1°) Definition of conflict of interest
A ‘conflict of interest’ refers to a situation where the impartiality and objectivity of a decision, opinion or recommendation of PSCE members is, or might be perceived as being compromised by a personal interest held or entrusted to a given individual.
‘Personal interests’ means any benefit or potential benefit, of a financial or non-financial nature, for PSCE members, their family members, their other relatives or their circle of friends and close acquaintances.
Not only actual independence but also perception of independence is important, since it can impact on PSCE’s reputation by raising unjustified doubts.
Therefore, giving due consideration to proportionality, specific backgrounds, all relevant facts and mitigating circumstances, PSCE will treat a risk of perceived conflict of interest as if it were an actual conflict.
2°) Possible cases of conflict of interests and their management
Elected or Appointed PSCE representatives are committed to the good governance of the association’s decisions by an effective prevention and management of potential conflicts of interest. This is crucial for sustaining the trust and the credibility and therefore the legitimacy of PSCE by protecting the integrity of its decisions, that they are not compromised by individual, illegitimate interests.
Elected and Appointed PSCE representatives shall avoid conflicts of interests when performing their missions and tasks.
The same applies to the persons mandated by PSCE and entrusted with specific tasks.
Article 3.2 of PSCE Forum Statutes sets out the association’s tasks, where potential exposures to conflicts of interest exist:
1. Consolidate and validate practitioner requirements in the field of public safety concerning communication and information management systems;
2. Raise awareness on technical solutions under development;
3. Identify non-technological issues;
4. Propose a research and Development (R&D) agenda or a technical platform;
5. Contribute to standardisation activities related to public safety communications;
6. Develop Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on main public safety communication and information system topics;
7. Promote the common views defined by its members and represent them through the appropriate channels to the relevant European and International Authorities;
8. Undertake any other activities relevant to the mission, such as, for example, the participation in EU projects.
Different general situations are also possible as listed below (not exhaustive):
-Board Members: Board Members representing their different communities should always act in an impartial way towards their respective community and not be influenced;
- No Board Member should use its position to receive advantages for PSCE or his/her company/organisation;
- All activities of the Board Members should be duly reported to the Board. When a Board Member is directly involved in a project; PSCE Board-level decision(s) relating to that project (e.gs. concerning budget or allocations of work), should take place with the abstention of the material Board Member; - Sponsorship: Sponsors should receive the benefits as defined in the sponsorship and dissemination policy only. Any sponsor should not influence in any way whatsoever the functioning of PSCE;
- EU projects and other funding: As a principle, when there is a consortium that is being set-up that is either being led by PSCE or in which PSCE is a partner, or in which a PSCE member is asking for support, a call should be made to PSCE members with the relevant skills. A selection of the best appropriate candidates can be undertaken on the basis of the needs of the project that should be clearly set according to defined processes.
- The rule of confidentiality applies inter alia to all members of the Secretariat.
Specific attention to PCP and/or public procurement with PSCE involvement
In the event of a PCP or procurement project, where PSCE is involved in the core team of the PCP (i.e. non-supply side), special attention should be taken by the PSCE Board:
- All information discussed in the Board meetings is confidential.
- Information related to a PCP is communicated on a need-to-know basis, especially when a Board member is involved in the supply side of the PCP
No advantage will be accepted in any way by PSCE members from interested third parties in order to respect in full the principles of equality of treatment, transparency and fair competition.
In the event that a Board Member becomes involved in a PCP as a possible supplier, an additional precautionary principle will be adopted: the Board Member will be excluded from any discussion and decision related to this PCP/procurement.
The confidentiality of the information gathered for the duration of the project is confidential and should be highly protected.
The details of the management of a PCP are never to be discussed in Board meetings.
3°) Conflicts of Interest Register
In all cases of a potential conflict of interest, a risk assessment will be prepared by the Secretariat and discussed at each Board meeting, including the possibility of mitigation measures, as appropriate. A record of the risk assessment will be kept by the Secretariat (identification of the risk, likelihood and mitigation measures in a register).