In the day to day pursuit of University objectives, there are some obligations that may be more difficult to recognise and will require additional vigilance before the right decision can be made. This is because the right decision requires due consideration of broader legal and ethical contexts and awareness of the various (maybe competing) interests of those involved.
Some of these obligations may not be front of mind considerations but they should not be underestimated by individual decision-makers. If you neglect them you may be in a breach of your ethical or legal responsibilities – potentially, with serious consequences for you and for the University.
A due diligence approach serves everyone best in the long run.
A webpage has been developed to raise awareness and assist University personnel to navigate some of the less well known “integrity obligations” that can arise in a University context.
Integrity obligations – what are they?
Integrity obligations refers to those ethical or legal measures designed to guide individuals or groups towards principled or permitted behaviour – particularly when that behaviour impacts on others. The measures help to ensure that the interests of individuals or groups are negotiated or managed in a fair and transparent way. Where broader concerns about “the national interest” are identified and a statutory requirement is in place, the obligation is not negotiable and a significant penalty may apply for non-compliance.
The new Integrity/Accountability webpage provides a quick introduction to:
- Recognising and managing conflicts of interest and undue influence
- Obligations under Australian Consumer Law (also the subject of our recent blog article)
- New laws to regulate foreign influence and foreign interference
- How to avoid and report acts of bribery or facilitation payments
- Researchers’ obligations under the defence trade controls legislation
- Sanctions that may impact on international engagements.