04 Apr 2017

On Friday 31 March, Victorian Government Solicitor, Marlo Baragwanath, joined fellow panellists at a Victorian Ombudsman Masterclass "Conflicts of Interest: Is it or isn't it?"

This event saw Lynne Haultain put forward hypothetical scenarios to panellists to encourage consideration of the best practice approaches to identifying and managing conflicts of interest as public servants. 
The discussion was lively as panellists reflected on their professional experience and provided practical tips relevant to government departments and agencies. 
While there was an overall consensus that conflict is not necessarily bad, panellists emphasised the importance of being able to recognise and manage potential conflicts, before they become an issue. 
Deputy Victorian Ombudsman, Stephen Mumford, encouraged audience members to ask themselves "what would a reasonable observer think of what I'm about to do?" when assessing a potential conflict of interest. Victorian Government Solicitor, Marlo Baragwanath also reflected on the "Pub Test" and further emphasised the importance of ensuring all staff within an organisation know how to determine what is and isn't acceptable or feel comfortable seeking guidance. 
The Victorian Ombudsman is launching a series of 'Dealing with Conflict of Interest' training workshops designed for managers, governance officers, team leaders, public sector and local government employees and anyone responsible for managing conflicts of interest. The first session is scheduled for Thursday 11 May. Further details and other session dates can be found here: https://education.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/event/VICOMB/dealing-with-conflict-of-interest-sub-landing.html