In 2014, a working group was established to develop a policy on conflict of interest at CERN and to review the related obligations under Article S I.3.13 of the Staff Regulations. The group was composed of the Director of Administration and General Infrastructure, the Heads of the Human Resources Department, Internal Audit and the Legal Service, as well as other representatives from these services.
In March 2015, the Director-General approved the working group’s recommendation to adopt a global conflict of interest prevention and management policy that is based on established best practices, that further implements CERN’s core value of integrity, and which, like the CERN Code of Conduct, applies to all CERN contributors.
The Conflict of Interest Policy, together with implementation guidelines, was presented to the Enlarged Directorate in April and approved by the Director-General for entry into force on 10 April 2015. It has been integrated with the existing Anti-Fraud Policy (introduced on 1 January 2013) into a single document, “Integrity at CERN”, which is available at: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2007473/files/IntegrityCERN.pdf .
As conflict of interest and fraud could compromise the accomplishment of the Organization’s objectives and undermine its functioning, credibility and reputation, as well as that of its personnel, CERN is committed to their prevention and management. In order to raise awareness and prevent conflict of interest situations in the workplace, presentations on this subject were made to the Management teams in all CERN Departments.
All CERN contributors have a key role to play in the prevention and management of conflict of interest. To ensure that the best interests of CERN are served, and to avoid possible suspicions of bias and partiality in performing their professional duties, CERN contributors are required to recognise situations that could give rise to a conflict of interest or the perception of same. Where it is impossible to avoid such a situation, for example due to the nature of their functions, or in case of doubt, CERN contributors shall promptly disclose to the Organization that they have, or may have, a conflict of interest. The implementation guidelines will assist CERN contributors in understanding and fulfilling this important obligation.