Declaration of the Roundtable on Conflict of Interest in Public Policy

  • Conflict of Interest In The Public Policy Mr KC Tyagi

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    We, the participants, individuals and organizations in various capacities such as law, economics, media, nutrition, anthropology, medicine, research, social work and human rights,public health, peoples movements, have come together at the at the Roundtable Conference of”Conflicts of Interest in Public Policy” organized by the ‘Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM)’ and Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) having discussed the concepts, issues, and methods of preventing and managing conflicts of interest in public policies;
    Recognize that there has been a global recommendation by the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which India is a signatory to, identifies conflicts of interest as a precursor to corruption; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides guidance and tools to identify, prevent and manage conflicts of interest; article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on the protection of public health policies with respect to tobacco control from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry  (ratified by Government of India ); and World Health Assembly resolutions on infant and young
    child nutrition urging State parties to prevent conflicts of interests in policy and programmes; and many countries including developed and developing countries have taken steps to develop certain mechanisms to prevent and detect conflict of interests;
    Acknowledge that Constitution of India provides for oath under Article 246, Schedule 7-List III Concurrent List item 12; the Rajya Sabha’s Department-related Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, Government of India in its 69th Report also recommended that conflict of interest be included under bribery (15 A); and in July 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a law on conflict of interest;
    Note that Conflicts of Interest can be institutional or personal and with the growing abundance of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the public policy sector especially noted in the health and nutrition policies, involve complex relationships among the government actors and ‘interested’ partners;
    Alarmed that situations of conflicts of interest in health and nutrition policies can have a negative impact on public health or the economy;
    Concerned that the Government of India has not taken any serious action in this direction; 
    We there fore recommend the following in public interest:
    1. Government of India and State governments should issue a notification for declaration of interests by all participants in all official meetings/related bodies/expert committees etc.
    2. Government of India should issue guidelines on identifying and managing conflicts of interest.
  • 3. Formulate and implement tools to identify and manage conflicts of interest in public policy/programmes with the use tools including those suggested by OECD and WHO.
    4. Enact a legal framework to prevent and manage conflicts of interest.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    SJM Dr. Ashwani Mahajan 9212209090
    BPNI: Nupur Bidla 995816361

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