16 Oct. 2014|News

GOPAC Calls for Parliamentarians to Stand Against Conflicts of Interest

Ottawa, Canada – The Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) is calling for parliamentarians to stand against conflicts of interest for the improvement of integrity in parliament and a successful fight against corruption in GOPAC’s latest position paper,Preventing a Tragedy of the Commons, on inaugural Global Ethics Day.

“It would be a tragedy for democracy if parliamentarians gave into the thinking that conflicts of interest are not at the root of many of our current problems with corruption,” said Brig Gen. Sk. Abu Bakr, a member of GOPAC’s Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct Global Task Force. “Through this paper GOPAC is paving the way forward for parliaments to take actions to prevent conflicts of interest and strengthen the integrity of our democratic institutions.”

The position paper outlines key measures parliamentarians around the world should take to prevent conflicts of interest and a tragedy of the commons, including:

  • Refraining from seeking and accepting positions as directors on boards of for-profit corporations while they are assuming legislative duties;
  • Opening parliamentary data up to the public so that standards of accountability and transparency are raised and parliamentarians maintain the confidence, which comes with integrity, of both citizens and constituents;
  • Pushing for democratic reforms that would eliminate situations whereby part-time legislators are forced to assume other paid work while assuming public duties; and
  • Assuring that an ethics commissioner, or similar independent office, is sufficiently supported in its work of maintaining integrity in parliament.

It also explores the potential role that former parliamentarians can play in the strengthening of governance outside of public institutions and the parliament.

A full copy of the paper is available for download on the GOPAC website: