HSE University Anti-Corruption Portal
IACA Publishes an Online Course on Conflict of Interest

The International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) has published an online course focused on conflict-of-interest management.

The course entitled “Handling Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector” examines the key elements that should be taken into consideration when developing/reforming a domestic conflict-of-interest regulation system, illustrated by examples of approaches adopted by different jurisdictions. 

Similarly to the preceding course on anti-corruption asset disclosure, the training on conflict of interest was developed with the participation of experts of the Anti-Corruption Centre of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. It is a self-paced course, available in the Russianand English languages; the course was developed with the financial support of the Russian Federation, thus, the Russian version is free.

The course consists of an introduction and seven thematic parts. 

The introduction is centred on the objectives and specific features of conflict-of-interest management as a corruption prevention tool and general approaches to incorporating relevant provisions into international documents and domestic legislation.

Part one of the course is about a seemingly narrow topic which is nonetheless one of the most important for developing a conflict-of-interest management system: the legal definition of the “conflict of interest” notion, which will further directly impact on the effectiveness of enforcement of respective provisions*.  

Part two is about typical conflict-of-interest situations that take place in different areas of public regulation and national approaches to compiling the lists of typical situations. 

The following three parts are focused on the key elements of conflict-of-interest management: prevention, including the imposition of anti-corruption restrictions, prohibitions and obligations, detection both in the framework of asset and interest disclosure and by competent bodies/divisions, and management of conflicts of interest using different methods.

The last but one Part examines approaches towards developing a system of penalties with regard to conflicts of interest and the definition of what can be considered as a violation and incur sanctions.

The course concludes with the analysis of peculiarities of development of the infrastructure necessary for the conflict-of-interest management system to function, including the establishment of a system of competent bodies/divisions, provision of guidance, advice and training, as well as control and monitoring of effectiveness of this system.

Each part is followed by a self-assessment exercise for the users to track their learning progress.

The IACA certificate is awarded upon completion of the course.

*The matter of definition of a “conflict of interest” has been explored in detail in a separate publication of our working materials Conflict of Interest through the Looking Glass: Feasible Approaches to Defining the Concept in Regulatory and Statutory Legislation

Conflict of interest
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