Conflicts of Interests and Material Interests

IMPORTANT UPDATE - Due to a system issue, access to the online Conflict of Interest Register is currently unavailable. A manual “Continual Disclosure – for University employees including Senior Executives, and their managers” form is available in Word (DOCX, 304.02 KB) (opens in a new window) and PDF (PDF, 600.9 KB) (opens in a new window) format, for use until a solution for the online COI Register is achieved. Completed forms need to be emailed to interests@westernsydney.edu.au and filed securely by your unit, so that access is strictly limited to relevant persons only.

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. The University 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. The University 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 (e.g. University’s employees including Senior Executives, Board of Trustees or a Director of a controlled entity of the University) 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 Conflict of Interest Policy and procedures (including any specified in other University policies, such as the Code of Conduct).

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. Other University representatives, such as researchers, contractors and entity staff who do not have access to MyCareer, can complete the training via vUWS.

There are video demonstrations and hard copy training materials on how to use the Register. These training materials are categorised by particular groups of University Representatives as follow:

Please note that videos and instructions for different groups will be progressively added to this website throughout 2020. This will be announced to University staff when the Register and the relevant training is rolled out to each group.

This progressive rollout of using the Register does not mean that 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 need to backdate the entry of 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.