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16 October 2014
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Conflicts of Interest Guidelines

1 General

The BBC's reputation for impartiality and objectivity is crucial. The public must be able to trust the integrity of BBC programmes and services. Our audiences need to be confident that the outside activities of our programme makers or presenters do not undermine the BBC's impartiality and that editorial decisions are not influenced by any commercial or personal interests.

Conflicts of interest can arise for anyone who appears on air or has responsibility for the content of a programme or service or associated activity. Presenters, reporters, producers, editors and researchers are all affected. There may be particular sensitivities concerning on-air talent. For editorial staff the greater the level of responsibility the greater the need to avoid any possible conflict of interest. Each programme department or team will need to identify its area of vulnerability.

The BBC should be satisfied that everyone involved in editorial decisions and programme making is free from inappropriate outside commitments. The principles apply equally to freelances or staff. It is also important that independent producers should not have any interests which could undermine the integrity and impartiality of the programmes or websites which they produce for the BBC.

It may also be appropriate to consider whether the position of families and close personal contacts presents a likely conflict of interest.

When drawing up contracts for presenters, freelances and production staff, the provisions of these guidelines should be taken into account.

BBC production and editorial staff are required to declare any personal interest which may affect their work with the BBC. These interests will be registered with Human Resources and copied to the relevant manager or Head of Department. Interests should be declared on a Declaration of Personal Interest Form. The staff handbook "Conflict of Interest" available on gateway or from Human Resources Departments gives further details. Production and editorial staff will be asked to up date their declarations on a regular basis.

Freelance presenters, reporters, producers and researchers will be required to declare any personal interests which may affect their work with the BBC.

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