Conflict of Interest: A Problem That Does Not Go Away

It is a rare day when the news does not mention the term conflict of interest. Politics provides us with unending examples of conflict of interest guidelines not being followed. I am very interested in the reasons why people don’t pay attention to rules. I see it with policies not being followed by employees in organizations and also with business owners not paying attention to the Income Tax Act.

I believe that some non-compliance comes from not knowing or not understanding the rules.  I also think that some non-compliance is due to people thinking that since following the rules would be inconvenient they will ignore them and assume that they will not be caught. This could be an example of  insufficient punishment. If nothing bad happens when you don’t follow the rules then people are less likely to follow rules.

If your group has conflict of interest rules, then schedule a time to review the rules with everyone. This will remind them of both the rules and the consequences for not following the rules.

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