Government Conflict of Interests Act Compliance
State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act Compliance
UVA is required to designate Members of the Board of Visitors and certain officers and employees of the University to
- File a Financial Disclosure Statement or a Statement of Economic Interest each year
- Periodically complete the State and Local Conflict of Interests (COI) Act training course
- To ensure that the judgment of public officers and employees will not be compromised or affected by inappropriate conflicts between personal economic interests and the official duties of Virginia’s public servants
- To comply with requirements of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (Title 2.2, Chapter 31 of the Code of Virginia and the Governor’s Executive Order Number 8 regarding filing disclosures and completing training
- To comply with the requirement that approximately 25,000 Virginia governmental officers and employees are required to disclose their financial interests each year
University’s Conflict of Interests List
- Individuals are selected for this list based on the criteria found in the COI Act (§2.2 - 3114) and the Governor’s Executive Order
- A list of these designated individuals is maintained and updated once per calendar year
- The President and each Vice President are responsible for approving additions and deletions to the COI list
- Board Members remain on the University’s COI list until their appointment expires
- Officers and employees remain on the list until they terminate employment or no longer require a President’s waiver for a conflict
- Officers and employees may also be dropped from the University’s COI list if their assigned duties and responsibilities no longer meet the criteria for being a designated employee
Individuals on the COI List Include, But Are Not Limited to:
- Members of the Board of Visitors
- Employees having substantive responsibility for finance, procurement, audit, investment, contract compliance, inspection, investigation, project management, and human resources (this list is not all inclusive)
- Faculty researchers with an approved waiver from the President for a research conflict; research conflict waivers are reported to the Board of Visitors
- Officers and employees with an approved waiver from the President for a procurement conflict
The COI Act requires financial disclosure documents to be filed once each year by February 1
- Reporting period - prior calendar year; the State of Virginia Ethics Council expects a subject employee to file a new financial disclosure if they work any time during this reporting period
- The Conflict of Interest Disclosure System used to file disclosures online (see user guide)
- Helps individuals complete disclosure statements
- Allows filers to sign disclosures electronically
- Retains a copy of the filers’ previous disclosure to assist in completing future disclosures
- The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council’s website provides multiple financial disclosure documents
- Board Members complete the Financial Disclosure Statement
- Designated officers and employees of the University, including Medical Center employees, complete the Statement of Economic Interests
- The Disclosure of Real Estate Holdings document is not applicable
Financial disclosure documents are subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
Filing the Statement of Economic Interests does not relieve you of your obligation to comply with other requirements of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act.
Notification of Financial Disclosure Filing
- University Board Members and designated officers and employees receive notice of their filing requirement from the online COI Disclosure System and the University’s Conflict of Interests Coordinator.
- The Coordinator will initiate notice after receiving guidance from the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.
- Some new employees may have to file a Statement of Economic Interests and complete the COI Act orientation course soon after starting at UVA (Coordinator will notify them and provide instructions). They will also have to file the next COI disclosure.
- Research faculty seeking a waiver from the President for a research conflict must also file a Statement of Economic Interests and complete the COI Training course at the time of their waiver request.
Late Filing of Financial Disclosure or Statement of Economic Interest Documents
- Individuals who miss filing deadlines will be reported to their respective Vice President, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.
- Individuals who fail to file when designated by the University will be subject to fines and penalties issued through the State of Virginia Attorney General's Office.
- Failure to file the Statement of Economic Interests, or knowingly filing inaccurately, may result in criminal and/or civil penalties.
- Knowingly filing forms inaccurately may also result in dismissal from office or employment.
Contact the COI Coordinator if you have a compelling reason for filing late, such as a death in the family or taking leave for health reasons. The Coordinator will contact the Virginia Conflict of Interests and Ethics Advisory Council and request an appropriate extension on your behalf. Approval of extension requests are at the discretion of the Virginia Conflict of Interests and Ethics Advisory Council.
State and Local Conflict of Interests Act Training
Notification to Complete the State Employee and Officer Training Module (COI Training)
- University Board Members and designated officers and employees receive notification via email to complete the required COI Training directly from Policy, Risk Management and Compliance.
- This notification is separate from the Conflict of Interest Disclosure System’s filing notification.
- Because the COI Training is required every other year, the Coordinator is responsible for tracking which designated employees are required to file each year.
- Training must be completed by subject individuals every two years.
Failure to Complete COI Training
The Coordinator is responsible for keeping a public record of completion dates for all individuals. Those who fail to complete the training will be reported to their respective Vice President, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.
Other Requirements for Faculty and Staff
In addition to the State’s COI annual filing and training requirement (every two years), there are other Conflict of Interest requirements under federal and state law or University policy that affect University faculty and staff.
UVA Human Resources
UVA HR is responsible for coordinating Virginia’s Conflict of Interest mandated by the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act.
- The Act requires the University to designate certain University employees, based on the level and type of their assigned job duties, and members of the Board of Visitors to comply with the Act’s requirements.
- Both employees and the Board of Visitors are required to file a semiannual financial disclosure form and complete training on the Conflict of Interests Act and the Ethics in Public Contracting portion of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (COI Training).
The Department of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services
The Department of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services has COI responsibility mandated by Section 2.2-3110 of the State and local Government Conflict of Interests Act.
The Act authorizes public institutions of higher education to contract with a firm in which University employees or a member of their immediate family owns equity (as long as the University and employee meet certain obligations designed to maintain and promote confidence in public contracting).
These obligations include, but are not limited to:
- Employees disclosing in writing their interests in a firm seeking to enter into a contract with the University
- Employees confirming they will not participate in any part of the contract negotiation process
- The President certifying that the negotiated contract is in the best interest of the University
This process starts with an email in July to all University employees requesting that they self-report any interest(s) in a firm that is contracting or plans to contract with the University. If an employee self-reports ownership in a firm and the University’s contract with the firm reaches a certain dollar threshold, the employee is required to file the State’s financial disclosure form and complete the COI training. For more information contact UVA Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services at 434.924.4212.
The Office of the Vice President for Research
The Office of the Vice President for Research is responsible for a Conflict of Interests process under University Policy, Financial Conflicts of Interests for Research Investigators, RES-005.
- Research Investigators must comply with both Federal and State Conflict of Interests requirements to ensure a reasonable expectation that their design, conduct, and reporting of research will be unbiased by any conflicting financial interests.
- They must comply with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations on “Promoting Objectivity in Research” – 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart F, and 45 CFR 94.
- They may also need to comply with the requirements of other federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.
- They must comply with the Virginia State and Local Conflict of Interests Act.
- They are required to disclose their personal interests prior to the negotiation of the contract with the University, Section 2.2-3106.
- This includes completing the State of Virginia’s financial disclosure form prior to the University President approving the exception.
- University Human Resources assists the Office of the Vice President for Research by coordinating the investigator’s completion of the State’s COI requirement.
- In some cases, Research Investigators may also need to self-report their personal interests through Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.
- Once the Research Investigator has been granted an exception (waiver from the President), the University designates the investigator to comply with the State’s COI requirement of filing a financial disclosure form and completing the COI training.
For more information contact the Office of the Vice President for Research: 434.924.3606 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The School of Medicine
The School of Medicine’s (SOM) Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment requires all SOM faculty and investigators to disclose annually all financial interests that relate to institutional responsibilities using the SOM online disclosure system.
- New financial interests must be disclosed within 30 days.
- Recently hired SOM faculty must disclose their financial interests within 30 days of their initial appointment.
- This process is completely separate from Virginia’s Conflict of Interest requirements.
For more information contact Steven Wasserman or the School of Medicine Office for Research at 434.243.7088.