Conflict of Interest, Nepotism and Cronyism

A conflict of interest arises when a person, as a public sector employee or official, is influenced by personal considerations when doing his or her job. Thus, decisions are made for the wrong reasons. Perceived conflicts of interests, even when the right decisions are being made, can be as damaging to the reputation of an organisation and erode public trust, as an actual conflict of interest. In some countries, the law makes it compulsory for public agencies to have Codes of Ethics which cover these matters. Most countries consider the matter so important, and so fundamental to good administration, that they have a specific conflict of interest law. This can provide that e.g. “a State officer or employee shall not act in his official capacity in any matter wherein he has a direct or indirect personal financial interest that might be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment.”

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