Guidelines on conflict of interest (impartiality and confidence)
This document describes the ONS and the Innovation Award Jury’s guidelines on conflict of interest with respect to evaluation of and decision on application(s) received for the Innovation Awards.
Each individual is responsible for assessing his/her own impartiality and providing notification of any circumstance which may disqualify him/her.
The provisions pertaining to impartiality is based on Chapter II “Concerning disqualification” of the Public Administration Act.
1.1 Disqualification based on discretionary assessment
A member of the Innovation Award Jury or member of the ONS Administration shall be disqualified from preparing the basis for a decision or from making any decision in a case if there are any special circumstances which are apt to impair confidence in his or her impartiality.
Every effort should be made to assess impartiality on a discretionary basis. Such assessment should primarily be focused on whether special circumstances exist that could impair confidence in a member’s impartiality. In other words, the crucial element here is not whether there is reason to believe that an individual will act in a non-impartial manner, but whether confidence in this individual is likely to be diminished. It is on the basis of how this will be perceived by the parties involved, as well as by the public at large, that the assessment must be carried out.
Example on special circumstances that could impair confidence in a member’s impartiality: A bid situation or an aquisition involving a member of the Innovation Jury (or his/her enterprise/institution) and an applicant.
1.2 Automatic disqualification
A member of the Innovation Award Jury or member of the ONS Administration shall automatically be disqualified from preparing the basis for a decision or from making any decision if:
a) he himself or she herself is party to the case;
b) he or she is related by blood or by marriage to a party in direct line of ascent or descent, or collaterally as close as a sibling;
c) he or she is or has been married or engaged to, cohabitant with or the registered partner of a party, or is the foster parent or foster child of a party;
d) he or she is the agent of a party to the case or has been the agent of a party after the case began;
e) he or she is the head of, or holds a senior position in, or is a member of the executive board or the corporate assembly of a public or private institution that is a party to the case;
f) he himself or she herself is a party to an application in direct competition with the application being processed.
A person who is a party to the case, or is in a close relationship to a party to the case as described under this section, will be automatically disqualified without any further consideration