Faculty Handbook 2014–15
The Ethics in Government Act of 1987, as amended, imposes a financial disclosure requirement on any state employee serving in a job title with an annual salary exceeding $91,821 (the filing threshold as of April 1, 2015). The required statutory form is available in electronic (e-file) format and as a downloadable PDF. Financial disclosure statements are filed directly with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).
Under Section §73-a of the Public Officers Law, certain “state persons” are required to file an annual statement of financial disclosure (FDS). An FDS is a publicly available record containing information about financial holdings and professional associations of the filer and their spouse. The purpose is to provide transparency in order to prevent conflicts of interest and abuses of official position and to help the filer identify and manage potential conflicts of interest.
For academic employees serving in a job title with an annual salary exceeding $91,821:
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics regulations set limits on the amount of honoraria state employees and officers can receive and defines an honorarium as:
The key is that the service for which an honorarium is received is not job-related.
Honoraria must be approved by the individual’s approving authority. At Purchase College, the approving authority is the director of human resources. Faculty members are exempt from requesting approval for honoraria in advance, provided that the service they perform is within the subject matter of their official academic or research discipline. If the service to be performed for an honorarium is not within the subject matter of your official academic or research discipline, you need to seek permission in advance to perform the service. Requests for permission should be made in writing to the director of human resources and include the following:
An employee who is performing a service for an honorarium may not use state personnel, equipment, and time to prepare for this service. No state funds can be used to pay for the employee’s attendance, registration, travel, lodging, or meal expenses. If the service to be performed is during the person’s normal workday, he or she must charge leave time (other than sick) to perform the service. Performing honoraria must not violate Public Officers Law §74.
If the honorarium is from an interested source, the following criteria must be met: Looking at the totality of the circumstances, it is not reasonable to infer that the honoraria is intended/expected to influence the person or intended as a reward for an official action. JCOPE defines “interested source” as “a person or entity that has certain dealings or involvement with an individual’s agency. This includes vendors, lobbyists, and other persons or entities that do business with, have matter before, or have received or applied for funds from, an individual’s agency. It also includes entitles that are regulated by an individual’s agency.”
If an honorarium received is more than $1,000, it must be reported on Question 13 of the financial disclosure statement for required filers.
If you have any questions, you can visit the commission’s website at www.jcope.ny.gov or call the commission at (518) 408-3976.
Updated Feb. 2, 2015
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