Public Service Regulation 2.1 forbids the unlawful disclosure of certain sensitive information by Australian Public Service employees. A failure to comply with regulation 2.1 can lead to a prosecution under section 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1914.
Ms G was charged under that Act with seven counts of unlawful disclosure by a Commonwealth officer. In 2008, a jury in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory found her guilty on five counts. She was placed on a good behaviour bond for three years and given a substantial fine.
- Conflicts of interest don't arise only from financial or property interests. Any situation that creates competing responsibilities can give rise to a conflict.
- Managers and employees alike need to be sensitive to the possibility of conflicts of interest, and take early and continuing steps to manage them properly.
- Integrity protocols need to address potential conflicts of interest, as well as fraud and corruption risks.