Conflicts of Interest

I spoke in support of an amendment against a particular resolution of the SACC report where, in effect, it stated that it was not possible to support a matter where it went against your interest. Here’s my speech.

I have to say, when I read the proposed changes to rule 15(1) I did wonder whether SACC was more concerned with following classical ideals than in enabling Departments make informed evidence-based decisions. I wonder whether they might agree with Plato, who believed guardians, who ran society should not own their own property, should live in barracks and have their children raised separately so they would not be affected by any potential conflicts of interest. Having seen the number of those who stood up during the population debate to register their property interests I don’t think this would go down terribly well here.

I do have concerns that in the quest for purity of decision making SACC have gone too far here and that a bit of common sense is required.

How can it be wrong to allow someone, to vote for something that actually goes against their interest?  Surely, the purpose of identifying and dealing with conflicts of interest is to not put a member in a position where perception is that he or she is seen to benefit? Surely by definition where you are not supportive of something that goes against your interest, you are nullifying any conflict?

At the same time we are excluding those that may have more knowledge in a particular area than others on a Board and can impart their real life experiences of the matter in hand so enabling Board members to make informed decisions. What can be wrong with that?


I therefore ask members to  support this common sense amendment.

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