As public procurement practitioners, we have the responsibility to manage the public procurement process within the public procurement legal framework and principles. Our personal preferences, and those of our family, friends and associates, should not interfere with or influence the decisions we make in the execution of our official duties.
Rather than define conflict of interest, it’s better to know how to identify it in its different manifestations.
Conflict of interest occurs when in the execution of our official duties as public procurement practitioners, we find ourselves in a position to be influenced or appear to be influenced by a private or personal interest we may have that could lead us to try to gain a personal advantage or to avoid a personal disadvantage.
Actual conflict of interest exists when, given our personal or private interests, we are in a position to be influenced. Potential conflict of interest exists when our personal or private interests puts us in a position where we could be influenced. Finally, perceived conflict of interest exists when our personal or private interest exposes us to being in a position where we could appear to be influenced in the execution of our duties. In all of these forms of conflict of interest the overriding factor is that our personal or private interest threatens to compromise our public duty as procurement practitioners.
Private or personal interests that could lead to actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, may include professional and/or social activities and interest with individuals or groups, in addition to family and friends. Personal or private interests could also be monetary or non-monetary sverige-ed.com.
Conflict of interest is not necessarily wrong or unethical; what’s important is to indentify and manage it. As public procurement practitioners we have a responsibility to always serve the public interest in the performance of our duties. It is also our responsibility to identify any actual, potential or perceived instances of conflict of interest. It is particularly important to preclude conflict of interest of anyone involved in the evaluation, selection and contract monitoring processes. So, whenever we find ourselves in a situation of potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest, we must take the necessary action to disclose it by formally declaring ourselves disqualified from participation in a particular procurement process due to possible bias given our personal and/or financial interest.
For relevant resources on conflict of interest in the public sector, visit the links below: