Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 10.2(9), UPM 10.3(4)
Updated/Revised: December 2, 2011
Contact: Director of Purchasing
Iowa State University promotes ethical business practices, professional integrity and objectivity in all procurement transactions conducted by its employees. The university is committed to complying with applicable procurement laws and regulations, including requirements that apply to conflicts of interest, as provided by the following:
Any "employee" (see definitions below), seeking to sell goods or services to any Regent institution, either directly or indirectly, shall request and receive authorization for such activity.
Authorization will be granted only after the request has been submitted with a narrative from the employee, and possibly a narrative from the employing department that explains how the position held by the conflict of interest vendor (employee) will not unduly influence decisions made in the acquisition of goods and services. The Conflict of Interest Procurement Committee (COIPC) will review the request and issue a decision. State law requires any sale over $2,000 be competitively bid. It also requires any sale greater than $2000 be reported to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board by the "Conflict of interest vendor" / "employee" within twenty days of making the sale.
Employees or organizations meeting the federal definition of Conflict of Interest Vendor/Employee are generally precluded from sales to the university when an acquisition is federally funded, unless the conflict can be successfully managed through the Conflicts of Interest and Commitments Policy. Federally funded acquisitions must also comply with state law, Regents policy and the state definition requirements of this policy.
"Conflict of interest vendor" / "employee" (state definition)
Conflict of interest vendor/employee (federal definition)
Before funds can be committed or before orders are placed with a conflict of interest vendor, the Purchasing Department must issue an authorizing purchase order. P-Cards may not be used for purchases from any conflict of interest vendor/employee unless prior approval is given by the Purchasing Director. When departments become aware of a potential conflict of interest affecting any procurement transactions, the department is expected to share the existence of the conflict of interest vendor/employee with the Purchasing Department before a commitment is made or an order is placed. With the strict bidding requirements associated with conflict of interest vendors/employees, unauthorized conflict of interest procurement becomes a personal commitment of the individual making the purchase.
After the required COIPC approval is obtained, by state law, employees or conflict of interest vendors (state definition) selling any goods or services to any Regent institution or state agency that have a value in excess of $2,000 for any one transaction, must be awarded only after public notice and competitive bidding. The only exception to the bidding requirement is an emergency condition that endangers life or property. All such emergency conditions shall be documented by the requesting department and approved by the Purchasing Director. The Purchasing Department is required to annually report all purchases from conflict of interest vendors and employees to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Employees seeking to sell to other state agencies shall be aware that competitive bidding applies to all sales in excess of $2,000.
Conflict of interest vendors, employees, and officers who have, or reasonably anticipate having, an ownership interest, a significant executive position, or another remunerative relationship with a prospective supplier of goods or services to Iowa State University, or who know that a member of their family or other person with whom they have a personal or financial relationship has such an interest, shall not participate in the preparing of specifications, qualifying vendors, selecting successful bidders on products or services in which they have an interest, or approving payment to those interests.
In addition to the conflict of interest policy provisions stated above, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110, Procurement Standards §42 Codes of Conduct, imposes additional requirements on federally funded acquisitions concerning conflict of interest situations. It states: "No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract sponsored by federal funds if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved. Such a conflict would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization that employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award. The officers, employees, and agents of the recipient shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subagreements."