***The ‘SUNY Compliance’ webpage is under development and will expand as the program evolves. Check back for additional resources and compliance topic pages***
SUNY Compliance Resources
The hotline is intended for faculty, staff, students, and others to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse or irregular activities. These activities include improper transactions, such as suspected thefts, losses, misuse or inappropriate action involving State funds, equipment, supplies or other assets. Complaints about other matters, such as personnel issues or academic misconduct, should be brought to the attention of the appropriate office at the campus involved. The hotline is monitored by University Audit, and each complaint is reviewed by the Fraud Committee. Click here, or on the graphic at right, to find more information about how to report fraud.
SUNY Policies and Procedures:
The Policies and Procedures webpage contains a listing of the System-Wide Policies and Procedures. Click here, or on the graphic at rightm, to access the Policies and Procedures webpage.
The Compliance Topics page contains a listing of all the topics related to higher education Compliance. Click here, or on the graphic at right, to access the topic page. The topic menu on the left hand side of the screen also contains all of the topic pages.
|Other Compliance Resources
Higher Ed. Compliance Alliance
The Higher Education Compliance Alliance was created to provide the higher education community with a centralized repository of information and resources for compliance with federal laws and regulations.
What's New on the Compliance Website
Updates to the New York State Mandatory Training Requirements Page
New Information on the Mandatory JCOPE Ethics training has been added to the page, as well as information on the recommended Equal Employment Opportunity training, which is not mandated for SUNY, but is highly encouraged by GOER .
JCOPE Compliance Mandates – Mandated Ethics training for FDS Filers must be completed by August 15, 2013
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) was created out of the Public Integrity Reform Act (PIRA) of 2011, which became effective August 15, 2011. (Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2011) PIRA established JCOPE and expanded the existing functions of the former ethics body in New York, the Commission on Public Integrity. The JCOPE Commission oversees ethics within New York State Agencies, including SUNY. There are many compliance mandates associated with the PIRA law, and JCOPE is the body charged with overseeing the administration of those mandates. The compliance mandates administered by JCOPE are listed on the Compliance Website JCOPE Page, including the mandate that ALL SUNY FDS filers need to complete a mandatory 2-hour JCOPE Ethics training by August 15th. The training must be a ‘live synchronous’ training, and SUNY must use the powerpoint that was provided by JCOPE. The Ethics Officer at each campus is charged with the oversight of this training mandate. See the website for more details about this requirement, including what ‘live synchronous training’ means to JCOPE. Ethics Officers must send a list of those who have been properly trained to JCOPE after training.
LIVE WEBINAR: A webinar will be held on May 30th at 10:00 a.m. To register for the training, click here.
TRAINING WEBINAR: A webinar will be placed PERMANENTLY on the Project Sunlight website which you can use for training purposes at your own campus. This training will be available on MAY 29th.
What is Project Sunlight: A New York State statute effective January 1, 2013, establishes the "Project Sunlight" database, and places a compliance mandate on State agencies, including SUNY, to report to OGS appearances by individuals and firms who or that appear before State decision-makers or persons who advise decision-makers, on an OGS form, electronically available in an electronic portal. SUNY is likely to be most impacted in the area of procurement and to a lesser extent in rule-making activities (including rule-making related to tuition and fees) and some activities of the Charter Schools Institute.
Mandatory Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Policy:
This Policy places an affirmative obligation upon all State University of New York employees, students, and volunteers to report child sexual abuse that occurs on campus or off campus at University-sponsored events to the appropriate authority or authorities. The policy also requires that relevant employees and students be trained on recognizing child sexual abuse crimes and that there is an obligation to report such abuse if it is witnessed.
Updates to this webpage includes: what the campus needs to do to comply with this new mandated reporting policy, and information on confidentiality issues.
New: I-9 Form Released By USCIS – Campuses must be SOLELY USING the new I-9 form by May 7th
On Friday, March 8, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the long-awaited new version of Form I-9, available here on the USCIS website. This version is effective immediately, and employers will have to be exclusively using the new form by May 7, 2013.
The new form is similar to the information required on the previous version, however, it contains more required and optional fields and more detailed instructions for completing the form.
Dear Colleague Letter on Prohibition Against Retaliation related to Civil Rights Complaints: On April 24th, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) to remind school districts, postsecondary institutions, and other Federal funding recipients of the legal prohibition against retaliation with regard to civil rights complaints and to describe OCR’s methods of enforcement. The DCL guidance does not contain any new policy or new interpretations of law and is supported by well-established caselaw. OCR has never before issued any public guidance describing its enforcement of recipients’ non-retaliation obligations, and chose to do so because it is an important area in need of clear concise guidance, as nearly one fifth of all complaints received by OCR raise retaliation allegations.
Financial Aid Fraud: Information related to distance education fraud rings related to financial aid, including best practices to prevent and detect the fraud.
FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Check out the new SUNY Compliance page on FERPA that contains information on the SUNY Procedure and includes recent guidance to SUNY University Police titled "Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)" that was prepared by Counsel's Office in April 2013.
