UC IRVINE ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Business and Financial Affairs

General Administration

Sec. 700-09: Policies on Gifts, Gratuities and Conflict of Interest

Responsible Administrator: Conflict of Interest Coordinator
Revised:
December 2013

References / Resources

Contact: Conflict of Interest Coordinator at (949) 824-8713 or ucipolicy@uci.edu

A. Acceptance of Gifts and Gratuities by University Employees

It is the Policy of the University of California that its officers and employees will comply with the provisions of State and federal law governing the acceptance of gifts and gratuities. In addition to compliance with the requirements of law, University officers and employees must avoid the appearance of favoritism in all of their dealings on behalf of the University. All University officers and employees are expected to act with integrity and good judgment and to recognize that the acceptance of personal gifts from those doing business or seeking to do business with the University, even when lawful, may give rise to legitimate concerns about favoritism depending on the circumstances. If a University officer or employee has any question regarding the propriety of a gift, disclosure of the gift or proposed gift should be made to a supervisor or other appropriate University official for a determination of the proper course of action.

B. UC Conflict of Interest Code and Designated Officials

The California Political Reform Act of 1974 requires all government (University) employees to disqualify themselves from participating in decisions in which they have a personal financial interest. It also requires designated University officials to file a financial disclosure within 30 days of taking or leaving office, as well as annually, on the Form 700 - Statement of Economic Interests (or Form 700-U for principal investigators). See UC Office of the General Counsel: An Introduction to Gift Reporting - July 2012).

The University of California's Conflict of Interest Code lists the designated position titles that must provide personal financial information. It assigns disclosure categories to these positions and indicates the types of economic interest which must be reported, such as investments, interests in real estate, or sources of income or gifts.

The UC Conflict of Interest Code is revised annually and submitted to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for approval. The Commission is the State body that administers, interprets and enforces the California Political Reform Act. The University's approved Code has the force of law and any violation of the Code by a designated employee is deemed a violation of the Political Reform Act.

C. Administrative Officer Responsibilities

Department administrators are expected to:

  1. Notify the Confict of Interest Coordinator of changes in the staffing of designated official positions.
  2. Include conflict of interest information in recruitment materials for designated officials, such as: "Under the provisions of the Political Reform Act of 1974, the successful candidate will be required to file a Statement of Economic Interests."
  3. Establish departmental practices to ensure that:
    1. Faculty and staff are aware of disclosure and disqualification requirements
    2. University policies and codes regarding conflict of interest are followed.

D. Gifts to the University That Provide a Personal Benefit (Form 801)

If a gift to the University provides personal benefit to an employee (see DA 2206), the department head will select the individual who will use the gift and will report the payment on Form 801. The form is sent to the Conflict of Interest Coordinator for filing with the FPPC as required by California Code of Regulations, Title 2 § 18944.2.

The FPPC has determined that a gift will be considered a gift to an agency, and not to an employee, when the following criteria are satisfied:

  • The department head determines and controls the department’s use of the gift.
  • The gift is used for official University business.
  • The donor identifies a purpose for the gift but does not designate by name, title, class or otherwise, an official who may use the payment.
  • The person who determines who will use the gift does not select himself or herself as the user of the gift.
  • The department reports the gift on Form 801.

E. Distribution of Tickets and Passes to University Officials (Form 802)

The UC Policy - Distribution of Tickets and Passes to University Officials describes the "public purposes" to be accomplished through the University's distribution of tickets or passes to both University sponsored events and non-University sponsored events. It clarifies that tickets distributed to University officials and employees for student athletic games or entertainment performances are not considered gifts by the FPPC and are therefore not reportable. Reportable ticket distributions are reported on Form 802. The form is sent to the Conflict of Interest Coordinator for filing with the FPPC as required by California Code of Regulations, Title 2 § 18944.1.