Non-financial conflicts of interest

Is someone close to you or an organisation you are involved with likely to be affected by the decision you make? If so, is there a risk that you will be seen to be biased in your decision because of this relationship or association?

If you have a conflict of interest, but not one from which you stand to gain or lose financially, the law does not automatically assume you are biased.

This does not necessarily mean a non-financial conflict is less serious than a financial conflict – but there is generally more room for judgement about whether it is acceptable for you to participate.

Questions you need to think are about include:

  • How close is your relationship with this other person or organisation?
  • Will they be directly affected by the decision?
  • How seriously will they be affected?

For more, see paragraphs 3.12-3.24 and scenarios 1,2, 3, 9, and 11 of Managing conflicts of interest: A guide for the public sector.