What is ‘public interest’?

‘Public interest’ encompasses and includes the following:

  • complying with applicable law (both its letter and spirit);
  • carrying out functions fairly and impartially;
  • complying with the principles of procedural fairness/natural justice;
  • acting reasonably;
  • ensuring accountability and transparency;
  • exposing corrupt conduct or serious maladministration;
  • avoiding or properly managing private interests conflicting with official duties; and
  • acting apolitically in the performance of official functions.

There’s no rule book for working in the public interest and, despite arguments that it is too loose, ambiguous and easy to hide behind, it is an integral part of the discourse, law, regulation and governance of modern democracies.

Source: The Conversation