All staff, including those in honorary and volunteer positions, are required to identify, disclose and manage conflicts of interest.

1. Overview

It's normal for staff to have conflicts of interest in a large organisation like UQ. Identifying and disclosing a conflict of interest isn't a judgement on anyone's character or actions – it's simply the first step towards managing the conflict.

What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest occurs when a staff member’s private interests compete with their obligations to UQ, and therefore could improperly influence how they perform their official University duties.

Private interests include:

  • your own personal, professional and business interests, and
  • the interests of individuals and groups you associate with, including friends, relatives and competitors.

There are three types of conflict of interest:

  • actual: where a direct and current conflict exists between a staff member's private interests and their responsibilities to UQ
  • potential: where a staff member has private interests that could conflict with their responsibilities to UQ in the future
  • perceived: where it could be reasonably perceived, or give the appearance, that a staff member's private interests could improperly influence the performance of their responsibilities to UQ.

All types of conflict of interest need to be disclosed and managed to minimise the risk that they could influence, or be seen to influence, the way you perform your duties.

What you need to do

All staff are required to identify, disclose and manage conflicts of interest in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures [1.50.11]. Supervisors must also actively manage conflicts of interest that are disclosed to them.

To help you meet these responsibilities, you must:

Why it matters

By identifying and disclosing a conflict of interest early:

  • unfounded accusations of bias or favouritism can be dealt with more easily and efficiently
  • the conflict can be resolved or managed in a transparent, accountable and timely way.

    An undisclosed or unmanaged conflict of interest can undermine your reputation and integrity, and leave your colleagues, the University and others open to speculation, criticism and risk.

    As a public institution, UQ is required under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 to:

    • promote public confidence in the integrity of the public sector
    • resolve or manage conflicts of interest in favour of the public interest.

    Need advice?

    Conflicts of interest can be complex and hard to recognise. If you’re not sure how to identify, disclose or manage a conflict of interest, you can can talk to: