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Appendix B: The University of Texas at Austin Compliance Program

  • What Does It Mean?
  • What Should I Do?
  • What Shouldn't I Do?
  • Who's Responsible?
  • How Do I Find Out More?

Our Commitment To Ethical Conduct "Do The Right Thing"

The University of Texas at Austin Compliance Program is dedicated to assisting all University employees in carrying out their daily activities within appropriate ethical and legal standards. The Institutional Compliance Program will not require anything new of us. Rather, through this program we will become more aware of what we already are required to do as employees of the University of Texas System. It is important that the legal and ethical obligations of all University employees be clearly understood. This brochure is designed to highlight key obligations and provide useful information concerning everyday standards of conduct that will ensure that all employees follow relevant laws, regulations and policies.

Ethical standards. Ethical behavior is expected of every employee. Each employee has a personal obligation to report any activity that appears to violate laws, policies, rules, or regulations.

Government officials and similar contacts. You should be aware that The University is committed to cooperate with any government investigation of UT. If you receive a subpoena or other legal document or some other kind of official request from an external governmental agency about University business, either at work or at home, notify your supervisor and Department Head promptly.

Records and confidential information. Many documents at the University are available to the public as a matter of law. There are exceptions and employees may not disclose confidential information gained by reason of the employee's official position. You may share confidential information with other University employees who have a valid need for the information as a part of their official duties. Outside requests for University documents should be responded to by the Custodian of Records in the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs..

You have a responsibility to maintain the integrity and accuracy of University records and you may not enter or alter information on an official document in a manner that is prohibited by law. Information regarding official records and the length of period for which they must be retained is available from your Department Head.

Conduct at work. You are required to avoid fraud, waste, and abuse. You may not discriminate against other employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, or disability. Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment are prohibited.

Time sheets. Classified and administrative employees are required to keep accurate time and leave records and report these regularly as required. Faculty reports of sick leave use are also required by state law. Information about overtime and compensatory time use can be obtained from your Department Head.

Family or medical leave. Leaves of absence without pay for up to twelve weeks a year are available to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Information about Family Medical Leave can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources

Outside employment. You may not accept outside employment that conflicts or interferes with the work you do for the University. You must notify your Department Head of outside employment activities. Faculty are expected to engage in service or consulting appropriate to their discipline and for which they may receive payment. Information regarding potential conflicts of interest in outside activities of faculty can be obtained from the Office of the Provost.

Financial interests. You cannot have an interest of any kind in a business or enterprise outside the University that conflicts with or influences your work for the University. University policy generally prohibits purchases from any enterprise in which an employee or his/her spouse has a financial interest unless the cost to the University is less than any other source and the purchase is approved by the appropriate University officials.

Conditions at work. You are responsible for knowing how laws and regulations apply to your work. If you do not know, ask your supervisor for guidance. You must contact your supervisor or Department Head immediately about workplace injuries or dangerous conditions.

Drugs and weapons. You may not possess, sell, or use drugs or weapons at work. If you have been convicted of a drug offense (or any offense classified as a felony under the laws of the State of Texas), you must report that information to your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources within five (5) days.

Contracts and agreements. You may not sign a contract or agreement about University business unless you have been specifically authorized to do so. All business contracts should be referred to the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs for execution.

Use of state property. You may not use state-owned property for personal reasons except for incidental use of telephones, e-mail, and the Internet. The use of state property for personal financial gain or benefit is never allowed.

Computer software. You may not use or copy software in any way that is prohibited by the license that came with the software.

Information — security and acceptable uses. You have a responsibility to maintain the security and confidentiality of information that is protected or covered by the University’s information security policies and procedures.

Computer access, passwords, and other confidential information. You may not access information or computer systems without proper authorization. You may not disclose or share passwords, identification codes, or other confidential information. You are required to report any breach of security immediately to your supervisor or Department Head.

Purchasing. You may not purchase items from University accounts or funds unless you have been specifically authorized to do so. You should be aware that The University is committed to increasing purchases from Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) firms.

Copyrighted materials. Unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material is a violation of federal copyright law. Although there are limited exceptions, as a general rule, you must obtain permission to use or copy materials you did not originate yourself. Faculty may obtain detailed information on the licensing requirements for duplication of classroom instructional materials from the Office of the Provost or Central Duplicating.

Intellectual property. Generally, the work you do for the University belongs to the University. You must obtain permission to publish or disclose information.

Political activities and contributions. You may not engage in political activities at work or use University resources for political purposes. You may not use University funds to make political contributions. Ask your supervisor if you are unsure about any specific issue.

Gifts and gratuities. You cannot accept or ask for anything (money, favors, gifts etc.) that could possibly influence your work for the University. You may accept an unsolicited gift or benefit (book, T-shirt, lunch, etc) that is not in consideration of any official action if the value is less than $50.

Misconduct/Fraud in Research. Misconduct and fraud in research, which includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results is prohibited. Research misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences of opinion. Suspected misconduct should be reported to the Vice President for Research.

Environmental and Safety Issues. You should be aware that The University is committed to providing its employees with a safe place to work. The University will operate its facilities with all necessary permits and in full compliance with all applicable laws. Employees should follow proper procedures in handling and disposing of hazardous material and regulated waste and in maintaining a safe working environment. Information regarding safety procedures is available from your Department Head and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

"Do the Right Thing". Our compliance program can only be successful through the commitment of everyone affiliated with The University to the highest level of compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and contractual obligations. If you would like more detail about these requirements, contact your supervisor or Department Head. You may also contact the Compliance Officer at 475-7715.

Compliance Checklist

  • Commit to high standards of business and ethical conduct in all activities
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Avoid conflicts of interest and self dealing
  • Participate in lobbying and political activities on your own time
  • Adhere to applicable Laws, Rules, Regulations and Policies
  • Only use University assets and resources for institutional purposes
  • Assure that purchase order and expense accounting records are true and accurate
  • Observe sound business practices in effort reporting and billing for services
  • Do not accept any gift that would appear to influence your official conduct
  • Maintain absolute confidentiality regarding student educational records

What Should I Do If I Suspect Something Is Wrong?

It is every faculty and employee's ethical and moral responsibility to report suspected waste, fraud, abuse and other illegal activities or unethical conduct. Promptly notify appropriate University officials of the facts and circumstances of any suspected violation of laws, rules, regulations or policies affecting the operation of The University. University Policies and Federal and State laws protect individuals who provide information regarding possible illegal activities in the workplace from retaliation. You do not have to identify yourself if you mail a complaint or call the hotline. Cooperate fully with all inquiries or investigation.