There is nothing unusual or necessarily wrong in having a conflict of interest. It is crucial, however, that conflict of interest is managed to protect the public interest. This page provides organisations with guidance and tools to manage conflict of interest risks, including a model policy and declaration form templates.
Model conflict of interest policy and declaration form templates
The Victorian Secretaries Board endorsed a model conflict of interest policy and supporting materials to assist the public sector to manage conflict of interest risks.
Adopting and implementing the model policy and declaration form templates is consistent with requirements under the codes of conduct for Victorian public sector employees and employees of special bodies. The codes of conduct require public sector body heads to develop and implement policies and procedures tailored to their own operating environment to support the application of the code, including the effective management of conflict of interest.
Consensual personal relationships
The model policy includes high level processes for the management of consensual personal relationships in the workplace, and is accompanied by a practice guide to support its implementation.
Implementing the model conflict of interest policy
The model policy sets expected standards for managing conflict of interest within public sector organisations. Public sector body heads should build upon the model policy to reflect risks associated with their organisations’ functions and activities, and implement the policy within their organisation.
The model policy is based on three core principles for the management of conflict of interest:
- Acting in the public interest
- Being accountable for your actions and decisions
- Taking a risk-based approach
The Guide to applying the conflict of interest policy principles will assist organisations and employees to apply these principles in practice.
Model conflict of interest policy
Public sector organisations can use this model conflict of interest policy document to develop their own organisation’s specific policy.
It was updated in August 2018 to include the management of consensual personal relationships in the workplace.
Last updated August 2018
Guide to applying the conflict of interest policy principles
This guide assists Departments and employees to apply conflict of interest policy principles when carrying out official duties and assessing and managing conflict of interest risks.
Last updated September 2018
We offer model forms to assist public sector organisations to identify, record and manage conflicts of interest between an employee’s private interests and their work duties.
Declaration and management of conflict of interest form template
This form provides employees and managers with information on how to complete and submit conflict of interest declarations. It details who must complete the form, how often, and the steps to be taken to process the completed form.
Last updated September 2018
Declaration of private interests (DOPI) – model form
Last updated July 2023
About the model DOPI
The model DOPI asks questions about an employee’s private interests and probity.
Your organisation can choose to use the model DOPI if the organisation’s conflict of interest policy requires certain employees, such as executives, to complete a DOPI:
- at other times specified in the organisation’s policy.
If a conflict of interest is identified in a DOPI answer, the usual process set out in the organisation’s policy for managing a conflict of interest will then be followed.
Who can use the model DOPI?
The model DOPI can be used by all public sector organisations. For example:
- government departments
- administrative offices
- public entities
- special bodies under section 6 of the Public Administration Act 2004.
Model DOPI is not binding
Your organisation can develop its own policy and forms. It is not under any obligation to use the model DOPI. It can also choose to adapt the model DOPI to take into account
- the organisation’s functions
- any obligations about conflict of interest in its establishing Act or terms of reference.
Example – adapting the model DOPI:
In our model DOPI, one category of employees who must complete a DOPI is employees with a financial delegation of $20,000 or more.
Some organisations choose to reduce this delegation level to a lower amount. For example, because the organisation is vulnerable in this area due to the work of its employees perform.
Different organisations have different needs
The ability to adapt the model DOPI – or to not use it at all – recognises that different public sector organisations have different functions, risks, operating models and establishing frameworks.