11.15 Purchases from University Faculty or Staff

(Amended 5/02; Regents 3/30/11; 7/14/22)


  1. Definitions.
    1. "Employee":
      1. a paid employee of a Regent institution or the Board of Regents office;
      2. an employee of another state of Iowa agency (Iowa Department of Transportation, Department of Administrative Services, Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Personnel, etc.)
    2. "Conflict of interest vendor":
      1. any firm of which any of the above referred persons is a partner or sole proprietor;
      2. any corporation in which any of the above referenced persons holds five percent or more stock either directly or indirectly.
  2. General policy.
    1. A conflict of interest arises when a faculty or staff member is or may be in the position to influence the university's business, research, or other decisions in ways that could lead to any form of personal gain for the faculty or staff member or others closely associated with that university employee.
    2. Except as part of official state duties, an official, a state employee, a member of the general assembly, or a legislative employee shall not sell, in any one occurrence, any goods or services having a value in excess of two thousand dollars to any state agency unless the sale is made pursuant to an award or contract let after public notice and competitive bidding. Employees with private sector employment who sells a good or service to a state agency in the excess of $2,000 after public notice and bid, is required to file a Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Form within twenty days of making the sale, the total amount of the sale, and the type of goods or services being sold. See Iowa CodePDF icon 68b.3.
    3. Vendors must be reviewed and approved by the Chief Procurement Officer when there is a disclosure or indication of a conflict of interest.
    4. Services of faculty or staff other than those in established businesses providing such services as outside contractors, unless approved in the budget or in advance by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations, are approved only after the purchasing department has determined the services are either uniquely exclusive or otherwise beneficial to the university in comparison to other available sources of the required services.
    5. University faculty or staff members cannot be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract to furnish material of any kind to or for the university. In addition, participation in direct sales (pyramiding) ventures is considered a direct or indirect interest in a contract and is encompassed by this policy. Based on special approvals, faculty or staff members may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenditures on presentation of approved vouchers with receipts or other acceptable evidence of actual amounts paid for items purchased for university use.
    6. Faculty or staff members who would benefit personally from the supplying of goods or services to the university by any prospective supplier may not participate in the decision process leading to the choice of supplier. Specifically, faculty or staff members who have or who reasonably anticipate having either an ownership interest in, a significant executive position in, or a consulting or other remunerative relationship with a prospective supplier may not participate in the recommendation of, drafting specifications for, or the decision to purchase the goods or services involved. Faculty or staff members who know that a member of their family (or any other person with whom they have a personal or financial relationship) has an ownership interest or significant executive position in a prospective supplier are also disqualified from participating in the purchasing of the goods and services. However, faculty or staff members whose sole ownership interest in a potential supplier is held by a fiduciary (such as TIAA-CREF, a blind trust, or a mutual fund) that has the power to acquire or dispose of the interest without consultation with the faculty or staff member are not disqualified from participation in the purchase decision.

      When a faculty or staff member is disqualified from participating in a procurement decision, the fact of the disqualification and the reason for it must be reported to others involved in the decision. If necessary, a substitute may take the faculty or staff member's place.
    7. Federal Guidelines In addition to the conflict of interest policy provisions stated above, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110, Procurement Standards, section 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 their immediate family, their 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."