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What is a conflict?

A conflict is a clash of interest

Basis of conflict may be personal, racial, class, caste, political and international


What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another


How do you avoid conflict on a project?

Firstly, ensure the tender information is clear, concise when tendering the project. i.e. a clear scope of works

If there is a dispute, use a people approach first and try to negotiate an agreement before going legal

As a last resort you should go legal

A proactive strategy for completion of a project will help avoid conflicts and will include a thorough assessment of the risks for disputes occurring with agreed procedures for dealing with differences of opinion amicably


What are some conflict avoidance processes?

Good management - Proactivity and raising any concerns early on

Clear contract documentation - capturing specific details of project and addressing potential risks

Partnering and alliancing - building co-operation between project members to foster team working, problem solving

Good project management – proactively manage all aspects of time, money and risk associated with project

Good client management - understanding the client’s objectives and approach to risk is valuable

Good construction management

Good design team management

Good payment practice - payments made promptly after work conducted

Record keeping

Regular reporting and proactivity


What is the key RICS GN relating to conflict avoidance and dispute resolution?

RICS Guidance Note – Conflict Avoidance and Dispute Resolution in Construction (2012)


What is the main focus of the RICS GN Conflict Avoidance and Dispute Resolution in Construction (2012)?

Identifies the key areas surveyors should understand in respect of avoiding conflict and resolving disputes


What are some common causes of disputes?

o Contract errors or omissions
o Differing site conditions
o Noncompliance of contractual obligation
o Unclear definition of risk


What is dispute resolution?

DR is about recognising when a dispute has arisen and appreciating the escalation of that dispute

Understanding the range of techniques available to resolve dispute and seeking appropriate guidance before client is placed at a disadvantage in respect of its position with the other party


What techniques are available to resolve disputes?

Negotiation – the problem-solving efforts of the parties themselves

Mediation / conciliation – a third-party intervention DOES NOT not lead to a binding decision being imposed on the parties

Adjudicative process – the final outcome is determined by a third party who DOES impose a binding decision on the parties


What are the THREE types of COI defined in the RICS MPS Conflicts of Interest?

1.   Party Conflict
2.  Own Interest Conflict
3.  Confidential Information Conflict


What is a PARTY COI?

Where a member acting in the interests of a client/other party conflicts with a duty owed to another client/other party

E.G. advising both a landlord and a tenant when negotiating terms of a lease



Where a member acting in the interests of a client/other party conflicts with the own interests of the member

E.G. including a contractor on a tender list for a client
where the member has an interest in the contractor’s company i.e. family or an investment



Where a member providing information to one client
conflicts with a duty to another client to keep that same information confidential

E.G. telling one client about the feedback from a pre-app on another client’s scheme


How do you identify a COI?

Database checks, advisory emails to staff to enquire about any individual involvement, existing record searches, etc.

Some firms might request staff declare any personal interests in property at time of joining organisation, and to update the register on an ongoing basis

Proper consideration of business and ownership structures (such as separate legal entities, any common directors, any fee sharing, etc)

The embarrassment test – would the issue be embarrassing if reported in the news?

Continue to refer to the PS


What conflict have you come across and how did you manage it?

Record keeping via spreadsheet recording information, date of email and who the email is to