New First Amendment Guidance on Prayer at Colleges, PRAYER AT PUBLIC COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY EVENTS: PARSING THE FREE SPEECH, FREE EXERCISE AND ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE ISSUES, NACUA Note, May 3, 2013, written by SUNY Associate Counsel Joseph Storch, and Brendan Venter, 3L, Albany Law School and intern at the SUNY Office of General Counsel.
NEW SUNY Fraud Policy and Revised Fraud Procedure - March 2013
The SUNY Board of Trustees adopted a Fraud Policy at its March 2013 Board Meeting. The impact of this new Fraud Policy and the Fraud Procedure changes are outlined on the Compliance webpage. SUNY already maintains a System-wide Fraud Hotline to Report Suspected Fraud, but this new policy ensures that those reporting to the Fraud hotline will have whistleblower protection afforded to them. Also, through the revised procedure, campuses will be required to report all frauds to the Office of University Audit so they may be tracked and monitored by the Fraud Committee using a standard form, and report to the Office of the University Auditor any contact from the New York State Attorney General, the Inspector General, or any other outside agency regarding any investigation. In addition, each campus is required to establish a mechanism (fraud hotline) such as a toll free number, e-mail address, or facsimile number that individuals can use to report suspected and detected fraud and irregularities.
HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Records Management and Retention: Familiarize yourself with the detailed SUNY Records Retention schedule (codified in the Records Retention Policy) that established set retention periods for the various records housed by SUNY campuses. The policy has a series of appendices (available through the policy and also on the Records Retention compliance webpage) that list all the various records, and the specific period that a campus must retain them. When the SUNY Schedule does not cover a particular record, SUNY campuses are to defer to the New York State schedule (available on the State Archives website) for the proper retention period.
Violence Against Women Act 2013 Reauthorization
This page contains information and guidance on the impact of the VAWA 2013 Reauthorization.
Non-Discrimination in Employment - guidance on how to comply with the New York State Human Rights law, which includes broad anti-discrimination provisions with new resources added.
The New York Safe Act
The NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) passed the New York State legislature on January 15, 2013 and was signed into law. The Act added Section 9.46 to the Mental Hygiene Law. The act specifically aims to prevent gun violence by creating a mandatory reporting requirement for all mental health professionals who find themselves in situations where a patient may harm him or herself or others. This new law imposes an additional duty on mental health professionals as mandated reporters., including those at SUNY.
A NYS SAFE Act Webinar issued on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by the Office of Mental Health, available here, answers a lot of looming questions regarding the law.
Legal Issues Surrounding Employment Applications and Employment Searches, Guidance issued by the Office of General Counsel 2/14/13
The Office of General Counsel issued a Memorandum to Presidents and attached guidance on February 14, 2013, to identify what is acceptable during an employment search. Adherence to the federal and state laws applicable to the employment search can protect the University from unlawful discrimination claims and consideration of inappropriate information in the hiring process. The standards should serve as a guide campuses toward updating employment applications and search committee rules to reflect current legal obligations. The guidance covers the following areas related to employment searches and is applicable to classified, unclassified, and student applicants: Non-Discrimination Language; Prior Convictions and Pending Arrests; Use of the Internet and Social Media in Employee Searches
New Athletics Division III Financial Aid Guidance, STAYING OUT OF THE PENALTY BOX: NAVIGATING THE NCAA DIVISION III FINANCIAL AID REPORTING PROGRAM, NACUA Note, February 15, 2013, written by SUNY Associate Counsel Andrea Stagg and Justin P. Sievert, Senior Counsel to the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm.
Guidance on Visas and Students From Iran; New federal legislation signed by President Obamain Aug. of 2012 excludes visa issuance and entry into the United States by Iranian citizens seeking to study in the US related to the nuclear and energy sectors of Iran. Guidance prepared by: Ellen Badger, Binghamton University. On August 10, 2012, Obama signed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act. Of particular concern to academic institutions is Section 501.
Impact on Current Students from Iran: Although the law is limited to visa issuance, any of our current students who may wish to travel abroad (to see their families, for example) and who will need to apply for a new visa to return to the United States will be prevented from obtaining a new visa if the US Consular Official believes that their course work or research area that will prepare them for a career in the energy sector or nuclear science, nuclear engineering or a related field. Most, but not all of our newly arrived students have been issued two-year multiple entry visas, but others have expired visas. (Note: a visa grants permission to enter the U.S., not permission to remain. So it is fine for a US visa to expire after the student enters the country, as long as their I-20 form is valid). Impact on Future Admission Applicants from Iran: Iranian citizens who are outside the United States and are applying for admission to a US school where the course of study will prepare them for a career in the energy sector or nuclear science, nuclear engineering or a related field will have their visa application denied. See the International Compliance webpage here for more information..
Workplace Violence Checklist - a compliance checklist of the compliance obligations under New York State Law
Select Agent Regulations - the Select Agent Regulations, overseen through the National Select Agents Registry Program, were recently amended. SUNY's compliance page discusses the amendment implications.
NCAA Athletics Compliance - guidance on how to comply with a specific Division III Financial Aid regulation was added to the compliance website.
The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials or the SUNY Compliance Administrator. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.