A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. A conflict of interest can exist in several kinds of situations:
- with a public official whose personal interests conflict with his/her professional position
- with an employee who works for one company but who may have personal interests that compete with his/her employment
- with a person who has a position of authority in one organization that conflicts with his or her interests in another organization
- with a person who has conflicting responsibilities
The judge had a conflict of interest because he had a personal relationship with one of the parties in the lawsuit, so he took himself off the case.
The board member signed a conflict of interest agreement after disclosing his affiliation with one of the company's suppliers.