Conflict of Interest Policy 431.00
Series: 400 Personnel
Section: Employee Conduct and Performance
Purpose: Employees of Johnson County Community College have an obligation to uphold the public trust, protect and advance the College’s integrity and act in the best interests of the College while carrying out their official College duties. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that employees identify and disclose potential Conflicts of Interest, and conduct themselves in a manner that will not compromise the integrity of the College.
Scope: This Policy applies to all employees except for Trustees and Designated Officers covered by the Code of Ethics – Policy 114.02.
- “Conflict of Interest” - An actual Conflict of Interest occurs when financial or personal considerations compromise an individual’s objectivity, professional judgment, professional integrity and/or ability to perform his/her responsibilities for the College. A perceived or potential Conflict of Interest can occur when, although there is no actual Conflict of Interest, the circumstances are such that a reasonable person might question whether a decision maker is biased in carrying out his/her professional responsibilities for the College. The following non-exclusive list provides examples of situations that often give rise to an actual or potential Conflict of Interest:
- An employee …
- has an ownership interest in an entity with which the College does business;
- receives significant salary or other compensation from an entity/individual with which/whom the College does business;
- receives individual gifts or individual discounts from an entity/individual with which/whom the College does business, when the donor’s intent is to influence such individual in the performance of his/her official College duties;
- is an officer, director or other key decision maker for an entity with which the College does business;
- receives significant commissions or fees as part of an outside business from a customer/client with which the College also does business; or
- has a Family Member or close personal relationship with someone who fits into one of the categories described above.
- The terms “Family Member” and “Designated Officer” shall have the same meaning as in the Code of Ethics – Policy 114.02.
1. Disclosure of Interests: Although most potential Conflicts of Interest are and will be deemed inconsequential, in the interest of avoiding the appearance of a Conflict of Interest, employees are responsible for disclosing potential Conflicts of Interest to their supervisors for review and determination of the appropriate course of action. An employee may be required by his/her supervisor to complete a written disclosure form in connection with the employee’s involvement in making decisions on behalf of the College. In determining whether an interest needs to be disclosed, employees should err on the side of caution and construe this Policy broadly in favor of disclosure.
2. Agreements, Contracts and Purchases: College employees shall not knowingly promote and/or enter into any agreement, contract or other binding business relationship (a “Business Agreement”) on behalf of the College when a Conflict of Interest exists. The term Business Agreement includes, but is not limited to, purchase agreements for goods, services and real property, leases, affiliation agreements, sales agreements, grant contracts, memoranda of understanding, letter/arrangement agreements, commitments, etc. A Conflict of Interest shall preclude an employee from participating in the selection and negotiation, or in any other decision-making processes, in the following circumstances:
- Employee is employed by or is the other party to the Business Agreement.
- Employee and his/her Family Member(s) have owned more than $5,000 or 5% of the other party to the Business Agreement at any time in the preceding 12 months.
- Employee and his/her Family Member(s) received at least $2,000 in taxable compensation (wages, commissions, fees, etc.) in the preceding tax year from the other party to the Business Agreement.
- Employee and his/her Family Member(s) received at least $500 in gifts in the preceding 12 months from the other party to the Business Agreement, unless a gift is due to a personal relationship and clearly not for the purpose of influencing the Employee’s official College duties.
- Employee or his/her Family Member(s) holds a key decision maker position with the other party to the Business Agreement (officer, director, partner, executive, proprietor, etc.).
3. Gifts: College employees who participate in selecting vendors, products and contractors and/or participate in forming Business Agreements should avoid accepting substantial individual gifts and individual discounts from outside individuals and entities that are existing or potential vendors and contractors for those Business Agreements when it is clear that the donor’s intent is to influence an employee’s official College duties. Occasional meals, beverages and other non-extravagant gifts are acceptable as long as they are not conditioned upon the employee taking official action on behalf of the College. An employee who believes he/she may have accepted a gift giving rise to an actual or perceived Conflict of Interest, should notify his/her supervisor pursuant to this Policy.
Employees are encouraged to consider donation of any gifts and/or proceeds for the benefit of the College or Foundation. A gift received as a result of a purchase made by the College will typically be deemed as a gift to the College and not any individual employee, unless the College determines otherwise. Gifts made to the College, whether directly or indirectly through one of its employees, shall be subject to the Gifts, Grants and External Funds – Policy 212.05.
4. Restraint on Participation: With respect to a particular transaction or item of business, if an employee is deemed by the supervisor to have an actual or significant perceived Conflict of Interest, that employee shall not participate in the decision for which he/she has the Conflict of Interest. Decisions related to that transaction or item of business shall be made solely by disinterested employees. In determining whether an employee shall be required to refrain from participation, the supervisor should consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including whether the contract price is fixed by law or whether the transaction will be entered into solely and exclusively on the basis of the competitive bidding process, in which case, an employee with a potential Conflict of Interest may still be allowed to participate in some parts of the process.
5. Disciplinary Action: Violations of this Policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
6. Interpretation of Policy: Internal Audit and the Office of General Counsel will be responsible for interpreting this Policy and any related Procedures, as they may be applicable to specific situations.
Revised: 06/20/2002, 08/15/2013 (Previous version Conflict of Interests – 215.06)