ETHICS COMPLIANCE MANDATES
1. SUNY is required to have a Code of Ethical Conduct and that code must be distributed to all newly appointed members of the University Board of Trustees, each state-operated campus council and ESF Board of Trustees.
SUNY's Code of Ethical Conduct is available here: SUNY Policy, Code of Ethical Conduct for University Officers, Document Number 6000
SUNY must have a Code of Ethical Conduct in place in accordance with regulations issued by the New York State Ethics Commission (State Ethics Commission) which generally require state agencies to establish internal agency-specific codes of ethical conduct governing the business and professional activities of uncompensated officers (19 NYCRR §932.5).
2. "Covered" SUNY Employees must complete Ethics Training upon hiring, and every two years thereafter. Documentation that trainings were completed should be kept by each campus where the employee is located.
According to Executive Order No. 3 Ethics Training, every 'Covered Employee' shall participate in an ethics training within sixty days of when such training is prepared and available. "Covered Employees" under the Executive Order is defined as "All officers and employees working in the Executive Chamber in the office of the Governor, commissioners of New York State agencies, counsel to New York State agencies and ethics officers of New York State agencies."
- New Covered Employees shall participate in such ethics training within sixty days of the later of commencing their employment or when such training is prepared and available.
- Such training shall include a discussion of the provisions of Sections 73, 73-A, 74 and 78 of the Public Officers Law and Sections 75-b and 107 of the Civil Service Law.
- Every Covered Employee shall participate in an ethics training every two years following his or her initial training session pursuant to this order.
- Covered Employees shall submit a signed statement certifying their participation in each training session pursuant to this order, which statements shall be placed in their personnel files.
- The Executive Chamber shall coordinate with the ethics officers of state agencies, and with the Commission on Public Integrity, to establish regular training sessions sufficient to allow affected individuals to comply with this order. Source: Governor's Executive Order;
See the SUNY Compliance website NYS Training Mandates pagefor information on other mandatory employee trainings.
3. Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) Mandates as required by the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011
Includes the Following mandates:
- FDS Filer List (responsibility of the Ethics Officer)
- FDS Filer List Amendments (responsibility of the Ethics Officer)
- FDS Filer Employees must File their Financial Disclosures (responsibility of employee/FDS filer to file; responsibility of Ethics Officer to communicate procedures and deadline for filing to FDS filer/ employee)
- Mandated Ethics Training for FDS Filers: JCOPE's Comprehensive Ethics Training course (responsibility of Ethics Officer to facilitate training, and communicate training procedures and deadline for training to the FDS filer/ employee)
- FDS Filers Honoraria Reporting (responsibility of employee/FDS filer to file; responsibility of Ethics Officer to communicate procedures and deadline for filing honoraria to FDS filer/ employee)
See the SUNY JCOPE compliance webpage for more information on all of the various JCOPE Compliance mandates listed above.
Applicable Laws and Regulations
New York State Public Offiers Law, Section 74, Code of Ethics, Effective July 7, 1998.
New York State Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011
New York State Public Officers Law §73-a Financial Disclosure
New York State Civil Service Law §107 Prohibition against certain political activities; improper influence
New York State Executive Order No. 3, Ethics Training, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
SUNY Policies and Procedures
The University Board of Trustees adopted on September 27, 1990, and revised on May 31, 2007, a Code of Ethical Conduct (Code) applicable to the service of its members, as well as those who are members of campus councils and the Board of Trustees of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). The Code, which has been filed with the State Ethics Commission, establishes ethical standards and limitations on outside activities applicable to all uncompensated University public officers, including those designated policy-makers. It is similar in most respects to the standards governing the business and professional activities of public officers under NYS Public Officers Law §§73 and 74. The adoption of the Code does not affect the determination that campus council members and ESF Board of Trustees are not required to file annual disclosure statements with the State Ethics Commission.
Compliance Mandate: The Code must be distributed to all newly appointed members of the University Board of Trustees, each state-operated campus council and ESF Board of Trustees.
SUNY Conflict of Interest Policy, Document Number 6001
Faculty and staff of the State University of New York (University) are encouraged to foster an atmosphere of academic freedom by promoting the open and timely exchange of scholarly knowledge independent of personal interests and are required to avoid conflicts of interest. Where potential or actual conflicts exist, faculty and staff are expected to consult with appropriate University officers and abide by University policy. This policy represents a restatement of existing University policy and pertinent state and federal law and regulations.
SUNY Procedure, Honoraria & Travel Reimbursement by University Employees, Document Number 8950In accordance with the New York State Ethics in Government Act, the New York State Ethics Commission (Ethics Commission or Commission) promulgated regulations governing the receipt by state employees of honoraria and travel expense reimbursement. The honoraria regulations apply to all compensated state employees with the exception of academic employees engaging in activities within their academic discipline.
SUNY Procedure, Oath Of Office, Document Number 8150
The State University of New York (University) ensures that its officers and employees take and file an oath of office in compliance with the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and statutes of the State of New York.
SUNY Procedure, Outside Activities of University Policy Makers, Document Number 8151
In accordance with the New York State Ethics in Government Act, the New York State Ethics Commission (State Ethics Commission or Commission) promulgated regulations governing the approval from the State Ethics Commission for permission to engage in outside activities. The outside activity regulations apply to state policymakers only, which for the State University of New York generally, are those employees at the level of dean and above at the state-operated campuses and associate vice chancellor and above in the University’s system administration (system administration or system). Lists of campus and system policy-makers are available at the employing state-operated campus’ or system’s office of human resources.
SUNY Compliance Webpage on JCOPE (Joint Commission on Public Ethics)
SUNY Internal Controls Webpage guidance, New York State Ethics - A Plain Language Version
JCOPE Website (Joint Commission on Public Ethics)
On June 13, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed, and on August 15, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law, the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 ("PIRA"). PIRA comprehensively reformed the oversight and regulation of ethics and lobbying in New York State - a key component of which was the establishment of the new independent agency, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which has oversight over both the Executive and Legislative Branches. According to their website, "The Commission was created to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the State's ethics and lobbying laws, regulations, and guidance. As discussed below, the Commission promotes transparency by making required disclosures filed by Statewide elected officials, Executive Branch officers and employees, Legislative Branch officers, employees, and candidates, as well as lobbyists, lobbying clients and public benefit corporations available to the public. The Commission provides information, education and advice regarding current ethics and lobbying laws and promotes compliance through audits, investigations and enforcement proceedings."
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 Director of Compliance. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.