Procurement Services

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

UC's Compendium of Conflict of Interest and Integrity Policies includes multiple topics governing Financial Conflicts, Time & Commitment, Goods & Services, Use of UC property and facilities, Personnel, Inventions/Patents and Licensing, and Research.
The UC document "The Disqualification Rule" is a quick guide to ensuring anyone with a potential conflict removes themselves from the decision making process.
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. Are or owned by a current UC employee of any location
  2. Are or owned by a former UC employee of any location, who has been separated for less than two (2) years (retired, dismissed, separated, or formerly employed)
  3. Are or owned by a current UC employee of any location, who owns or controls 10% or greater interest in a business that will provide goods or services to the University
  4. Are or owned by a near relative of a current UC employee of any location (spouse, domestic partner or relative of the domestic partner, child, parent, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of a University employee, and step-relatives in the same relationship)
  5. Are or owned by a near relative of a current UC employee of any location, when that near relative owns or controls 10% or greater interest in a business that will provide goods or services to the University
  6. Any UC employee will be paid by the proposed supplier for the proposed transaction.

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.

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 provide 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:

  • Click here for a list of examples
  • The department should have the proposed supplier complete the Conflict of Interest form and send to contracts@bfs.ucsb.edu. 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.