Conflict of interest

You may not participate in the administration of matters when your impartiality may be questioned pursuant to the conflict of interest provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Swedish Code of Statutes 2017:900). Following is information about the conflict of interest provisions, including decisions by supervisory authorities and university practice, along with KTH policy documents concerning conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act

Section 16:

An individual who becomes privy to administration of a matter on behalf of the authority in a manner that may affect the decision has a conflict of interest if
1. the individual or closely-related person is a party to the matter or otherwise may be affected by the outcome to a significant extent
2. the individual or a closely-related person is or has been a deputy or representative of a party to the matter or of someone else who may be affected by the outcome to a significant extent
3. the individual has participated in final administration of a matter at another authority and has thereby taken a position on questions that the authority is to hear in its capacity as a higher body
4. there are extraordinary grounds for questioning the individual’s impartiality in the matter
The authority is to disregard conflict of interest if the issue of impartiality clearly lacks importance.

Section 17:

An individual with a conflict of interest may not participate in administration of the matter or be in attendance when any aspect of the matter is adjudicated. The individual may nevertheless perform tasks that would occasion undue delay if left to anyone else.

Section 18:

An individual who is aware of circumstances that may occasion a conflict of interest is to immediately notify the authority.
The authority is to examine any possible conflict of interest as expeditiously as possible.
The subject of the inquiry is to participate in the examination only if required for the authority to have a quorum and if no replacement can be found without occasioning undue delay.

Decisions by supervisory authorities and university practice

The table below shows a selection of decisions by supervisory authorities and university practice. Click the link in the table to go to the decision.

Keep in mind: An assessment pursuant to Chapter 16, Section 4, Administrative Procedure Act, looks at all the circumstances of the matter. Even if any number of the circumstances do not constitute conflict of interest in themselves, they may do so in their totality.

Area

Decision

Basic circumstances

Conflict of interest?

Tutoring

JO 1985/86 p. 397

The examiner had previously tutored the student in the course requirements.

Yes

Shareholder

JK 1995 E 1

Heads of divisions participated in administration of matters concerning companies in which they had significant minority interests.

Yes

Shareholder

JK 1995 E 1

The head of the department set the price of computers that the university sold to a company at which the head of the department was a partner.

Yes

Friendship

ÖNH reg no. 22-565-11

An expert had previously had a close friendship with a candidate for a teaching position that subsequently turned hostile.

Yes

Friendship

ÖNH reg. no. 22-707-04

The member of a teacher nominating committee had a friendship with a candidate for a teaching position.

Yes

Letters of recommendation

ÖNH reg. no. 21-250-00

As employee representatives ten years earlier, experts had written letters of recommendation for a candidate for a teaching position.

No

Joint authorship and research collaboration

ÖNH reg. no. 21-3299-08

The head of the department had ongoing research collaboration and co-publication with a candidate. The head of the department spoke of the candidate’s merits at a meeting of the employment committee.

Yes

Kinship and joint authorship

ÖNH reg. no. 29-1029-06

A wife was among the candidates for a position. Her husband participated in administration of the applications of other candidates. Recent co-publications with two members of the recruitment team.

Yes

Joint authorship

ÖNH reg. no. 22-335-03

A candidate cited nine works published in 1996-2000 for which a membership of the teacher nominating committee was a principal or co-author. The associate professor position was advertised in 2002.

Yes

Joint authorship

ÖNH reg. no. 22-244-00

A candidate cited six works published with an expert and other authors in 1991-1997. The expert assessment was written in late 1998.

Yes

Close colleague

ÖNH reg. no. 215-259-14

Close collaboration between a candidate and a member of the family of a decision-maker who participated in the appointment process.

Yes

Supervisor and colleague

ÖNH reg. no. 21-209-03

An expert had previously supervised a candidate and subsequently been a colleague until approximately two years before advertisement of the associate professor position.

No

Supervisor, joint author and colleague

ÖNH reg. no. 21-353-08

The chairperson of a teacher nominating committee and faculty board had been an assistant supervisor of the candidate and subsequently a co-author in close collaboration on the board (the candidate was the deputy chairperson of the board).

Yes

Abbreviations in the table:

Parliamentary Ombudsman (JO)

Chancellor of Justice (JK)

Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH)

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