Conflict of interest policy
In 2018–19, the Board continued to manage any conflicts in accordance with its Conflict of Interest policy. The policy sets out:
- the duties in respect to the disclosure of actual or potential conflicts applying to:
- all ARENA workers, including the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer, consultants, contractors, external service providers and employees of the Department who are made available to ARENA
- the Board (including committee and advisory panel members)
- how individuals are to discharge their duties under the policy how conflict of interest declarations are made and material conflicts managed.
Declaration of conflict of interest
In accordance with the requirements of ARENA’s Conflict of Interest policy, all Board, committee and panel members are required to complete a conflict of interest form upon appointment and on an annual basis. They are also required to provide updated declarations to the Board Secretariat in the event that new conflicts arise or the circumstances of their original notification changes.
Process to manage conflicts of interest
The declaration of conflicts is a standing item at all Board and Committee meetings. At least two days prior to the meeting date, the Secretariat circulates to members a list of all entities to be discussed in a material manner in the upcoming meeting. If the member notifies the Secretariat that he or she has a conflict of interest with one of the entities then the declaration is referred to the delegate (ARENA Chair) to determine materiality and, if so, how such a conflict will be managed.
Conflicts are typically managed by excluding the conflicted member from discussions and decisions relating to the paper dealing with the entity with which they have notified a conflict. The ARENA Chair determines the materiality of any conflicts of interest notified by Board members. Conflicts of interest notified by the ARENA Chair are referred to the Minister for determination.
If a conflict arises during the meeting, the matter will be similarly referred to the Chair in order that it can be managed. Probity advice is procured as required as part of this process.
Conflict of interest register
All conflict declarations, including any management action agreed, are recorded in a conflict of interest register maintained by ARENA’s Legal, Governance and Secretariat team.