Conflict of Interest – Don’t make it personal

thumbnail.jpg

There’s been a few articles published suggesting that the BC government’s Professional Reliance review, and especially the recommendations of the review’s Final Report, are a personal attack on professionals. For years the public has been voicing serious concern over the inherent conflict of interest that Registered Professional Foresters operate under.  The RPF is responsible for protecting the public interest (e.g. watershed and visual quality protection) while simultaneously maximizing timber revenue for their employer.  You don’t have to be unprofessional to be in a conflict of interest — it isn’t personal, it’s the system.

Some professionals have dismissed out-of-hand the goal of reducing this conflict of interest and improving their profession’s ability to protect the public interest. But doesn’t that just confirm the public’s concern?