State ethics acts require university employees to file extra income earned from state agencies and/or disclose interests in businesses where an employee has a financial interest.
The information contained herein is intended to serve as a reminder of the state ethics acts and the University of Arkansas Systemwide Policies and Procedures 440.10. It is the ultimate responsibility of the university employee to ensure the required forms are filed in accordance with state law. Since some of the statutes have criminal penalties, it is recommended that employees should consult with their own legal counsel to determine the extent to which the employee is required to file in accordance with state laws.
Employee ethics acts reporting requirements are as follows:
Annual Report of Extra Income
A.C.A. 21-8-201 through 204 and the University of Arkansas Systemwide Policies and Procedures 440.10 require persons employed by any campus or unit of the university on a regular salary basis to file a statement reflecting all income in excess of $500 received by them during the preceding calendar year as wages or salary or as fees or payment of professional or consultant services rendered to any public agency of the state or a governmental entity funded by the state (city, county, school district), other than the salary the person receives on a regular salary basis. This should be interpreted to include salary or other payments received by an employee regularly employed at one campus or unit for services performed at another campus or unit of the university such as adjunct teaching under concurrent employment. It also includes salary or payment for services rendered to another state agency or governmental entity funded by the state under concurrent employment or consultant services contractual arrangement.
All employees who received extra income exceeding $500 from any public agencies in the prior calendar year must report it on the Annual Report of Extra Income form. Forms must be completed, notarized, and submitted to Debra Simpson-Webster in Human Resources no later than January 31 of each year. Forms may also be emailed to Debra Simpson-Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding this form should be directed to Debra at 501.569.8681.
Filing Statement of Financial Interest
The Arkansas Ethics Commission issued an Advisory Opinion regarding the requirements under A.C.A. 21-8-801(a)(4) concerning the employees of the university required to file a Statement of Financial Interest (“SFI”). The Advisory Opinion concluded that “persons in charge of departments or divisions within a university, regardless of the title given to those persons” are required to file the Statement of Financial Interest by January 31 of each year with the Secretary of State.
Per the opinion of the university’s General Counsel, employees required to submit the Statement of Financial Interest include the chancellor, provost, vice chancellors, and all deans.
The Statement of Financial Interest is filed directly by the employee and no copy needs to be submitted to anyone at UA Little Rock.
Conflict of Interest Statement
On or before Oct. 1 each year, the chancellor or designee shall distribute the Conflict of Interest policy to all employees with a request that each employee re-read the policy and report any changes in relationships that may lead to the need to disclose a potential conflict of interest. No additional action may be required. Any change in relationships resulting in a potential conflict of interest must be filed with the appropriate department chair or supervisor no later than Oct. 31 annually.
New employees who join the university will submit the Conflict of Interest Statement form during the time of orientation and entry into the university personnel and payroll systems.
Disclosure of Benefit from State Contract
In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 98-04 and A.C.A. 19-11-706 any employee who has or obtains any benefit from any state contract with a “business in which the employee has a financial interest” is required to report the benefit to the director of the Department of Finance and Administration. This is a continual obligation to disclose and is not restricted to annual reports each January. A violation of this statute is a felony and employees of the university should be careful in reviewing their obligations under the statute and should seek private legal advice in the event of any question.
Disclosure for Contracts Involving Patents, Copyrights, or other Proprietary Information
A 2009 amendment to A.C.A. 19-11-717 requires an employee or former employee who contracted or received benefits under this section to file with the Secretary of State a disclosure of the type and amount of the contract or benefits received during the previous year.
Code of Ethical Conduct
The Code of Ethical Conduct serves (1) to emphasize the university’s commitment to ethical conduct and compliance with the law; (2) to set forth basic standards of ethical behavior; (3) to provide reporting mechanisms for known or suspected ethical violations; and (4) to help prevent and detect wrongdoing.
Given the variety and complexity of ethical questions that may arise in the course of carrying out the university’s business, this Code can serve only as a general guide. Confronted with ethically ambiguous situations, employees should keep in mind the university’s commitment to the highest ethical standards and seek advice from appropriate levels of university administration so as to ensure that this commitment is honored at all times.
New employees who join the university will submit the Code of Ethical Conduct Acknowledgment during the time of orientation and entry into the university personnel and payroll systems.