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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1211 – Avoiding Vendor Conflicts of Interest

Effective
March 1, 1998
Last Updated
July 13, 2010
Responsible University Officer
Director of Purchasing Services
Responsible Unit
Procurement Services

Policy Statement

To avoid conflicts of interest issues, the University does not purchase from University employees, or from companies in which a University employee may have a greater than fifty (50) percent financial interest, either directly or indirectly.

Reason for Policy

Conflict of interest relates to situations in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise, have the potential for compromising, or have the appearance of compromising an employee’s objectivity in meeting University duties or responsibilities related to the purchase of equipment and other supplies. This policy protects the University from these types of situations.

Exclusions

A request for an exception to this policy may be submitted to Purchasing Services. The request must be accompanied by clear evidence documenting the procurement vendor selection was not impacted by the potenital conflict of interest. In the event the evidence is not compelling, Purchasing Services will submit to the N.C. State Division of Purchase and Contract for a binding decision.

Special Situations

None

Procedures

  • None

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a conflict of interest?
A: For University purposes, a person has a conflict of interest when it is likely that the outcome of a University decision will have an impact on his or her financial interests.

Q: If a conflict of interest is found, are there any options available for managing the conflict?
A: Depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation, any or all of the following might be employed:

    • Public disclosure of the financial interest.
    • Modification of the research plan.
    • Disqualification from participation in all or a portion of the proposed project.
    • Divestiture of the financial interest.
    • Severance of the relationship that creates the actual or potential conflict.

Q: What if a company with which you consult makes a contribution to your research; is it a conflict?
A: Potentially. The appropriate course of action is to report it.

Q: If an employee of the University owns a business would they be allowed to conduct business with the University?
A: No.

Q: I am an employee of the University and my spouse has her own business; can she conduct business with the University?
A: Yes, if it is clear that the University purchasing decision can not be influenced by you and you have no influence over the outcome. All potential activity by the spouse should be disclosed to Purchasing Services prior to any activity to determine if a potential conflict exists.

Related Data

General Statute 14-234.  Public officers or employees benefiting from public contracts; exceptions

Contacts

SUBJECT CONTACT TELEPHONE FAX E-MAIL
Potential Conflict of Interest Purchasing Services - Goods 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@unc.edu

History

Revised:
July 13, 2010
November 14, 2003