Governance

Declaration / Register of Interest

Register of Interests 2017/2018

Preamble

1. The Nolan Principles, the seven principles of public life, form the basis of the ethical standards expected of all public office holders. The principles are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

2. A conflict of interest arises where the commitments and obligations owed by a member of staff or Council lay member to the University of Kent or to other bodies, for example a funding body, are likely to be comprised or may appear to be comprised by that person's personal gain, or gain to immediate family (whether financial or otherwise), or the commitments and obligations that person owes to another person or body.

Policy

3. There is a general duty on all members of staff and lay members of the University to disclose at the earliest possible stage any financial or other interest they may have in any transaction, or proposed transaction, between the University and a third party. The disclosure of such an interest should be made in writing to the Head of the member's School, Department or Unit (or if the member of staff concerned is the Head of the section, to their line manager), for members of staff; or to the Secretary of the Council, for lay members of Council, and all declarations, for members of staff and lay members of Council, should also be returned annually to the Secretary of the Council who will maintain a register of declared interests.

4. (a) Members of staff and lay members must draw any declared interests to the attention of the Chair or anybody whose business they are participating when it is relevant to that business or when they are in any doubt that it might be relevant.

4. (b) Members of staff and lay members must declare an interest to the Chair if in the course of the business of a meeting they become aware that they have or may have a financial or other beneficial interest in a specific item of business to be transacted at the meeting.

Notes

(i) Members of the Council are required to declare the names of any charities of which they are also trustees within their declaration. This information is required to be published on the University's website and included in the University's audited financial statements.

(ii) The University encourages staff to engage in appropriate external activities but it is necessary to have mechanisms to protect staff and the University of Kent from reputational damage or other liabilites. It is very important that if a member of staff has a private interest, financial or otherwise, which could overlap with their duties as an employee of the University of Kent, that this interest is disclosed and managed properly. Private interests may arise from relationships such as consultancy, employment, directorship or other activity within a commercial concern, (whether paid or not), shareholding and/or membership.

(iii) It is the responsibility of each individual to consider whether there are interests they should declare. There can be situations in which the appearance of conflict of interest is present even when no conflict actually exists. It is the responsbility of each individual to recognise this and disclose where appropriate.

(iv) Conflicts of interest may be financial or non-financial or both. Financial interest refers to anthing of non-trivial monetary value, including, but not limited to, pay, commission, consultancy fees, equity interests, forgiveness of debt, property, royalties and intellectual property rights. Non-financial interest refers to any non-financial benefit or advantage, including, but not limited to, enhancement of an individual's career, education or professional reputation; access to privileged information or facilities.

(v) Membership of an external body brings with it an obligation (and sometimes a statutory duty) to act in the best intrests of that external body. Such obligations may overlap with those reqiured from an employee to the University of Kent. The employee should ensure that they continue to give their primary commitment and allegiance to the University of Kent. External bodies include statutory and public authorities, other education establishments and charities, companies with which the University itself has an actual or potential business relationship (for the provision of services or research or for investment) and membership organisations.

(vi) The Register is updated in November each year and members of staff are invited to send declarations (or subsequently any updates to these) to the Secretary of the Council at any time during the year. For members of Council the submission of a declaration (including a nil return) before the end of October is mandatory. Forms for the declaration of interests are available online at the top of this page.

(vii) Disclosure of an interest does not replace the need for a member of staff to seek appropriate permission to undertake external work and consultancy according to the University's agreed procedures. Approved external work, including consultancies, should be disclosed as interests in accordance with paragraph 3 above.

(viii) Copies of schedules of suppliers of goods and services to the University and of the University's current investments can be made available for consultation on request to the Secretary of the Council.

(ix) Confidential advice on the Policy may be sought from the Secretary of the Council, but in considering whether and what interests to declare, individuals may wish to ask themselves whether members of the public knowing a particular piece of information about an individual might reasonably conclude that the relevant interest could influence his or her judgement. If they might so conclude, the best protection for the individual and for the University would be for the interest to be declared in the Register.

Related Polices

The following policies are available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/governance/policies-and-procedures/index.html

Anti-bribery and corruption policy

Policy on personal benefit

Ethical conduct and external activity

'Whistleblowing'

Fraud prevention and response policy

Confidentiality of University business

 

Policy approved 7 December 1995; last updated 11 August 2015

Dr Keith Lampard
Secretary of the Council

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 04/08/2017