SUNY Foundations Ethics Code Update
by Buck Quigley - posted 12:51 pm, September 22, 2011
The new ethics code that was officially adopted by SUNY Trustees on Tuesday is actually more stringent than the memorandum originally proposed by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. We printed the original language of her memo.
Click here to read the revised and approved Guidelines for Conflict of Interest Policies, Campus-related Foundations of State-operated Campuses.
The campus-related foundation of each State-operated campus shall adopt a conflict of interest policy applicable to such foundation and its affiliated corporations. Such conflict of interest policies shall provide (i) as a general principle, that service as a board member or officer of such foundation or affiliated corporation shall not be used as a means for private benefit or inurement for the board member or officer, a relative thereof, or any entity in which the board member or officer, or relative thereof, has a business interest; (ii) no board member or officer who is a vendor or employee of a vendor of goods or services to the foundation, its affiliated corporation or the State-operated campus for which the foundation was formed, or who has a business interest in such vendor, or whose relative has a business interest in such vendor, shall vote on, or participate in the administration by the foundation or its affiliated corporation, as the case may be, of any transaction with such vendor; and (iii) upon becoming aware of an actual or potential conflict of interest, a board member or officer shall advise the chair of the foundation or its affiliated corporation, as the case may be, of his or a relative’s business interest in any such existing or proposed vendor with the foundation, its affiliated corporation or the State-operated campus for which the foundation was formed. Each foundation and its affiliated corporations shall maintain a written record of all disclosures of actual or potential conflicts of interest made pursuant to (iii) above, and shall report such disclosures, on a calendar year basis, by January 31 of each year, to the University Auditor. The University Auditor shall forward such reports to the Audit Committee of the State University Board of Trustees, which shall make public such reports.
The rest of the resolution reads the same.
This is encouraging because it appears to apply another layer of public accountability.
This is discouraging because I’ve been waiting since May 23, 2011 for a reply from the University Auditor regarding a complaint given to them from the Office of the Inspector General of New York. The IG wanted the University Auditor to reply within 45 days. I call weekly now, and was told earlier this week that the matter was still being discussed among SUNY lawyers, etc.
But hey, for now let’s just be happy with the appearance of transparency and accountability.