Model policies

  • Your board must have a Conflict of Interest policy for its board members.
  • Your board's policy should be consistent with the relevant DELWP model policy.
  • DELWP’s model policies are tailored for its agencies.  Use them instead of the generic model policy issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission.

Standard for major agencies

Conflict – model policy – standard major (PDF, 444.8 KB)
Conflict – model policy – standard major (DOCX, 156.4 KB)

Waste and resource recovery groups

Includes additional obligations from the Environment Protection Act.

Conflict - model policy – wrrgs (PDF, 455.7 KB)
Conflict - model policy – wrrgs (DOCX, 163.5 KB)

Small committees of management

See the committees of management support module for small (category 3) committees of management of crown land reserves.

Templates

Declaration of Private Interests (DOPI)

  • Board members of major agencies (not small committees of management) must complete an annual declaration of private interests.
  • This is a standard form for use by board members of all DELWP major agencies.
  • Use this simplified form annually and when your interests change
  • If your agency’s establishing Act requires you to submit a ‘primary return’ upon appointment and an ‘ordinary return’ annually thereafter (e.g. water corporations and catchment management authorities), attach your primary/ordinary return to this DOPI form at those times.

Conflict – DOPI – all major (PDF, 128.7 KB)
Conflict – DOPI – all major (DOCX, 128.3 KB)

Register of Interests

The template for the Register of interests is included in the applicable model policy (see above).

Guidance notes

An Overview – conflict of interest (major agencies)

  • Easy-to-read overview of a board member’s obligations and good practice
  • Include in induction kits for board members of major agencies
  • Also helps experienced board members to stay up-to-date.

Conflict - Guidance notes (PDF, 428.9 KB)
Conflict - Guidance notes (DOCX, 116.8 KB)

An Overview – conflict of interest (small committees of management)

See the committees of management support module for small (category 3) committees of management of crown land reserves.

About the model policy (major agencies)

Explains why the model policy has certain wording and requirements.

Conflict - About the model policy – all major (PDF, 335.9 KB)
Conflict - About the model policy – all major (DOCX, 94.2 KB)

Employee membership of incorporated associations

Advises against staff membership of incorporated associations where a conflict of interest may arise.

Conflict – staff membership (PDF, 100.5 KB)
Conflict – staff membership (DOCX, 118.2 KB)

Governance links

Related support modules

On Board has related support modules for DELWP board members, including:

Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC)

As part of its role in promoting good governance in the public sector, the VPSC publishes the Directors’ Code of Conduct, which applies to board members. It also provides guidance on this topic.  See the practical guide. But use the relevant DELWP model policy, not the generic VPSC model policy (see above).

Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Department of Premier and Cabinet issues the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines, which include requirements about conflict of interest. The guidelines apply to both paid and unpaid board members.

Watchdog agencies

As part of their watchdog role, the Victorian Ombudsman, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO), and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) also promote a high standard of public sector governance. For further information see the Integrity complaints support module.

For example, some reports published by the Ombudsman and VAGO investigate whether conflicts of interest have been properly declared by board members and properly managed by boards in the public interest. Other agencies may find these reports useful reading.

Background information

Your agency should use the relevant DELWP model policy (see above) instead of the VPSC’s generic model policy.  DELWP’s model policies are tailored for its agencies.

A conflict of interest is a conflict between a board member's:

  • duty to act in the best interests of the agency; and
  • their private interests (financial or non-financial) or duty to another organisation.

It exists whether the conflict is real, potential, or perceived.

An interest can direct (held by the board member) or indirect (held by a family member or close business or personal associate).

For further information see the ‘overview’ guidance note (see above).

Board members must complete an annual Declaration of private interests and should update this form sooner if their circumstances change in the meantime. Interests which may give rise to a conflict of interest are then recorded in the Register of Interests.

For further information see the template DOPI (above) and the ‘overview’ guidance note (see above).

At the start of each board meeting, a board member must declare any interest that relates to any item on the agenda, regardless of whether the interest has already been recorded in the Register of Interests.

For further information see the ‘overview’ guidance note (see above).

All conflicts of interest must be managed by the board in the public interest. The standard procedure for a ‘material’ (serious) conflict is for the board member to leave the room and abstain from any discussion or decision-making on the issue. The minutes of the board meeting must record the conflict and the action taken to manage it.

For further information see the ‘overview’ guidance note (see above).

Governance obligations in relation to declaring and managing conflicts of interest include:

  • section 81(1)(f) of the Public Administration Act (PAA)
  • duties of directors (board members) in section 79 of the PAA
  • Directors’ Code of Conduct which reinforces the public sector values in section 7 of the PAA)
  • any specific requirements in the agency's establishing Act.