Ethics in Practice : E-Learning Package for Professional Engineers | Graphic version
Why ethics concerns you | What you should watch out for | Where to draw the line |
How to guard against malpractice | Where to obtain help | Quiz game

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Conflicts of interest

How to avoid conflicts of interest
Avoid favouritism

Treat all clients fairly. Do not give any preference to particular clients, that includes your friends and relatives.

Do not provide advice or assistance in official matters that is based on confidential information communicated to you by your employers or clients. If you receive a request for this kind of help, refuse it and explain that it is against the codes of conduct of your company and professional bodies.

Do not testify as an expert witness in legal actions if the case involves a conflict of your personal interest.

Call for collective decisions

Make sure that more than one officer is involved when making collective decisions on and handling tasks that are vulnerable to malpractice, such as procuring materials/services, selecting or appointing contractors/suppliers, tendering and supervising a contractor's work performance.

If necessary, set up an ad hoc task group to make collective decisions on different aspects of a major project.

Avoid conflicting roles

Declare to your employer and your clients any financial interest in any project, supplier, contractor or business related to your official duties.

Avoid accepting lavish and frequent entertainment and playing games of chance, especially involving gambling, with clients, suppliers or contractors that may place you under an obligation to return a favour, lead you to compromise your impartiality or end up embarrassing you in official matters.

Avoid acquiring any investment or financial interest which may lead to a conflict of interest with your official duties.

Avoid borrowing money from suppliers, contractors or companies with which you have official dealings.

Do not take up paid or unpaid outside employment which may give rise to any actual or potential conflict of interest with your official duties. If such conflicts cannot be avoided, you should first obtain the consent of your employer.


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