Conflict of Interest Policy

All employed by or associated with the University must adhere to the following regarding conflict of interest:

1.  Employees of the University shall exercise the utmost good faith in all transactions touching upon their duties to the University and its property. In their dealings with and on behalf of the University, they shall be held to a strict rule of honest and fair dealings between themselves and the University. They shall not use their positions, or knowledge gained therefrom, in such a way that a conflict of interest might arise between the interest of the University and that of the individual.

2. Employees shall disclose to their respective budget executive in the college or administrative unit in which they are employed any potential conflict of interest of which they are aware related to the purchase of equipment, materials, goods and services prior to the execution of the purchase request. Written disclosure must accompany the requisition to Purchasing Services. Employees may not initiate or have any influence over their college or administrative unit's purchases of goods and services from a business in which the employee, or a member of the employee's immediate family (spouse or minor child), has an ownership interest of 10% or more in that business.

3. Except in very unusual circumstances, the University will not purchase equipment, materials, goods and services from an employee, a member of an employee's immediate family, or from a business in which an employee or a member of the employee's immediate family has an ownership interest of 10% or more. If an exception is necessary, the unit must provide a written disclosure of the transaction to its budget executive and the written disclosure must accompany the requisition to Purchasing Services.

4. University personnel, by policy, must decline personal gifts or gratuities associated with the procurement process.

5. According to Board BYLAWS, Article #6, the University may not enter into any contract or transaction of $10,000 or more with any organization in which a current or emeritus member of the University Board of Trustees (or any member's spouse or minor child) holds a beneficial ownership (10% or greater) unless the contract has been awarded through an open and public bidding process, in accordance with University purchasing policy, or has been fully disclosed to the Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative votes of a majority of the disinterested members of the Board of Trustees before the Purchase Order is initiated.  ("Fully disclosed" shall mean disclosure of the material facts as to the relationship or interest of the member or members of the Board of Trustees, or spouse or minor child of such member or members, and disclosure of the material facts as to the contract or transaction, including a Sole Source Justification.)

6. Members of the Board of Trustees shall also comply with Board BYLAWS Article #6 and, in connection therewith, shall, to the extent possible, avoid person-to-person discussion or negotiation with the officers and employees of the University for the purpose of procuring business with the University.

NOTE: In order for the Trustees to authorize University transactions of $10,000 or more, the Trustee whose business is impacted must present to the Board the situation and conditions surrounding the transaction that may result in a possible conflict of interest.

The above policy, reflected in Policy BS07, shall provide guidelines concerning conflict of interest as it pertains to doing business with any person or company that could appear to be a conflict of interest due to a relationship with a Penn State employee. Questions regarding any conflict of interest appear on our Supplier Application form and also in Policy BS17.