Securities Commission did not unreasonably apply conflict of interest policy and procedure
Whether the Securities Commission’s policy and procedures relating to the management of conflicts of interest were applied appropriately in this case—Chief Ombudsman concluded the Commission did not act unreasonably
The complainant raised concerns about whether a member of the Securities Commission, was or could be perceived to have had a conflict of interest in terms of section 62 of the Crown Entities Act 2004. The complainant believed that the person so named as having a conflict of interest should have declared his position before a recommendation was made to the Minister about a particular matter being considered by the Securities Commission.
The Chief Ombudsman considered that there were no grounds for considering that the person named by the complainant had, or could be perceived as having had, a conflict of interest in terms of section 62 of the Crown Entities Act 2004, or of any material to suggest that he was otherwise biased or motivated by malice. The Chief Ombudsman also considered that there was therefore no necessity for the person named by the complainant, to have raised the matter of his brother’s business affairs. That he did so out of caution did not provide grounds for criticism and it followed that the Chief Ombudsman saw no detriment arising from the fact that he raised the matter after the recommendation had been made to the Minister.
None of the information the Chief Ombudsman examined would have led her to conclude that the Commission’s decision to make the recommendation was affected by any undisclosed conflict of interest, potential or otherwise, on the person’s part. The complaint was not sustained.
This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.