The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) was told to review its recruitment and conflict of interest policies and practices, after a senior manager engaged in “blatant” nepotism.
An investigation found the MFB chief information officer engineered a recruitment process to ensure both her sons were hired, after she falsified their CVs, coached them prior to the interview, and got them to change their names to conceal the relationship. She even offered one of her sons a pay increase and moved him into a permanent role.
In a report into the allegations, Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass found this was “a case of deception where the family nest was feathered, plain and simple” and said even the most robust policy would not have prevented the level of deception shown by each of the subjects.
However, she found the MFB’s conflict of interest policy to be “profoundly deficient”, saying it “fails to acknowledge the potential for conflicts to exist during recruitment”.
Ombudsman Glass said while the employer in this case could not be held responsible for the deception perpetrated upon it, its conflict of interest policies were weak, and did not reflect best practice. She said “…..leaders must ensure they create an environment in which conflict of interest policies are embedded in their organisational culture.”
If you need to check your policies and procedures you should seek some HR advice from a professional as soon as possible to figure out your next steps forward.
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