How do I recognise a conflict of interest? A conflict of interest is that situation of risk in which a person’s private interest could interfere with the proper exercise of their professional judgement on behalf of another person who legitimately places their trust in that judgement. Conflicts of interest are circumstantial situations that may occur in the exercise of most professions. In the course of professional practice, public servants can find themselves, at a given time, in a situation in which they have a private interest that could influence their impartiality and objectivity. So conflicts of interest are a: These situations are characterised by the conflict of professional duty with private interest. In fact, to emphasise the conflict between duty and interest, the Anti-Fraud Office has chosen to use the term conflict of interest and not interests.