All academic staff are required to disclose any registrable activities which fall under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (Cth).


1. Overview

Foreign influence transparency provides public and government decision-makers with visibility over the nature, level and extent of foreign influence on Australia’s government and political processes.

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (FITS) was introduced by the Australian Attorney-General’s Department in December 2018 and imposes registration obligations on individuals and corporate entities that undertake specified activities on behalf of a foreign principal or enter into a registrable arrangement with a foreign principal.

Whether a person is required to register under the scheme depends on:

  • who the foreign principal is
  • the nature of the activities undertaken
  • the purpose for which the activities are undertaken 
  • in some cases, whether the person has held a senior public position in Australia.

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act (Cth) 2018 (FITSA) aims to improve transparency and ensure that unwarranted foreign influence is not being exercised over Australia’s political and government processes. 

The FITSA is different to Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act (Cth) 2020 (AFRA) which establishes the Foreign Arrangements Scheme. The purpose of the AFRA and the Scheme is to ensure that the Commonwealth is able to protect and manage Australia’s foreign relations by ensuring that any arrangement between a State/Territory entity and a foreign entity does not, or is unlikely to, adversely affect and/or be inconsistent with Australia’s foreign relations.

UQ's foreign influence disclosure

In response to the FITS, UQ has created the foreign influence disclosure (staff login required), which is an online process for determining whether registrable activities are being conducted at UQ.

Any identified activities will then require external registration by UQ on the Attorney-General’s Department Transparency Register.

The foreign influence disclosure is part of the suite of registers in UQ's disclosure and management of interests. The suite includes conflict of interest, secondary employment and sensitive research. These disclosures are connected to policies and procedures designed to effectively manage and align the interests of UQ staff, align UQ as a whole with community standards and expectations, and comply with all applicable laws.

In November 2021, the University Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT) Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector were released, placing an obligation on universities to require declaration of interest disclosures from staff who are at risk of foreign interference, including identification of foreign affiliations, relationships and financial interests. As such, enhancements to UQ’s Sensitive Research Register and Foreign Influence and Interference Disclosure tools have been made to collect additional information.

The Foreign Influence and Interference Disclosure tool now asks staff members for the following additional disclosures:

  • I have disclosed and gained approval for all international financial support (cash or in-kind) that I hold as a CI through the submission of a Funding application as required under the Administration of Research Funding: Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy [PPL 4.10.01]
  • I have disclosed all supervision I conduct of HDR students enrolled at foreign universities in my IAP record
  • I have disclosed all unpaid honorary/adjunct positions held for at least the last 5 years at foreign Universities in my IAP record
  • I have disclosed research activity that I have had with a foreign military, policing or intelligence organisation within at least the last 5 years on the Sensitive Research Register
  • I receive personal payments from foreign government sources (including Universities) that involves my academic activities that has not either been received as Academic Consultancy through the University Finance system, or as Secondary Employment that has been disclosed on the Secondary Employment Register.

Need advice?

Staff may require more information or assistance in identifying potentially registrable activities under the FITSA.

    If you are unsure how to identify, disclose or manage any potentially registrable activities, you can talk to:

    • Your supervisor or manager

    For Conflicts of Interest (COI):

    For queries about conflict of interest related to research:

    For policy:

    For legislation:

    For general queries regarding the disclosure and management of interests, contact:


    Disclosure and management of interests - who needs to register?

    UQ has created an integrated framework regarding the disclosure and management of interests, which simplifies and clarifies policies and procedures to ensure ethical and legal compliance.        

    All fixed-term and continuing staff members are required to complete the Conflict of Interest Register. Casual, unpaid and honorary staff who have a conflict of interest to declare are required to complete the Conflict of Interest form (PDF, 1.42 MB) and submit to your supervisor in your organisational unit. Note that this form is different to the Conflict of Interest Register.

    All professional staff (HEW 8 level and above) are required to complete the Secondary Employment Register.

    All academic staff (continuing and fixed-term contracts of 12 months or longer; conjoint appointments where UQ is the lead employer) are required to complete the:

    These registers must be completed annually, even if there is no item to disclose, and when circumstances change.