Texas Tech University

 

[Minor revision–posted 12/17/14 (replaces 7/16/13 edition)]
[PDF Version]

 Texas Tech University academic coat of arms

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 72.03: Conflicts of Interest Relating to Purchasing, Payments, and Contracts

DATE: December 17, 2014

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to define conflicts of interest with respect to (1) the conduct of employees and (2) payments, purchases, and/or contracts by Texas Tech University or related entities (TTU) in compliance with Texas Government Code Sec. 572 and Chapter 03 of The Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System (Regents' Rules).

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in November of even-numbered years by the Managing Director of Procurement Services with substantive revisions forwarded to the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

POLICY/PROCEDURE

1.  Policy for Officers, Faculty, and Staff

a.    General Rule

Officers, faculty, and staff ("employees") of TTU may not have direct or indirect interests, including financial and other interests, engage in business transactions or professional activities, or incur any obligation of any nature that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the employee's duties, including any purchasing, payables, or contracting function in which such employee has any delegated authority to conduct or approve the transaction. Any potential conflict of interest must be disclosed to the Managing Director of Procurement Services and be resolved prior to any obligation being made.

A copy of this operating policy shall be distributed to each new employee not later than the third business day after the date the person begins employment with the university, in accordance with Texas Government Code 572.051 (c) (2).

b.    Benefits and Gifts

A "benefit" is anything reasonably regarded as pecuniary gain or pecuniary advantage, including benefit to any person in whose welfare a TTU employee has an interest as under state laws.

An employee shall not receive, attempt to receive, nor intend to receive at any time any economic opportunity, future employment, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, trip, favor, or service from any vendor in connection with any bid, proposal, qualification request, purchase, payment, or contract.

An employee shall not make personal investments that could be reasonably expected to impair the employee's independence of judgment in the performance of the employee's job duties.

c.    Dual Employment

An employee may not be in any dual employment positions that would result in a conflict of interest in relation to his/her position at TTU. If such circumstance arises, the employee shall remove him/herself from the process and disclose the relationship to his/her direct supervisor and to the Managing Director of Procurement Services.

A TTU department may not hire a vendor under the following circumstances:

(1)    A current employee of such department is also employed by such vendor;

(2)    A current employee of such department has a direct or indirect ownership interest in such vendor;

(3)    A current employee serves on the board of directors or other governing board of the vendor or serves as an elected officer of the vendor;

(4)    The hiring of such vendor would result in the furtherance of any private interest or gain for a current employee of such department.

d.    If the owner of any such vendor who provides services to TTU is a TTU employee, compliant payment to any vendor classified as a sole proprietorship or an individual shall be made through Payroll Services.

e.    Transactions with Other Individuals and/or Entities

An employee shall not conduct any transaction with other individuals and/or entities in which the employee is related by blood or marriage to such individual and/or any owner or employee of such entity. If such circumstance arises, the employee shall remove him/herself from the process and disclose the relationship to the Managing Director of Procurement Services.

A TTU department may not hire a vendor under the following circumstances:

(1)    A current employee of such department is related to an employee of the vendor and the employee of the vendor would receive a financial benefit resulting from the transaction;

(2)    A current employee of such department is related to a person who has direct or indirect ownership interest in the vendor; and/or

(3)    The hiring of such vendor would result in the furtherance of any private interest or gain for a current employee of such department.

An employee shall not make any unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind TTU for any services without an authorized purchase order and/or contract.

A TTU employee shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private or public organization or individual.

2.  Policy for Vendors

Bidder/Proposer Affirmation

Vendors shall be required to sign the Bidder/Proposer Affirmation when submitting any procurement response to TTU. The Bidder/Proposer Affirmation requires prospective vendors to affirm their compliance with state laws, federal laws, and/or TTU policies, as applicable. The Bidder/Proposer Affirmation becomes part of any solicitation and becomes part of the binding terms and conditions on any resulting contract or purchase order. Any misrepresentation or false statement that is deemed material by TTU is a breach of contract, which shall void or make voidable any solicitation, or resulting contract or purchase order.

Vendors shall be required to affirm the terms of the Bidder/Proposer Affirmation in order to remain in compliance with all items throughout the duration of the contract or purchase order. In instances where the term "bidder/proposer" is used, that term shall also refer to the vendor once a successful purchase order or contract has been established.

a.    The bidder/proposer has not given, offered to give, nor intends to give at any time hereafter any economic opportunity, future employment, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, trip, favor, or service to an employee in connection with the submitted bid/proposal or any resulting contract or purchase order.

b.    Pursuant to Texas Government Code, Title 10, Subtitle D, Section 2155.004 (a), the bidder/proposer has not received compensation for participation in the preparation of the specifications for this solicitation.

c.    Pursuant to Texas Government Code, Title 10, Subtitle D, Section 2155.004 (b), the bidder/proposer certifies that the individual or business entity named in such bid, proposal, or contract is not ineligible to receive the specified contract and acknowledges that the contract may be terminated and payment withheld if this certification is inaccurate.

d.    By submitting a bid/proposal, the bidder/proposer is certifying that neither the owners nor any employees are in dual employment positions as a TTU employee. In addition, the bidder/proposer is certifying that the owner and any employee are not related in any manner with any TTU employee. If such relationship exists, then that relationship shall be disclosed during the bid/proposal process to the Procurement Services Office. If the status of any owner or employee of the bidding/proposing company changes during the course of the contract or purchase order, then that relationship shall be disclosed immediately to the Managing Director of Procurement Services. Any violation of this policy shall result in immediate cancellation of any resulting contract or purchase order in addition to a potential disbarment of the company from doing business with the state of Texas.

e.    By submitting a bid/proposal, the bidder/proposer is certifying that neither the owner nor any employee is related in any manner with any member of the Board of Regents or any legislative representative of the district in which TTU is located. If the status of any owner or employee of the bidding/proposing company changes during the course of the contract or purchase order, then that relationship shall be disclosed immediately to the Managing Director of Procurement Services. Any violation of this policy shall result in immediate cancellation of any resulting contract or purchase order in addition to a potential disbarment of the company from doing business with the state of Texas.

3.  Policy for Procurement Services Staff

In addition to the rules for officers, faculty, and staff, staff member in Procurement Services shall also follow the following policies:

a.    Procurement Services staff members shall disclose annually any relations they may have that would cause a conflict of interest in performing their duties. If such conflict exists, the staff member shall remove himself/herself from any procurement in which there might be a conflict. Staff members shall at all times keep their supervisors notified of any conflicts and any changes in the status of a conflict.

b.    A staff member of Procurement Services must disclose any confidential information in which there would be a private interest or personal gain.

c.    A staff member of Procurement Services may not authorize any purchase order, contract, or payment with any vendor in which there would be a private interest or personal gain.

Operating Policies & Procedures