Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

1. Introduction
All employees of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy (OACP) are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their professional and business practices. In order to meet these obligations, all employees should disclose conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment that may exist between personal activities and obligations to the University.

The objective of this OACP policy is to minimize the risk of unacceptable behavior in potential conflict situations.

2. Policy
Each employee owes professional loyalty to the University and OACP and will be alert to the possibility that external obligations, financial interests, employment, and certain family or intimate relationships can affect that commitment. Therefore, all employees are responsible for determining whether they have a conflict of interest or commitment covered by this policy. Because no policy can anticipate the full range of external relationships and activities that may give rise to conflicts of interest or commitment, employees must disclose any external relationship or activity that may give the appearance of a conflict as soon as feasible after discovery of the conflict.

After disclosure of a conflict of interest or commitment, the employee must agree to comply with a plan designed by management to manage, reduce, or eliminate the identified conflicts. The employee must also provide follow-up disclosures at a reasonable time interval as stated in the management plan after his or her initial disclosure to provide an update on the status of the conflict of interest or commitment and the employee's compliance with the measures put in place to manage it.

All disclosures, as well as decisions on how to manage the conflict, should be documented and maintained in the employee's OACP personnel file which is maintained by the Associate Vice President. If an employee has any questions about whether an external activity must be disclosed, the employee should consult with his or her supervisor for guidance. Supervisors who become aware of employees under their supervision who may have conflicts of interest or commitment covered by this policy are obligated to ensure the conflict is appropriately disclosed.

3. Professional Conflict of Interest
Under this policy, actual or potential conflicts of interest arise when:
(a) financial, professional, or personal considerations compromise or have the appearance of compromising an employee's professional loyalty and responsibility to the University or an employee's professional judgment and ability to perform his or her duties and responsibilities to Auburn University.
(b) an employee's financial, professional, or personal activities compete or have the appearance of competing with the University or are of such a nature they would adversely impact the prestige of the University, the teaching, research, and service missions of the University, or the quality of services provided by OACP.

4. Conflict of Commitment
A conflict of commitment under this policy relates to an employee's distribution of effort between his or her University employment and his or her participation in an external activity. Although participation in external activities is encouraged, activities which interfere with the employee's primary professional responsibility to the University create a conflict of commitment.

External activities include but are not limited to:

  • Consulting activities
  • An ownership interest or a management role in any external entity
  • Employment by another employer
  • Involvement in any activity that requires regular or extensive absence from the University during times when the employee is required or expected to perform the duties and responsibilities of his or her University employment

5. Disclosures
Disclosures of conflicts of interest or commitment must be made in writing using the attached form to the Associate Vice President, OACP, prior to undertaking the activity giving rise to the conflict of interest or commitment.

The three possible outcomes of the disclosure process include:

  • Permitted as is
  • Permitted contingent upon the implementation of one or more actions for managing the conflict of interest or commitment
  • Unacceptable and thus prohibited


Part I: Employee Identification

Employee Name: ___________________________________

Employee Title: __________________________________

Date of Disclosure: ________________________

1) Do you, your dependents, or close relations have or expect to have a financial interest in a business or enterprise that provides goods or services to the University or which competes with or may be perceived to compete with the services provided by the University or its mission?

☐ Yes		☐ No

2) Do your dependents or close relations have or expect to have an employment or consulting relationship with Auburn University?

☐ Yes		☐ No

3) Do you engage or expect to engage in a business or other external activity for which you receive salary, royalties, or other payments for services?

☐ Yes		☐ No

If you answered "Yes" to any question in PART II, describe the source(s) of additional income/compensation to you, your dependents, or close relations:

4) ) Do you use or expect to use University resources in the performance of an external activity?

☐ Yes		☐ No

5) Do you engage or expect to engage in an activity that constitutes or may by perceived to constitute a conflict of commitment? If you answered "Yes" to question 3 in Part II above there may be, at a minimum, a perceived conflict and you should answer "Yes" to this question as well.

☐ Yes		☐ No

If your answer to any of the questions in Part II or Part III is "Yes," please provide all information that is relevant to your response which might assist OACP in managing the perceived or actual conflict of interest or conflict of commitment. Please include at a minimum the following information:

  • Identify the nature of the business or other external activity
  • Identify the nature of the financial interest to you, your dependents, or your close relations
  • Identify positions held or offered to you, your dependents, or your close relations
  • Indicate the nature of your University activities as they relate to or involve the business or other external activity
  • Describe the use of University resources including equipment, network services, or applications in the business or other external activity.

PART IV: Management Requirements (To be filled out by management)

The management plan should include plans to remediate the conflicts and should include specific dates for follow-up information to be submitted from the employee. The conditions or restrictions to manage, reduce, or eliminate the actual or perceived conflict are as follows:

I hereby affirm the above information and the information contained in the attached statements, if any, is true to the best of my knowledge. I have read and understand my obligations under the OACP policy, Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment, and I will comply with the conditions or restrictions in Part IV to reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest or conflicts of commitment.

I will submit an updated disclosure promptly if my circumstances change. I also attest that I understand failure to comply with the policy and management plan and/or making false or misleading statements could result in disciplinary actions.

Employee Name:  _________________________________________

Employee Signature: _____________________________________  Date: _____________________

Manager Name:  __________________________________________

Manager Signature: ______________________________________  Date: ______________________

Last Updated: October 09, 2018