A conflict of interest can arise when a person or entity has 2 or more relationships which have competing interests. A problem arises when the person acts in favor of one to the detriment of the other.

Examples of inappropriate actions as a result of a conflict of interest:

(1) nepotism

(2) self-dealing

(3) inside information

(4) decision-making in the presence of a relationship


Ethics dictates identification and resolution of any conflicts prior to a potentially detrimental action. Failure to do so causes suspicion of corruption even if none occurred.


Prevention of an inappropriate action may involve:

(1) full disclosure

(2) recusal

(3) independent decision review (oversight)

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