for Conflict Possible Determination Possible Remedy
Shareholdings Currently own 5000 Telstra shares I am currently assisting Telstra expand its business overseas. During the next three months I will have access to commercially sensitive information. High Risk Requires immediate remedy Employee required to (a) sell shares and cease trading and (b) sign a declaration not to purchase shares while in current position.
Real Estate Investments Partnership in commercial property The department intends to sign a contract to lease the commercial property I partly own. I have not been involved in the tender or contract process or had any contact or influence with the property section regarding the contract. Medium Risk (Perception)Examine and monitor Preliminary examination of the process to confirm information provided and show clear separation from decision.
Company directorships or partnerships Director of a company that is tendering for a DFAT contract I am an APS employee and also director in a training company. The company is tendering for a DFAT training contract. I have not yet declared this as a conflict of interest. High RiskRequires urgent remedy Refer to CEU for examination.
Other significant sources of income Family inheritance I recently inherited a large parcel of shares in a transport company. The company holds significant contracts with other Commonwealth agencies (not DFAT). Low Risk No conflict of interest.
Gifts Spouse/partner won a gift voucher My spouse/partner won a $500.00 gift voucher from an IT store. The store has a contract to supply the department with IT products. Low Risk No Action Required Competition was open to the public and winning was by chance with no real or perceived influence through position.
Private business Family owns a language training centre overseas

My family own and operate a language training centre in my posted country. The department uses the training facility. I hold a policy position at post and have no involvement with the company. Medium High Risk Requires Remedy Employee to show clear separation of interest. Post to be aware and manage any information accordingly. Employee to sign undertaking to declare future conflicts when they arise.
Employment Possibly employing a contractor as a DFAT employee I have had a contractor working in my section for the past two years. The contractor is now applying for a BB3 position with DFAT and I am chairing the selection panel. High Risk Requires Remedy. There is current departmental and APSC policy guiding conflicts of interest in relation to recruitment. Good practice would suggest that an alternative chairperson is appointed.
Voluntary work Spouse/partner volunteers for a local NGO I am the SAO at post and my spouse/partner is volunteering for a domestic violence education program funded by DFAT. As SAO I have no direct contact with NGOs or the funded program. Low RiskRecord and monitor There is no current conflict of interest. If the SAO's duties were to change and they had direct contact with the NGO in question or the funded program, there may be a need to re-assess the situation.
Social or personal relationships I have developed a friendship with the person who provides floral art to the department Through my local sporting club I became friends with the florist who is contracted to provide the department's flowers. At work I do not have any contact with this person's company or the services it provides. No Action Required. No real or apparent conflict exists.
Resignation I am about to resign from DFAT to take up a management position with A1 indoor plant hire I currently work in the building maintenance area and manage the department's indoor plant contract held by A1 indoor plant hire. The contract is up for renewal in 12 months. Medium High Risk Misuse of official information The employee is privy to official departmental information and contacts within department. Reassign or remove employee from the position until resignation. Conduct debrief and have employee acknowledge understanding of unauthorised use or communication of official information. Ensure that staff in the work unit are briefed as well.
External employment offer Over the past year I have been managing a departmental contract with an Australian company. The project is nearing completion and the company has offered me a job. I have access to official and in-confidence information that would be of great benefit to the company who has offered me the position. In addition, I am recognised as an expert in my field and have conducted independent research on this subject matter. I have also made a significant contribution to relevant professional associations.

Medium High Risk Misuse of official information The employee should declare the offer of employment immediately regardless of their intention to accept or decline. The department will implement a plan to manage access to official information pending a decision on the job offer. If the offer is accepted, the employee will continue to have their access to information monitored and be de-briefed prior to leaving the department. Contact with department after resignation should be monitored and incidents reported.