Managing Conflict of Interest

Ensuring that government decisions are not influenced by public officials’ private interests is an ongoing concern.
Partnerships between government and the private sector continue to present challenges for policy-makers and public managers and the following areas require attention:

  • closing the implementation and enforcement gap
  • providing policy guidance during both pre- and post-public employment
  • managing the risk of policy capture posed by government advisory groups

Managing conflict of interest requires a balance

A too-strict approach to controlling private interests may conflict with other rights or be unworkable or deter experienced and competent candidates from entering public office or public service. A modern approach to conflict-of-interest policy seeks to strike a balance by:

  • Identifying risks
  • Prohibiting unacceptable forms of private interest
  • Raising awareness of the circumstances in which conflicts can arise
  • Building capacities to prevent conflict of interest through training
  • Ensuring effective procedures to resolve conflict-of-interest situations

OECD guidelines

The OECD helps countries modernise their approach for managing conflict of interest by mapping “at risk” areas and positions within the public service. The OECD Guidelines for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service identify a set core principles and standards for the design and implementation of conflict-of-interest policies. The Guidelines:

  • Provide a practical framework of reference for reviewing and modernising existing policy solutions in line with good practice
  • Promote a public service culture in which conflicts of interest are properly identified and resolved or managed
  • Support partnerships between the public, private and non-profit sectors in identifying and managing conflict-of-interest situations

Download the guidelines in: EnglishFrenchAlbanianRussianBosnian/SerbRomanian/MoldovanUkrainian.

Post-public employment

Reviews the measures taken in OECD countries to avoid conflict of interest when officials leave public office.

Report on implementation

Highlights the progress made in managing conflict of interest in the public service in OECD countries.


Provides generic examples and practical ideas and instruments for policy-makers and managers.

Country experiences

Highlights trends, approaches and models across OECD countries in a comparative overview with examples of innovative solutions. 

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The research

See our country reports, comparative evidence and analysis of international practices:

All resources on the topic

Contact us

Contact the public sector integrity division at:

[email protected]