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Conflict of interest in policing and the public sector

journal contribution
posted on 2009-09-01, 00:00 authored by G Boyce, Cindy Davids
Conflicts of interest are a key factor in the contemporary decline of trust in government and public institutions, eroding public trust in government and democratic systems. Drawing on two unique empirical studies involving policing and the broader public sector, this paper explores the meaning and dimensions of conflict of interest by examining public complaints about conflict of interest and providing distinctive insights into the nature of conflict of interest as a problem for public sector ethics. The paper analyses and explores appropriate regulatory and management approaches for conflict of interest, focusing on three elements: (1) dealing with private interests that are identifiably problematic in the way they clash with the duties of public officials; (2) managing conflicts as they arise in the course of public sector work (manifested in preferential and adverse treatment, and other problematic areas); and (3) developing ethical and accountable organisational cultures. It is concluded that effective and meaningful public sector ethics in the pursuit of the public interest must be based on an ethos of social accountability and a commitment to prioritise the public interest in both fact and appearance.

History

Journal

Public management review

Volume

11

Issue

5

Pagination

601 - 640

Publisher

Routledge

Location

Abingdon, England

ISSN

1471-9037

eISSN

1471-9045

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Taylor & Francis

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