Conflict of Interest

General

All purchasing functions are delegated to the University by the State. The University considers that the same restraint of the law for officials of the State Purchase and Contract Division explicitly referenced in the state statutes also apply to any University personnel involved in a procurement action.

State Statutes

The three state statutes which describe conflict-of-interest situations appear in the "Conflict of Interest" section of this statement.

University Policy

The University's normal policy is not to purchase materials or services from State or University employees.

In compliance with North Carolina General Statute 133-32, no official or employee of the University shall accept any gift, favor, or thing of value that may tend to influence such employee in the discharge of the employee's duties, or grant in the discharge of duty any improper favor, service or thing of value.

Essential Exceptions

If, however, it is essential to purchase materials or services from State or University personnel, or from companies in which any State or University employee may have a major interest, a request should be submitted in writing to the Purchasing Department for review.

Conflict of Interest

The three North Carolina Statutes prohibiting conflicts of interest by public officials are General Statute Sections 14-234, 14-236 and 133-32.

14-234 - Director of Public Trust Contracting for His Own Benefit

If any person, appointed or elected a commissioner or director to discharge any trust wherein the State or any county, city, or town may be in any manner interested, shall become an undertaker, or make any contract for his own benefit, under such authority, or be in any manner concerned or interested in making such contract or in any profits thereof, either privately or openly, singly or jointly with another, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Provided, that this section shall not apply to public officials transacting business with banks or banking institutions in regular course of business. Provided further, that such undertaking or contracting shall be authorized by said governing board.

14-236 - Acting as Agent for Those Furnishing Supplies for Schools and Other State Institutions

If any member of any board of directors, board of managers, board of trustees of any of the educational, charitable, eleemosynary or penal institutions of the State, or any member of any board of education, or any county or district superintendent or examiner of teachers, or employee of such boards, shall have any pecuniary interest, either directly or indirectly, proximately or remotely in supplying any goods, wares or merchandise of any nature or kind whatsoever for any of said institutions or schools; or if any of such officers, agents, managers, teachers, or employees of such institution or school or State or county officer shall act as agent for any manufacturer, or author for any article of merchant, dealer, publisher or author for any article of merchandise to be used by any of said institutions or schools, he shall be forthwith removed from his position in the public service and shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and be imprisoned, in the discretion of the court.

133-32 - Gifts and Favors Regulated

  1. It shall be unlawful for any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who:

    1. Has a contract with a government agency; or
    2. Has performed under such a contract within the past year; or
    3. Anticipates bidding on such a contract in the future to make gifts or to give favors to any officer or employee of a governmental agency who is charged with the duty of:

      1. Preparing plans, specifications, or estimates for public contract: or
      2. Awarding or administering public contracts; or
      3. Inspecting or supervising construction.
    It shall also be unlawful for any officer or employee of a government agency who is charged with the duty of:

    1. Preparing plans, specifications, or estimates for public contracts; or
    2. Awarding or administering public contracts; or
    3. Inspecting or supervising construction willfully to receive or accept any such gift or favor.
        
  2. A violation of subsection (a) shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. Gifts or favors made unlawful by this section shall not be allowed as a deduction for North Carolina tax purposes by any contractor, subcontractor or supplier or officers or employees thereof.
  4. This section is not intended to prevent the gift and receipt of honorariums for participating in meetings, advertising items or souvenirs of nominal value, or meals furnished at banquets. This section s not intended to prevent any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier from making donations to professional organizations to defray meeting expenses where government employees are members of such professional organizations, nor is it intended to prevent governmental employees who are members of professional organizations from participation in all scheduled meeting functions available to all members of the professional organization attending the meeting. This section is also not intended to prohibit customary gifts or favors between employees or officers and their friends and relatives of their spouses, minor children, or members of their household where it is clear that it is that relationship rather than the business of the individual concerned which is the motivating factor for the gift or favor. However, all such gifts knowingly made or received are required to be reported by the donor to the agency head if the gifts are made by a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier doing business directly or indirectly with the government agency employing the recipient of such a gift. (1981, c. 764, s. 1; 1987, c. 399; 1993, c.539, s. 970; 1994, Ex. Sess., c.24, s. 14(c).)