Ethics in State Government

On August 15, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, which comprehensively reformed the oversight and regulation of ethics and lobbying in New York State. It also established a new independent oversight agency, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”), which has oversight over both the Executive and the Legislative Branches of the State Government. SUNY is part of the Executive Branch.

The following state laws, together with their companion regulations, are under the jurisdiction of JCOPE:

Laws:

Public Officers Law Section 73:      Restrictions on the activities of current and former state officers
                                                              and employees
Public Officers Law Section 73-a:   Financial Disclosure
Public Officers Law Section 74:      Code of Ethics
Civil Service Law Section 107:        Prohibition against certain political activities; improper influence
Legislative Law Article I-A:               The Lobbying Act

Regulations:

19 NYCRR Part 930:      Honoraria and reimbursement for travel expenses
19 NYCRR Part 932:      Outside Activities
19 NYCRR Part 935/6:   Financial Disclosure

In addition, SUNY has adopted its own Code of Ethical Conduct for University Officers, a copy of which is attached. The Code covers a number of issues, including honorariums, nepotism, gifts, and doing business with the State of New York.

SUNY has also adopted a Lobbying Law Requirements Policy which recites the status of System Administration as a registered lobbyist and the requirements of Campuses to register if they individually expect to spend more than $2,000 on lobbying, together with a reminder of the prohibition of offering or giving or receiving gifts of $75 or more in relation to lobbying endeavors.