It is important to note that all staff members have a fiduciary duty to protect the University’s best interest in all business transactions. In order to successfully discharge this responsibility, inter-action with both current and potential suppliers must be handled in an manner which promotes fair competition and utilizes sound business ethics include the following elements:
Conflict of Interest
It is the responsibility of the vendor/supplier’s as well as USF employees to notify USF in writing of any possible conflict of interest as set forth below. USF will investigate the matter and determine if an actual conflict of interest exists. A conflict of interest arises when a USF employee, officer, or member of the Board of Trustees, or agent involved in the selection, award or administration of the bidding documents has a financial or other interest in a company selected for the bid award. A conflict of interest will also apply to immediate family, partners, and organizations that employ or are about to employ, the parties indicated herein.
More specifically, in the case of a member of USF’s Board of Trustees a conflict of interest may exist if the Trustee has a financial interest in the bidder’s organization or receives any form of financial incentive/compensation for the awarding and/or performance of the contact.
If an apparent conflict of interest exists, the vendor/supplier may not submit a bid proposal without completing a conflict of interest disclosure statement approved by the USF. USF employees, Trustees, officers, and agents may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors or anything of monetary value from vendors/suppliers. Any such actions must be reported to a USF Representative immediately.
If a conflict arises with a member of the USF Board of Trustees, the procedures outlined in Article 6.2 of the University Bylaws must be satisfied. Specifically, Article 6.2 of the University Bylaws provides the following:
(a) The material facts regarding that trustee’s financial interest in such contract or transaction or regarding such common directorship or financial interest are fully disclosed in good faith and noted in the minutes, or are known to all members of the Board of Trustees prior to the Board of Trustee’s consideration of such contract or transaction;
(b) Such contract or transaction is authorized in good faith by two-thirds of the Board of Trustees by a vote sufficient for that purpose without counting the votes of the interested trustees;
(c) Before authorizing or approving the transaction, the Board of Trustees considers and in good faith decides after reasonable investigation that the corporation could not obtain a more advantageous arrangement with reasonable effort under the circumstances; and
(d) The corporation for its own benefit enters into the transaction, which is fair and reasonable to the corporation at the time the transaction is entered into. In the event a contract is awarded to a trustee, officer, key employee, or other interested person the details of the contract must be annually disclosed to USF and may be required to be disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service on Schedule L of IRS Form 990. An exact copy of IRS Form 990 and all supporting schedules (except Schedule B relating to donor information) and attachments must be made available by USF for public inspection upon request and is posted on the Internet at www.guidestar.org.
USF actively seeks strategic sourcing relationships with vendors/suppliers who can offer the highest possible value at the lowest total cost to USF. We believe diversity increases competition and adds value to USF’s over all procurement strategies. Therefore we reach out to small, minority owned and locally owned businesses to allow an opportunity to participate in USF’s procurement activities.
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