Conflict of interest can turn into a tricky conversation, especially with the steady rise of independent contractors working for multiple clients at a time. Today’s guest, David Bunker, helps us understand the ‘conflict of interest’ risk management process. David is one of the top compliance professionals around and serves as the Compliance Officer for Vulcan Inc. Tom and David discuss how to best handle these kinds of risks and what independent gig economy contractors can do for your organization.

  • If you’ve ever been employed, you would know that conflict of interests – whether you’re aware of it or not – are inevitable because it’s difficult to achieve complete contentment. Perhaps, it’s because it feels like there’s always more just waiting for us out there. It might also be our evolutionary trait to aspire to become more and have more because this motivates our growth as individual members of society.
  • David tells Tom how dealing with these concerns in the open made it easier to manage. Since employees/contractors, especially those in a start-up company, will always have other roles. They can be beneficial, it’s simply a matter of focusing on where the real conflicts lie, and not just that they’re working for someone else or they’ve got an interest outside of work. As long as it doesn’t bring the organization harm, it’s a win-win situation.
  • The last thing an independent contractor needs is their good reputation being tarnished by employers implicating them for conflict of interest just because they’re working for different clients that may or may not be overlapping.
  • Companies should realize that these people may just be looking for other sources of income, and on other occasions, wish to pursue a cause they support – that should be encouraged because that’s what makes people unique.
  • When you train people with the extra elements appropriately and are careful not to damage the independent contractor’s status, then you will find that it’s very easy to work through those perceived conflicts, David shares.

Remember, compliance cannot work in a silo, you have to work hand in hand with your colleagues. If they are going to be part of the organization, then make sure to have trained them appropriately. The difficulty is in understanding their roles sufficiently well so you can apply the training — that’s an ongoing challenge but it’s what you have to do. You need to find the right training for the right people and move forward from there.

If you’re a compliance professional looking for a convenient and effective way to fulfill your continuing education requirements, go to FCPAComplianceReport.com/Courses and choose from 4 hour-long training packages that will keep you up to date with the latest developments in the compliance field.

 

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