Identify conflicts of interest in recruitment and selection

This self-assessment tool is designed to assist public sector employees meet their obligation to identify, disclose and manage any conflict of interest which may arise during a recruitment and selection process. In particular, the tool is designed for panel members and delegated decision makers in accordance with Recruitment and selection (Directive 12/20), sections 102 and 186 of the Public Service Act 2008 and the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service.

  • What is a conflict of interest?
  • Do I have a conflict of interest?
  • How do I deal with my conflict of interest?

Step one–what is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest occurs when your private interests interfere, or appear to interfere, with the performance of official duties. Private interests include personal, professional or business interests, as well as the interests of individuals that you associate with, such as family, dependants and friends.

All employees involved in recruitment and selection decisions have an obligation to put the public interest first by selecting the most meritorious candidate for appointment in a fair and unbiased way. Recruitment and selection decisions must not be influenced by self-interest, private affiliations or the likelihood of personal gain or loss.

Expand the sections below to find out more.


Step two–do I have a conflict of interest?

It is unlikely you have a conflict of interest. You still need to complete a mandatory self-declaration form indicating the absence of a conflict (PDF, 1.64 MB).
You may have a conflict of interest. You will need to take steps to manage the conflict of interest.

Step three–how do I deal with my conflict of interest?

Having a conflict of interest is not in itself wrong, so long as you are open in declaring the conflict to the appropriate delegate, and it is managed and resolved in the public interest.

1. Identify and declare

If you answered yes to any of the above self-assessment questions, you may have a conflict of interest.

The next step is to:

2. Manage

Do not take any further action relating to the matter while the delegate is considering the declaration, unless authorised by the delegate. The delegate is responsible for assessing the declaration, determining and advising an appropriate course of action in the public interest, based on the circumstances.

Actions may include:

  • determining that there is no conflict of interest and no action is required
  • monitoring a panel member’s involvement in the process
  • implementation of specific mitigation strategies
  •  removing a panel member from the process
  • identifying an alternative delegated decision maker.

3. Monitor

You must follow all directions provided by the delegate to manage the conflict of interest and monitor the circumstances for any change which may impact the agreed management approach.

The panel chairperson should be advised by the delegate of their determination and any directions to manage the conflict of interest.

Details of conflicts of interest and management plans should be recorded in the selection report.

Agencies must also follow their declaration of interests policy and procedure, including the process for recording and storing conflict of interest declarations.