8. Their issues

8.1 Conflict of Interest

It is inevitable that Members may, from time to time, face potential or direct conflicts of interest. It is recognised that there is often a level of general conflict which may result from the fact that a Member is a participant in a particular fishery. Of greater concern is the specific conflict created where a Member is in a position to derive direct benefit from a particular committee recommendation if it is subsequently implemented, particularly if the Member may derive a disproportionate benefit (or loss) compared to others. Members should recognise the potential for conflict to occur and be aware that, in cases of direct conflict, the operations of the committee will be affected by an undisclosed conflict of interest. Accordingly, a commonsense approach should be taken and, if there is any doubt, a conflict of interest should be declared and recognised in the committee’s discussions. The processes for declaring and dealing with a conflict of interest are set out in Attachment C.

8.1.1 Obligations Under Other Legislation

Industry Members on MACs/CCs are appointed by AFMA under the Act and are concerned with, or participate in, AFMA’s management of Commonwealth fisheries. Accordingly, MAC Members are subject to those provisions of both the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (the CAC Act) and the Crimes Act 1914 (the Crimes Act) which relate to the behaviour of officers. Certain provisions under these Acts apply even after a person ceases to be a MAC Member.

Members of MAC Sub-committees and FAGs have an advisory function only and are not considered to be officers for the purposes of the CAC Act and the Crimes Act.

Although Members on some committees may not be directly subject to the provisions of the above Acts, AFMA expects that, while undertaking their duties, Members will act in accordance with the intent of those Acts. Accordingly, key provisions of those Acts have been reflected in the obligations and responsibilities of Members as set out in section 5 of this Paper.

8.2 Indemnity of Members

AFMA’s Directors and Officers Liability Insurance extends to Chairs and other Members of MACs but does not cover Members of MAC Sub-committees or FAGs or personnel employed under contract, which includes Executive Officers of some MACs. Members who are not covered by Liability Insurance should be aware that they can be held liable for actions taken or statements made in their capacity as a committee Member.

Insurance coverage is only to the extent that acts which incur liability are taken by a Member in good faith. Members are not insured against acts or conduct involving lack of good faith.

8.3 Resigning from a Committee

Members may resign from a committee at any time by giving a signed notice of resignation to the AFMA Chairman. Upon receipt of a written resignation, AFMA will, unless otherwise agreed, initiate appropriate action to fill the vacancy left by the resigning member.

This paper was approved by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, June 1999.