Purchasing and Auxiliary Services
Tennessee Board of Regents Code of Ethics in Procurement and Contracting
The code of ethics was developed by the TBR Council of Buyers, approved by the Chancellor, and shall be applicable to all employees in the Tennessee Board of Regents System who are primarily responsible for the purchase of goods or services for any institution or school in the system.
1. Statement of Policy
Employees must discharge their duties and responsibilities fairly and impartially. They also should maintain a standard of conduct that will inspire public confidence in the integrity of the institutions and schools.
2. General Standards of Ethical Conduct
a) Any attempt to realize personal gain through public employment, inconsistent with the responsible discharge of that public employment, is a breach of public trust.
b) Employees shall base all purchases on the principle of competitive bidding consistent with policies of the Board and the institution or school.
c) Employees shall grant all competitive bidders equal consideration, regard each transaction on its own merits, and foster and promote fair, ethical, and legal trade practices.
d) Employees shall avoid misrepresentation and sharp practices, and demand honesty in sales representations whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of a product.
e) Employees shall be receptive to competent counsel from colleagues, and be willing to submit any major controversy through the appropriate appeals processes.
f) Employees shall accord prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all that call on legitimate business missions.
g) Employees shall not use without consent the original designs developed by a vendor for competitive purposes.
3. Conflict of Interest
It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee, in the performance of his or her official duties, to participate directly or indirectly in any proceeding, claim or controversy, or other particular matter pertaining to any contract, or subcontract, and any solicitation or proposal thereof, in which to his or her knowledge:
a) He or she or any member of his or her immediate family has a substantial financial interest; or
b) A business or organization in which he or she or any member of his or her immediate family has a substantial financial interest as an officer, director, trustee, partner or employee, is a party; or
c) Any other person, business, or organization with whom he or she or a member of his or her immediate family is negotiating or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment is a party.
The determination of whether a substantial financial interest exists shall be based upon the criteria identified in TBR Policy No. 1:02:03:10, Conflict of Interest, Item 4(B) 1-3, as follows:
If the Board member, employee or member of the "immediate family:"
1) is an officer, director, trustee, partner, employee or agent of such organization; or
2) is either the actual or beneficial owner of more than four percent of the voting stock or controlling interest of such an organization; or
3) has any other direct or indirect dealing with such organization from which he or she knowingly materially benefits (e.g., through receipt directly or indirectly of cash or other property in excess of $4,000 a year, exclusive of dividends or interest).
Direct or indirect participation shall include but not be limited to involvement through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or purchase standard, rendering of advice, investigation, auditing or in any other advisory capacity.
It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee or former employee to solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept from another person, a gratuity or an offer of employment, in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or purchase standards, rendering of advice, investigation, auditing, or in any other advisory capacity in any proceeding or application, request for ruling or other determination, claim or controversy, or other particular matter, pertaining to any contract or subcontract and any solicitation or proposal thereof.
5. Contemporaneous Employment Prohibited
It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee who is involved in purchasing to become or be, while such an employee, the employee of any party contracting with the particular governmental body by which the employee is employed.