POLICY NUMBER 6.3: CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY AND PROCEDURES
The objective of the UINCD Policy on Conflict of Interest is to promote fair, bias-free and objective decision-making in conducting affairs of the Institution.
It is a policy of the UINCD that all staff (including investigators) declare to Management situations in which they might be involved in a conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest: A situation when an employee (usually in a managerial/decision-making/investigator position or role) is faced with competing financial, professional, and/or personal obligations or interests which interfere with their ability to arrive at a decision or to take an action which is fair, bias-free and objective. An example is having to be on a Hiring Committee that interviews candidates one of whom is a relative, or evaluating potential suppliers in which a staff member holds shares in one of the companies. Another example is an investigator whose conflict of interest can potentially affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research.
Guidelines for Handling Matters of Conflict of Interest in UINCD
- All staff are expected to use good judgment to abide by high ethical standards and to avoid situations, potential or actual, that will lead to a conflict of interest.
- Staff unsure as to whether a certain transaction, activity or relationship constitutes a conflict of interest, perceived or real, should raise it for discussion with their immediate supervisor (or Head of Department or HR Department as appropriate).
- Staff shall be required to promptly report in writing to their immediate supervisor (or Head of Department or HR Department as appropriate) if in the course of handling their duties, they encounter the following circumstances of conflict of interest:
- He/she has an existing or potential financial, professional, or other interest which impairs or appears to impair his/her ability to exercise independent and unbiased judgment in the discharge of his/her responsibilities to UINCD and its agents or partners; or
- He/she is aware that a member of his/her family or any organization in which such employee (or member of his/her family) is an officer, director, employee, member, partner, trustee or controlling shareholder, has an existing or potential financial or other interest which impairs or appears to impair the staff’s ability to exercise independent judgment in the discharge of his/her responsibilities to UINCD and its agents or partners.
- Failure to declare a conflict of interest shall constitute a breach of the code of ethics and shall be a ground for disciplinary action as a serious offence.
- Staff in situations of conflict of interest may be excluded from contributing to decisions or taking actions in the situation.