The Conflict of Interest Act was passed as part of the Federal Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006. The Conflict of Interest Act came into effect on July 9, 2007.
The Act replaced the Conflict of Interest Code for Public Office Holders, creating, for the first time, a legislative regime to govern ethical conduct of public office holders, both during and after employment. Compliance with the Act is a condition of a person’s appointment or employment as a public office holder.
A number of important changes to the former rules set out in the predecessor Code were introduced in the Act. Notably, the Act includes a definition of what constitutes a conflict of interest, provides for the imposition of administrative monetary penalties of up to $500 for a failure by reporting public office holders to meet certain deadlines and gives the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner the power to self-initiate examinations.