Seven Keys to Handling Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest arise when officials or staff stand to benefit--either directly themselves or indirectly through business partners or relatives--from the awarding or contracting of grant funds. Grantees are encouraged to avoid conflicts of interest to the extent possible. When conflicts of interest arise, grantees must identify, disclose, and manage them in compliance with applicable rules and regulations. When conflict-of-interest issues are overlooked or hidden, this creates problems for the individuals involved, as well as grantees, subrecipients, or contractors.
This bulletin discusses common types of conflicts of interest, offers best practices for avoiding and managing them, and the potential consequences of not handling them appropriately. It provides seven keys to handling conflicts of interest when using HUD program funds in procurement or non-procurement activities, knowing the requirements, training employees, creating procedures to document compliance, implementing the regulations, knowing the consequences, requesting exceptions, and getting help. The bulletin provides examples of conflict-of-interest issues in both procurement and non-procurement activities, along with ways in which these conflicts could have been better managed.