Solved Ethics Papers

Q8. Conflict of Interest in Public Service

Q8. Public servants are likely to confront with issues of “conflict of interest”. What do you understand by the term “conflict of interest” and how does it manifest in the decision making by public servants? If faced with the conflict of interest situation how would you resolve it? Explain with the help of examples. (10 marks) (150 words)
 
Answer
A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests and serving one interest could involve working against another. It relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party. In such cases, often the public servant may favour his private interest or is perceived to favour them.
 
Conflict of interest can be avoided by taking the following steps
• Keep public interest above private interest
• Maintain distance from people having official dealing with the official
• Follow the code of conduct of the organisation
• Follow all the procedures prescribed by the organization
• Disclose the interest to appropriate authority
• Recuse from the decision making in such situation
 
For example, if a close relative or friends apply for a job where the interview board is headed by the public servant, he must recluse himself from the decision making by requesting his superior to head the board or appoint someone else in his place. (176 words)
 
Q8. Conflict of Interest in Public Service
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