A conflict of interest exists when it is likely that an individual could be influenced, or could be perceived to be influenced, by a personal or private interest in any transaction whilst carrying out their responsibilities for EXMSS.
Some EXMSS participants (committee members and staff) have outside activities which may at times create the potential for a conflict of interest. This is common in other organisations and their boards, and there are protocols in place for managing these, so that there are no adverse consequences from these COIs.
In the case of EXMSS, the basic rules are summarised as follows:
Situation 1: Participant is a Supplier, or has an interest (shareholding, directorship, employment, or friend/family connection) in a Supplier
- Participant is at liberty to present value propositions to EXMSS committee, as long as such includes:
- Clear definition of the value offered to EXMSS and distance students
- Clear itemisation of the costs involved
- Participant’s value proposition must fulfil these criteria:
- Offering palpable value to distance students
- Supporting EXMSS in meeting its obligations to Massey University
- Offering either significant cost-competitiveness over external providers, and/or
- Providing unique value that would be unreasonably difficult to reliably source outside of EXMSS, and/or
- In case of high-value dealings, is determined by EXMSS Committee as the leading proposal among a range of proposals solicited from external vendors through a robust tendering process, and
- Committee’s acceptance of the Participant’s offerings does not risk EXMSS falling into disrepute or failing to honour its obligations
- Participant abstains from any vote of committee regarding accepting/declining the value proposition, exiting any meeting if asked by other committee members
- Participant does not exert pressure or undue influence on Committee in its considerations
Situation 2: Participant has a University role, for example, membership on Council
- Participant acknowledges to Committee that they are under statutory obligation to act in the interests of the University above all else
- Participant excludes themselves from all Committee votes (and discussion if asked) on actions of advocacy which can place EXMSS at conflict with the University
Process by EXMSS for managing a CoI
If the associated person becomes aware of any potential conflict between their interests and EXMSS, or an issue with the potential to affect their work performance, they must immediately tell The Presidents (or, in absence of either President, or if the person is themselves a sole President, the Vice President) of EXMSS.
The EXMSS President(s) will discuss the issue with the associated person and work out together whether it is a real conflict of interest. The associated person must act on any reasonable instructions from EXMSS about real conflicts of interest.
If there is no other reasonable alternative, EXMSS may choose to end the professional agreement (i.e. employment, services contract, committee membership) following the correct process.
List of Interests