Conflict of Interest in Employment

Management Mechanism Template

The elements listed below need to be included in all management plans that are submitted for review by the Committee on the Conflict of Interest in Employment.  The management plan—which consists primarily of a revised reporting structure so that no individual is in a position to make employment-related decisions for another individual with whom s/he has a relationship outside the employment setting—should be prepared by the first neutral supervisor* or above. All plans need to be routed through the college or division office before submission to the Committee on the Conflict of Interest in Employment.

  1. Identification of related individuals. Include names and job title/status.
  2. Identification of unit or department and division or college.
  3. It is the policy of the University that conflicts of interest should be avoided where possible and otherwise disclosed and managed.  Identify the "sound institutional reason" (OM III 8.d) why this conflict is not being avoided.
  4. A description of the conflict-of-interest situation that the plan addresses.
  5. A description of the reporting structure(s) (include names and titles) proposed to eliminate a real or perceived conflict related to hiring, salary, working conditions, working responsibilities, evaluation, promotion, and termination decisions. NOTE: The inclusion of “hiring” in this list signifies that the description of how the conflict was managed must include information about the hiring process (i.e., how the involved individual was removed from any participation in the hiring process, beginning with the point at which a potential conflict was identified, which may include even how the position was advertised if it was known that the related individual was a potential candidate for the position).
  6. Two organizational charts of the immediate area including all relevant student employees, staff, and faculty. The first chart should display the supervisory relationships that would exist if the two individuals were not related (pre-management plan).   The second chart should display the proposed future supervisory relationships (post-management plan).  Attach charts to proposed plan.
  7. Assurance that the departmental executive officer will provide a written report to the Conflict of Interest in Employment Committee no later than one year following the approval date of the management plan regarding the effectiveness of that plan.**
  8. A letter or memo of notification (hard copy, not e-mail) to staff, faculty, and, if appropriate, students, in the unit or department in which a management plan has been developed who might be in a position to be affected by the conflict-of-interest situation. A statement that describes how frequently the letter will be sent (one per year is typical). The letter or memo should (a) inform its readers of the existence of the conflict-of-interest situation and of a plan to manage the situation, and (b) identify one or more neutral persons to whom to bring concerns to regarding the conflict-of-interest situation, particularly any negative consequences or other indications that the management plan is ineffective. Different people may need to be designated for faculty, staff, and students. Any such letter or memo should be submitted along with the proposed plan.  We have also included below a template memo of notification.

First neutral supervisor - the person immediately superior to the individual involved in the conflict of interest who would otherwise have the responsibility to make, or participate actively in the making of, any decisions or recommendations relating to the employment status of the related individual.

**Written Reports - In certain cases, the committee may request such reports at 6 months as well as 1 year following the approval date.

Memo Template

MEMORANDUM

TO: All Personnel Involved in the (unit/grants/labs) of AAA and BBB

FROM:

RE: Conflict of Interest Management Plan

As you may or may not be aware, AAA and BBB have a personal relationship in addition to their professional relationship. In accordance with University policy, we have developed a conflict-of-interest management plan in recognition of the potential problems that can arise when related individuals work in a supervisory or otherwise hierarchical relationship to each e.g., grant, PI and Investigator.

This memo is to inform you that we have established a plan to oversee and review this situation. The [Dean’s office, the Department, Chair of AAA and BBB etc.], will survey each member of the [unit/grant/lab] staff at least annually to learn how the [unit/grant/lab] is functioning and whether any problems exist related to the conflict-of-interest situation.

In addition, if you have any questions or concerns about the impact of the conflict-of-interest situation on your work or the functioning of the [unit/grant/lab] in general, you should feel free at any time throughout the year to address these concerns to [DEO, Departmental Human Resource Representative, Associate Dean for Faculty etc.], as appropriate.

OPERATIONS MANUAL:
PART III. HUMAN RESOURCES
DIVISION I EMPLOYMENT, GENERAL
CHAPTER 8: CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN EMPLOYMENT (NEPOTISM)