Our Ethics Responsibilities

I. Documents to Distribute and Collect

A. Uniform Code of Ethics

The University must distribute New Jersey's Uniform Code of Ethics to all employees.

All employees must specify the date they received the Code and acknowledge that they are responsible for reading and are bound by it.

The University must maintain this record in every employee’s personnel file.

The Code should be read in conjunction with the rules on activity conducted in a scholarly capacity, which revised part of the Code.

B. Plain Language Ethics Guide

The University must distribute the State’s "Plain Language Ethics Guide" to all employees.

All employees must specify the date they received the "Guide" and acknowledge that they are responsible for reading and are bound by it.

The University must maintain this record in every employee’s personnel file.

The "Guide" should be read in conjunction with the rules on activity conducted in a scholarly capacity, which revised part of the "Guide."

C. Statement on the Impact of the State Ethics Commission's Scholarly Capacity Rule

The University must distribute the State’s "Scholarly Capacity Rule Impact Statement" to all employees.

All employees must specify the date they received the "Statement" and acknowledge that they are responsible for reading and are bound by it.

The University must maintain this record in every employee’s personnel file.

D. Outside Activity Questionnaire

Every other year, all employees must fill out an Outside Activity Questionnaire in which they disclose all secondary employment, outside business interests, and outside activities such as in volunteer boards.  Employees must report any changes in their outside activities by submitting a revised Questionnaire.

Each employee's direct supervisor and the ethics liaison officer must review and approve or disapprove each form to eliminate or prevent conflicts with an employee’s official job duties.  Employees whose Questionnaires do not win approval have the right to appeal that decision to the State Ethics Commission.

It is not necessary to report activity conducted in a scholarly capacity on the Questionnaire.

E. Personal and Business Relationships Disclosure Form

Any employee or State officer who is involved in the procurement process must annually fill out a Personal and Business Relationships Disclosure Form.

The ethics liaison officer must review these forms to eliminate conflicts of interest if employees have business, personal, or professional relationships with an entity or individual that is seeking to contract with the State.  Employees who have conflicts must execute a written recusal.

II. Reporting Requirements

A. Acting in a Scholarly Capacity

Acting in a scholarly capacity, a State employee may attend, participate in, or make presentations at colloquia, seminars, conferences, or similar scholarly gatherings so long as the State employee notifies his or her department head of his or her attendance, participation, or presentation.

State employees must annually submit a form detailing any travel, subsistence, or entertainment expenses, honoraria, academic prizes, royalties, or other things of value related to activities performed in a scholarly capacity received in the previous calendar year.

B. Request for Approval for Attendance at Events

Except when acting in a scholarly capacity, all employees must fill out a Request for Approval for Attendance at Events Form before attending events away from the workplace that are sponsored by a non-government organization when the invitation is extended to them in their official capacity.  When certain meetings are part of an employee's everyday job responsibilities, those meetings are not considered "events" for the purpose of this rule.

The ethics liaison officer must approve all such forms prior to employees’ attendance.

Whenever an employee plans to accept benefits in return for making a speech to an interested party, the ethics liaison officer must forward a copy of the signed Attendance at Events Form to the State Ethics Commission.

C. Recusal

All employees must submit recusal letters when they have a personal or financial interest that conflicts with their official duties.

The ethics liaison officer must copy all recusal letters to the Commission.

D. Joint Ventures 

The Commission must be copied‌ on all agency determinations regarding proposed joint ventures or private financing.

E. Gifts

The ethics liaison officer must annually distribute the State's gift policy to all employees.

Employees must report all gifts from employment-related sources to the ethics liaison officer and send the donor a letter explaining why the gift could not be accepted.

Employees must return all non-perishable gifts to their donors.  When practicable, employees must turn in perishable gifts to the ethics liaison officer, who must donate them to a charity in the name of the donor.

F. Post-Employment Restrictions

Departing employees must be informed of post-employment restrictions.

G. Financial Disclosure (Executive Order No. 14 - for the president and trustees alone)

The ethics liaison officer must compile a list of persons required to file Conflicts of Interest Forms (that is, the president and board of trustees) and forward that list to the Commission annually upon request. The ethics liaison officer must update the list as new appointments are made and filers leave State service.

The ethics liaison officer must provide the president and trustees (and the State Ethics Commission) with their institution's most recent vendor list to enable them to fill out the Conflicts of Interest Form.  The ethics liaison officer must also provide them (and the State Ethics Commission) with quarterly vendor lists so they can determine if their previously filed forms need to be updated.

Financial disclosure statements must be filed within 120 days of appointment and on May 15 of each subsequent year.

H. Supervisory Conflicts of Interest Certification

Employees must not supervise or exercise personnel authority over relatives.  To that end, they should fill out the Supervisory Conflict of Interest Form.

If nepotism situations are disclosed, the ethics liaison officer should work with the personnel department to ensure that relatives within the statutory definition are not within each other's direct supervision or personnel authority.

III. Ethics Training

A. Ten Principles of Ethical Conduct

B. On-line Training Modules

The ethics liaison officer must assist the Commission’s ethics training officer in scheduling ethics training for all employees.

The ethics liaison officer must track employee attendance at on-site training sessions and employee completion of on-line training programs to ensure compliance with ethics training requirements.

C. Annual Ethics Briefing

In years that they do not receive ethics training, all employees must review the mandatory ethics briefing.

Agency ethics liaison officers and/or staff developmental professionals, managers, or supervisors must maintain a record that employees have received mandatory ethics training and, in years they do not receive such training, the mandatory annual ethics briefing.