Related Party Disclosures
Section: Purchasing Index: E-7
Subject: Related Party Disclosures
Employees of the University of Houston-Victoria shall avoid using their positions for purposes that are, or give the appearance of being, motivated by a desire for private gain for themselves or others, such as those with whom they have family, business, or other ties. University employees shall exercise the utmost good faith in all transactions, activities, and behaviors related to their duties to the UH System, its property, and resources. Faculty, administrators and staff in a position to personally benefit from a transaction entered into by the University of Houston-Victoria or other UHS components shall annually complete a disclosure statement regarding related party interests as required by UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.17. (References)
Prior to an employee or any member of the employee’s family entering into any related party relationship or accepting any benefit, the employee must submit a detailed written disclosure of the proposed relationship for review and a final determination.
Conflict of Interest: A situation in which there is a divergence between the employee's private interests and professional obligations to the University, such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the employee's actions or decisions are determined by considerations of private gain, whether financial or otherwise, to the University's detriment. Such a situation may result from consulting or other outside employment, a relationship defined as a related-party interest, or any other relationship that results in a gift or benefit to the employee.
Related Party Interest: A business or personal relationship that exists between an employee and an outside individual or organization that may influence the employee’s actions or decisions due to considerations of private benefit – financial or otherwise – and/or may create or be perceived as creating a conflict of interest.
The Related Party Disclosure will be completed annually online as part of a reporting process initiated by the UH System. Related Party Disclosures are to be completed by all full-time faculty, all exempt staff and non-exempt employees in a position to originate purchase requests or influence a purchasing decision Examples include using a procurement card to make a purchase, creating or approving purchase requisitions or vouchers, selecting a vendor or contractor or negotiating or signing a contract.
Texas Government Code 2261.252 requires employees to provide disclosure of potential conflicts of interests. (References) To avoid timing problems associated with the annual reporting, prior to an employee or any member of the employee’s family entering into any related party relationship or accepting any benefit, the employee must submit to his or her department head a detailed written disclosure of the proposed relationship. The written disclosure shall include:
- The name and relationships of the individual entering into the relationship or activity;
- The nature of the pending activity or relationship;
- The relationship between the outside entity and the university;
- Any benefits to be gained by the employee or family member; and
- A description of how the employee will ensure separation of interests between the commitment to the outside party and to the university.
The employee’s department head shall review the information provided and request any additional information which may be considered relevant. Indicating whether he/she believes that a conflict of interest may be present, the department head shall forward the written disclosure through appropriate channels to the Executive Committee for final determination of the proposed activity.
Should a situation be identified in which an employee is involved in any business or professional activity or relationship and/or has accepted any benefit that creates a conflict of interest or commitment with the employee’s responsibilities to the university, the Chancellor will be informed and the UHS Department of Internal Auditing may be contacted to investigate. Depending upon the results of the investigation, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and possibly criminal charges.
Deans and department heads should at least annually discuss related party interests and potential conflict of interest with their employees.
- UHS Administrative Memorandum, 03.A.17 Disclosure of Related Party Interests
- Texas Government Code 2261.252, Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interests
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph. D.
Originating Department: Finance Department
Next Review Date: December 2022