Procurement Services

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

UC Policy G-39 includes multiple Conflict of Interest policies governing Financial Conflicts, Time & Commitment, Goods & Services, Use of UC property and facilities, Personnel, Inventions/Patents and Licensing, and Research. The California Public Contract Code (Section 10515-18), Government Code (Section 1090-1099), and University of California Business and Finance Bulletin BUS 43 (Section 3, Part 5) prohibit or restrict the University from entering into an agreement with a service provider who is:

  1. a current University of California employee,
  2. a former University of California employee,
  3. the near relative of a current University of California employee, or
  4. a business in which a current University of California employee or the near relative of a current University of California employee owns or controls more than a ten percent interest.

UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-43 states:

It is the University's policy to separate an employee's University and private interests, and to safeguard the University and its employees against charges of favoritism in the purchase of goods and services. Purchase of goods or services from any officer or employee of the University or from a near relative of any officer or employee is strictly prohibited. If the employee is performing teaching or research, or if they are a student employee, an exception may be granted by the campus Materiel Manager, if such goods or services are not available either from other commercial sources or from the University's own facilities.

If a department is requesting an exception related to conflict of interest, the following information will be required when submitting the Conflict of Interest Form:

Current UC Employee:

  • What extenuating circumstances exist requiring the purchase of goods or services from said employee rather than using a commercial source or the University's own facilities?
  • Why must services be performed on a contract basis rather than as part of the normal work responsibilities of the employee?
  • What special skills are required to perform the services specified that are unique to this person?

Relative of UC Employee:

  • What extenuating circumstances exist requiring the purchase of goods or services from a near relative of an employee rather than using a commercial source or the University's own facilities?
  • Who will be directly responsible for the supervision of the work of a near relative of the University employee?
  • What special skills are required to perform the services specified that are unique to this person?

Former Employees are also subject to secondary questions, including their former position roles and responsibilities.

Use of Facilities & Time Commitment:

  • UC facilities may be used only for University-related purposes or in furtherance of such purposes.
  • No portion of time due the UC shall be devoted to private purposes and no outside employment shall interfere with the performance of UC duties.
  • Research Policy Analysis & Coordination (RPAC) outlines Institutional Conflict in Research in this memo, dated 6/1/2011
  • As a Section 501(c)(3) organization, the UC cannot rovide more than "incidental" benefits to any employee
  • Click here for the UC Office of General Counsel primer on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Technology Commercialization: Avoiding Conflict Of Interest And Tax Risks For The University

Helpful Tips/Resources:

  • The department should have the supplier complete the Conflict of Interest form and send to Contracts & Property with the Request for Services form. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approval is not automatic. Commitments must not be made prior to approval.
  • UC Conflict of Interest webinar/presentation
  • Conflict of Interest policies result from the Political Reform Act Disqualification Requirements of 1974.
  • Under Government Code §91000, any person who willfully violates the general prohibition (regarding conflict of interest) is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Click here for a matrix of scenarios and a summary of the Public Contract Code.