Ethics Act Compliance & Annual Disclosure of Employment or Services Outside UA
June 29, 2021
From Andy Harrington, UA Designated Ethics Supervisor:
Your friendly ethics broken record wants to remind you, both those of you in the dwindling minority who understand that metaphor and those of you in the growing majority who do not, that it is time for our annual renewal of our ethical disclosure obligations with regard to outside activities.
All University employees (including regular, term, temporary, student and full and part-time faculty and staff) are responsible for complying with the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Alaska Statute 39.52).
The Act sets standards for how we do our University jobs, and to a lesser extent, may limit our non-University activities. For example, the Act regulates: benefitting our own personal or financial interests through official action; misuse of official position; solicitation or receipt of gifts; improper influence in university grants, contracts, leases or loans; improper representation; outside activities; and restrictions on employment after leaving the University. See the attached “Quick reference” or the website listed below for more information.
As part of this ethical obligation, we must disclose any work we perform outside of our University employment, including any self-employment, independent contracting, or consulting. All compensated outside activities are to be disclosed, and even volunteer outside work, if we get reimbursed for anything in connection with that volunteer work (travel, meals, etc.), or if the volunteer work might involve the same issues or people as our University duties, or interfere with our University responsibilities. (However, employees with no outside activities are not required to submit the form.)
Outside activity is to be disclosed within 30 days of starting (or resuming) University employment. Thereafter, any additional outside employment is to be reported prior to beginning that employment (bearing in mind that if your supervisor finds that an adverse effect from your outside employment is possible, you may not start that outside employment unless and until your supervisor or the designated ethics supervisor gives approval). Updated outside employment forms are required as changes in that outside employment occur.
In addition to these time frames, outside employment is also to be reported every July 1, even if a form was previously submitted. The supervisor makes an initial determination about possible adverse effect on employment and forwards the form to the designated UAA, UAF, UAS, or SW ethics representative for review.
This year, all outside activity forms are to be submitted electronically, available here. There are also FAQs on outside activity and other ethics act reference materials on the website. (Remember that there are different forms for making other disclosures. For example, there is a separate form for disclosing employee and employee family member interests in contracts with the University; these must be disclosed and pre-approved using the “Interest in Contracts, Grants, Leases, or Loans” form. This and other disclosure forms (Notification of Receipt of Gift in Excess of $150, Disclosure of Employment of Immediate Family Members, etc.) are available on the ethics website noted above. Additional information regarding the Ethics Act can be found at http://www.law.state.ak.us/doclibrary/ethics.html.
You may be required to submit other more specialized disclosures if you engage in sponsored research. Please contact your research compliance officer for further information. Thank you for your cooperation. Feel free to contact me, or your even friendlier individual University ethics designees, if you have questions.