Final year students of the Divine Word University were warned about “conflict of interest” situations as they may find themselves in at the workplace and were asked to stay clear.
This was the message delivered by Madang resident National and Supreme Court judge, Justice Dr Vergil Narokobi as he sounded the warning at the 13th Missioning Ceremony for final year students last Friday.
Justice Narokobi told the students that conflict of interest arises when they put personal or private interests before professional duties.
“When you decide to award a contract to your ‘wantok’ and you over-look other more professionally qualified contractors, it brings into question the integrity of the process and whether the work would be completed on time and to a high standard.
Justice Narokobi further explained that words such as wantok system, nepotism, bribery and kick-backs are related to actions of conflict of interest.”
“Conflict of interest can arise when you have personal relationship with someone or you have a financial interest.
“Direct conflict of interest is when you will directly benefit from the decisions that you will make; indirect is when you are a member or director of an organization who benefit from the decision that is going to be taken.
Justice Narokobi reminded the outgoing students that they would come across this term, “conflict of interest” situations in their professional life and they must not compromise their personal and professional integrity.
He urged them to stand by the codes of conduct in each of their professions or disciplines.
When giving his keynote address, Justice Narokobi addressed the DWU students on ethics of contemporary PNG.
“Ethics in contemporary Papua New Guinea is not a matter of personal choice but is part and parcel of our discipline, ethics is as important as being highly skilled and competent in your discipline.” said Justice Narokobi.
President of DWU Professor Father Philip Gibbs in his welcome address highlighted the purpose of the Missioning Ceremony as threefold:
- The acknowledge the development of students as creative, intellectual persons in a religious environment;
- Students receive a miniature cross each which carries the Christian message of love, forgiveness, and God’s reconciliation with humanity; and
- To say thank you to God and fellow men (staff to students and vice versa).
Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Lae, Bishop Rosario Menezes was the main celebrant of the Missioning Mass.
Local businessman and DWU Alumni Association Madang Chapter President Tony Charles Kerowa thanked DWU for taking care of the students and molding them into fine young professionals about enter the workforce.