Regulating conflicts of interest in public office

David-Barrett, Elizabeth (2020) Regulating conflicts of interest in public office. In: Graycar, Adam (ed.) Handbook on corruption, ethics and integrity in public administration. Edward Elgar, pp. 406-420. ISBN 9781789900903

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While core to our understanding of corruption in public office, conflicts of interest pose a complex regulatory challenge. Practically, the term relies on a conceptual distinction between public and private duties which – in a world of outsourcing, secondments and New Public Management – has become blurred. Most regulation trusts individuals to recognise their own conflicts and insulate decisions from personal and social obligations, yet we know that humans are prone to situational biases and struggle with ambiguity. Regulation should address the difficulties of avoiding bias, while training should allow individuals to explore risks in safe contexts. Professional groups may be important for creating peer support networks and helping to socialise members into norms of integrity. Such ‘soft’ regulation is not a substitute for rules and sanctions but might enhance the utility of traditional ‘hard’ approaches, by helping individuals become more self-aware and better able to make informed decisions about their conduct.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2020 09:36
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2020 13:39

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