Disclosure of Outside Activities, Financial Interests and Conflict of Interest and Request for Approval of Extra State Compensation
Elizabeth D. Capaldi, Provost
The following is updated information regarding procedures and revised forms involving outside activities, financial interests and conflict of interest, and request for approval of extra state compensation.
OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES, FINANCIAL INTERESTS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Members of the University community may engage in outside employment, consulting, and other similar activities in addition to their employment with the University as long as such activities are allowed under state law and University policies. It is recognized that these activities may further the dissemination and use of the knowledge and expertise developed at the University and may also advance the professional competence and reputation of employees. Thus, participation in non-university activities often serves the mission of the University, in addition to benefiting the individual. However, such activities and financial interests of the employees are of concern to the University and may be disallowed if they result in conflicts with the employee’s duties, responsibilities, and obligations to the institution. All members of the university community should be familiar with and adhere to the laws and rules concerning these activities.
Faculty, A&P, USPS, and OPS employees may accept additional employment/activities outside of the University of Florida so long as the activity is allowed under applicable law and rules and appropriate supervisory approval is secured before accepting the employment. This requirement of approval is not meant to be intrusive, but rather it is designed to prevent conflict of interest situations from occurring.
Responsibilities of Administrators – The employee’s dean, director or department chairperson has the following two responsibilities: 1) informing and educating employees about the University’s policy on disclosure of outside activities and financial interests in activities occurring outside or within the University that could be perceived as, or constitute, a conflict of interest; and 2) ascertaining that the employee’s university responsibilities are not being abrogated by the activity after it has been disclosed.
- The hiring administrator is responsible for providing new employees with the information regarding outside activities and conflict of interest. For faculty it should be included in the letter of offer of employment and is stated on the annual contract with a sign-off requirement.
- The administrator is responsible for reviewing the reported activity and notifying the employee whether or not the activity may be conducted. If not, then the reasons for not allowing the activity must be provided. If the activity is allowed with conditions, the administrator shall provide conditions under which the activity may be done.
- The administrator is responsible for advising the employee that authorization by the Office of Research, Technology and Graduate Education is necessary if the activity involves waiving any rights to intellectual property, and advising the employee of the requirement to contact the Division of Purchasing if this office is involved.
- The administrator is responsible for establishing and advising the employee of the charges he or she must pay if using University equipment, facilities, and/or services.
- The administrator is responsible for informing the employee that the University requires an approved Disclosure of Outside Activities and Financial Interests form be attached to each applicable requisition to purchase from an enterprise in which an employee has material financial or managerial interest. If there is a requisition prepared to purchase from an enterprise an employee has a material interest in, the employee with the substantial interest cannot approve the requisition. If the purchase is allowed under state law, the approval of the employee’s supervisor will be required when an outside interest exists regardless of whether those proposed purchases fall under the sole source, emergency, or special purchasing category.
Responsibilities of Employees – Employees wishing to engage in activities outside or within the University have an obligation to disclose and receive approval of activities prior to engaging in these activities and to assure that such activities do not infringe upon responsibilities and obligations to the University, i.e., activities that may conflict between private interests and the public interest of the University, or which may otherwise interfere with the full and faithful performance of institutional duties and responsibilities. It is each employee’s responsibility to comply with the rules and laws concerning outside activities and financial interests.
- An employee is responsible for notifying the University administration of the details of the proposed activity prior to engaging in the activity and following the applicable law and policies relating to such activities. If he or she has any questions about potential conflict or interference with his or her duties or obligations, the employment or activity should be discussed with the employee’s chair or immediate supervisor (or others) prior to being forwarded to the dean or director for final action.
- An employee is responsible for reporting honorarium or fees in excess of the actual expenses required for attendance if the activity is part of the employee’s assigned duties. Generally, such fees or honoraria cannot be accepted.
- An employee engaging in outside activities must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the outside employer or other recipient of services understands that he or she is engaging in the activities as an individual and not on behalf of the University. An employee may not use the University’s resources, including name or address, without express written approval.
- If an employee plans to use university equipment, facilities, or the services of other personnel in connection with the activity, the requests for permission must be submitted in writing to the administrator responsible for the academic unit or facility. The administrator is responsible for establishing the charges for use of the equipment, facilities, or services if such use is allowed.
Notification and Disclosure Procedures – The disclosure of outside activities, financial interest or activities that may create an appearance of a conflict are to be reported on the University’s form titled Disclosure of Outside Activities and Financial Interests (OAA-GA-L-267-3/98), which is to be reviewed by the chair or supervisor (or others) and then forwarded to the dean or director as necessary for authorization. A copy of this form is attached and may also be obtained in the college or unit administrative offices, or from University Printing. All University Personnel Services satellite offices also maintain these forms. This form should be completed and filed at the beginning of the contractual year of employment prior to such time as the outside activity or financial interest begins, or prior to the submission of a federal grant proposal. If a material change in the information presented occurs during the contractual year, a new form must be submitted.
- The approval process for faculty and A&P employees includes their completing the disclosure forms which are available from a dean or director’s office, or from University Personnel Services satellite offices.
- USPS and OPS employees need verbal approval from their supervisors before accepting outside employment. The outside employment/activity forms are required of USPS employees only if activities or interests in an entity which does business with the university are involved or if the disclosure is required pursuant to federal grant requirements. Departments are asked to keep documentation as to the type of outside employment/activity for all USPS employees.
- Before using University equipment, facilities, or services in connection with outside employment/activity, all employees must complete the Request to Use University Equipment, Facilities and Services in Conjunction with Non-University Outside Activity form (OAA-GA-L-268/10-1-95) to secure University of Florida approval.
- All paperwork associated with continuing outside employment/activity must be renewed on a fiscal-year basis.
EXTRA STATE COMPENSATION
An employee who wishes to engage in additional or outside employment by the university or another agency of the State of Florida, including another institution in the State University System, must submit a Request for Approval of Extra State Compensation form (HR-600-3/98) to the appropriate administrative officials and obtain approval prior to engaging in such activity. This form also must be completed and approved when combined employment exceeds 1.0 FTE or when an employee receives payment from “salaries” and “OPS” funds simultaneously. A copy of this form is attached and may also be obtained in the college or unit administrative offices, or from University Printing. All University Personnel Services satellite offices also maintain these forms. No Disclosure of Outside Activities and Financial Interests need be filed for the activity as the completion of the Request for Approval of Extra State Compensation form fulfills the employee’s obligation to report. An exception to this procedure is employment by the University Press of Florida (UPF). Approval of UPF employment is granted by the President or the President’s designee, and such approval, which is submitted by the UPF to the Office of Academic Affairs, fulfills the employee’s obligation to report such activity.
For faculty, policy questions should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth D. Capaldi, Provost (392-2404). For A&P, USPS & OPS employees, questions should be directed to any University Personnel Services satellite office. Questions regarding Extra State Compensation may be directed to Classification and Compensation at 392-1213.