Our Ethics Obligations as State Employees
Because it is critical that the public have the greatest confidence in our conduct as State employees, this Web site is designed to alert you to our ethical responsibilities and to problems you may face. Ethical difficulties can usually be avoided if advice is obtained from our ethics liaison officer or University Counsel earlier rather than later. Failure to comply with the policies detailed here can cause the severest repercussions for the University, to say nothing of disciplinary action or termination of employment for the individual involved.
We have an obligation to observe the standards laid out in statutes, gubernatorial executive orders, and procurement, personnel, and travel rules. Although these duties might seem impossibly complicated, ten simple principles can guide us.
As State employees, however, we also have some very specific obligations. Most importantly, all employees must:
- submit receipts in which they note the date they received New Jersey's Uniform Code of Ethics, the State Ethics Commission's Plain Language Ethics Guide, and the Scholarly Capacity Rule Impact Statement, and acknowledge that they are responsible for reading and are bound by these documents;
- fill out an outside activity questionnaire at least every other year; and
- annually review an ethics briefing and regularly undergo ethics training, whether on-site or on-line.
All employees with supervisory responsibilities must annually fill out a conflicts of interest certification. Employees must also fill out a request for approval for attendance at events form before attending events away from work that are sponsored by a non-government group when the invitation is extended to them in their official capacity. All professors/instructors must annually fill out a "scholarly capacity" disclosure form. All individuals involved in purchasing decisions must file and update a personal and business relationships disclosure form.
These steps are not simply desirable or recommended and they are not mandated by the University: they are mandated by the State of New Jersey, and we must all comply. The State conducts audits of all its agencies, including public universities, to review their compliance with its regulations.
Employees can find a record of whether or not they have completed many of these requirements in one place:
- Go to the Employee Self-Service System.
- Log in with your campus-wide ID (or CWID, the 8-digit number that replaced our Social Security number for such tasks as entering working hours or student grades) and PIN (a 6-digit number).
- In the upper, left-hand corner, in the menu under "Personal Info," click on the link "State Ethics Rules Data." With the one exception of the ethics briefing, compliance with every requirement listed here is tracked. Click on the link following any report of "Status: Incomplete" to fulfill that requirement. Each one takes a matter of minutes.