U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Financial Guide 2006 - Part I - Chapter 3: Conflicts of Interest

Highlights of Chapter

  • Advice
  • Appearance

Personnel and other officials connected with agency-funded programs shall adhere to the following requirements:


No official or employee of a State or unit of local government or a nongovernmental recipient/subrecipient shall participate personally through decisions, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise in any proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, award, cooperative agreement, claim, controversy, or other particular matter in which award funds (including program income or other funds generated by federally funded activities) are used, where to his/her knowledge, he/she or his/her immediate family, partners, organization other than a public agency in which he/she is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, or any person or organization with whom he/she is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment, has a financial interest, or has less than an arms-length transaction.


In the use of agency project funds, officials or employees of State or local units of government and nongovernmental recipient/subrecipients shall avoid any action, which might result in, or create the appearance of:

  • Using his or her official position for private gain
  • Giving preferential treatment to any person
  • Losing complete independence or impartiality
  • Making an official decision outside official channels
  • Affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the Government or the program.

For example, where a recipient of Federal funds makes subawards under any competitive process and an actual conflict or an appearance of a conflict of interest exists, the person for whom the actual or apparent conflict of interest exists should recuse himself or herself not only from reviewing the application for which the conflict exists, but also from the evaluation of all competing applications.

Also, it is a conflict of interest for a board member of a nonprofit organization to receive consulting fees or contracts from Federal grants to organizations that he/she oversees as a member of the board, unless approved in advance by the awarding agency.

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