This site provides information regarding Conflict of Interest in the workplace and disclosures and training required by law.
Designated Positions List - Find out if your CI position is designated by the California State University’s Conflict of Interest Code.
Political Reform Act of 1974
The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires CSU, as an agency, to adopt and communicate Conflict of Interest (COI) codes. The Act contains a general prohibition against conflicts of interest. Conflict of Interest law seeks to minimize the extent to which public employees pursue their own financial interests at the expense of the public interest.
Under the Act, no CSU employee shall make, participate in making, or attempt to use his or her official position to influence a CSU decision in which he or she has a financial interest. University employees shall not vote, make recommendations, or in any way participate in personnel or financial decisions if such participation constitutes a conflict of interest.
The CSU Conflict of Interest Code requires employees in designated positions to file a Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700 (PDF, 356KB)) on an annual basis and take training within 6 months of assuming office and every two years thereafter.
- CA Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest (PDF, 356KB)
- Statement of Economic Interest Form 700 Packet (PDF, 810KB)
- Statement of Economic Interest for Principal Investigators Form 700U (PDF, 356.69KB)
- Statement of Economic Interest Reference Pamphlet (PDF, 382.64KB)
- Conflict of Interest Handbook (MS Word, 324KB)
- Limitations and Restrictions on Gifts, Honoraria, Travel & Loans (PDF, 197.92KB)
- CSU Disclosure Category Listing (PDF, 21.53KB)
- Your Duty to File: Economic Disclosure for Public Officials (PDF, 464KB)
- Political Reform Act of 1974 (PDF, 495.62KB)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Political Reform Act and what does it require?
The State of California’s Political Reform Act of 1974, (Gov. Code, § 81000, et seq.), (the "Act"), prohibits public officials from participating in governmental decisions when personal financial interests may be affected by those decisions. The Act requires that all government employees and officials disqualify themselves from participating in a governmental decision when a financial conflict of interest is present.
Am I covered by the Act?
All CSU employees are public officials subject to the Act. However, certain designated positions are identified in the CSU Conflict of Interest Code (COI). This designation requires employees appointed to these positions to annually file a Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700 ) and complete ethics training every two years.
What are Economic Interests?
A public official has a personal financial interest in a decision if it is reasonably foreseeable that the decision will have a material financial effect on the employee, a member of his or her immediate family, or on any one of the five kinds of economic interests.
1. A conflicting economic interest exists if “the decision will have a material financial effect, distinguishable from its effect on the public generally, on the [CSU employee or] a member of his or her immediate family.
2. If a decision will result in the increase or decrease of “personal expenses, income, assets, or liabilities of the [CSU employee] or his or her immediate family,” a conflicting personal economic interest exists.
3. A decision to appoint or promote a CSU employee’s spouse would constitute a conflicting economic interest.
Five Economic Interests
If it is reasonably foreseeable that any of the following will be materially affected by the decision, a conflict may exist:
1. Any business entity in which the employee has a direct or indirect investment worth $2,000 or more, including ownership of stock by the employee or the employee’s spouse or dependent child.
2. Any real property in which the employee has a direct or indirect interest worth $2,000 or more. One’s home is not included but any other investment property is.
3. Any source of income which provides $500 or more in value promised to, or received by, the employee within 12 months prior to the time when the decision is made.
4. Any business entity in which the employee is a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, or holds any position of management.
5. Any donor of, or any intermediary or agent for a donor of, a gift or gifts totaling $390 or more in value provided to, received by, or promised to the employee within 12 months prior to the time when the decision is made. Gifts of meals, travel or anything else of value are included in the $390. (This amount is tied to a consumer price index and is occasionally adjusted.)
Why is my position designated?
The specifically designated CSU employees to which the CSU Code applies are those who are considered most likely to make, participate in making, or influence decisions that could significantly affect personal economic interests.
What is Form 700?
The Political Reform Act requires most state and government officials and employees to publically disclose their personal assets and income. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is the state agency responsible for issuing Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700 , and for interpreting the law’s provisions. A Form 700 is provided to employees by the university’s Conflict of Interest Officer or electronically by clicking on forms.
Why am I required to complete an online ethics training course?
Employees who are required to file a Form 700 or Form 700U each April are in designated Conflict of Interest positions. Employees in designated positions must take ethics training course every two years. This course is required by law.
What if I am a new employee in a designated position?
Newly appointed employees into a designated position are required to complete a Form 700 within 30 days and complete ethics training within 6 months of assuming the position.
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