Conflicts of Interests and Material Interests

Western Sydney University has implemented a framework for the identification, declaration, and management of conflicts of interests and material interests for University employees and others engaged in University business. This is detailed in the University’s Conflicts of Interest Policy, Conflicts of Interest Procedures, and Conflicts of Interest Guidelines.

There are two main reasons why a Conflicts of Interest framework exists at the University:

  1. It is committed to conducting its business and delivering higher education and research in a fair, transparent, accountable, and impartial manner that ensures public trust and confidence.
  2. It has particular legislative obligations to disclose the reporting and management of conflicts of interest under legislation such as the Corporations Act 2001, Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988, and Western Sydney University Act 1997.

The University must also collect information in these particular declarations for the purposes of preparing note disclosures for inclusion in its annual financial statements.

Requirements

The University requires all University representatives to:

  • act ethically at all times, with openness and fairness, and to proactively safeguard the performance of their official duties and responsibilities as University representatives against conflicts of interest;
  • be aware of the types of conflicts of interest that are likely to arise within their areas of responsibility and operation, including identifying any significant or sensitive projects in their area that might warrant putting specific arrangements in place to manage any conflicts of interest; and
  • ensure any conflicts of interests are documented, and that these conflicts are monitored and managed in accordance with the University’s procedures (including any specified in other University policies).

The University will maintain a Conflict of Interest Register where the disclosure, management and reporting of conflicts of interests are recorded, monitored, and managed.

The University will also require specified University representatives to complete annual declarations of interests in the Register in order to comply with relevant legislative or governance standards.

Training

Training on the key elements and process of declaring and managing conflicts of interests is available via MyCareer Online as part of the “Fraud and Corruption” training suite. Others, such as researchers, contractors and entity staff who do not have access to Staff Online, can complete the training via vUWS.

Training on how to use the Register is located on this page via video demonstrations and hard copy training materials, and categorised by particular groups of University Representatives. Videos and instructions for different groups will be progressively added to this website throughout 2019-2020 on the website. It will be announced to University staff when the Register is rolled out to each group and when the relevant Register training is available to undertake.

This progressive rollout of using the Register does not mean University staff are exempt from the overall Conflict of Interest process. University staff must still declare and manage all conflicts of interests with their manager/managing department/meeting chair, and keep a paper trail of discussion and decisions made (either emails or meeting minutes). There is no expectation to backdate this data into the Register once your group is rolled out, but there is a requirement to keep a record of all conflict of interest discussions for any audit, and compliance purposes.

An Information Factsheet is available to download PDF, 395.59 KB which answers the most frequently asked questions as it relates to completing declarations on the Register.

Contact

All enquiries should be directed to interests@westernsydney.edu.au or phone (02) 4570 1415.