University staff are expected to understand and comply with the University's purchasing and conflict of interest policies. Details of the university' purchasing policies can be found on the Business Services Web page at http://www4.wittenberg.edu/administration/business_services/purchasing.html
University purchases are made under policies and procedures established by the university’s Board of Directors and Purchasing Department.
Purchases made on behalf of Wittenberg University must be properly initiated by a Purchasing Card, Departmental Purchase Order (DPO) at the time the order is placed, or through a Purchase Requisition (PR) prior to placing any order. Purchase Requisitions are internal requests for goods/services. These cannot be used to place an order with a vendor. The Purchasing Office has the authority to evaluate all Purchase Requisitions on the basis of appropriateness of purchase, availability of funds, vendor selections, cost, service level, etc…. If the purchase is approved, the Purchasing Office will prepare and issue a Purchase Order. Only Purchase Orders issued by the Purchasing Office may be used to place an order with a vendor. Although departments are allocated funds in their budgets, this allocation is only an authority to requisition, not to purchase.
Department Heads and Program Directors are authorized to purchase goods/services up to the amount established by the Business Office and not in excess of the maximum limits approved by the Board of Directors. Regardless of funding source, the University Purchasing policies and Procedures apply to all transactions for which payment from Wittenberg University is expected by the vendor or individual. Additional requirements may also be imposed per the terms and conditions of various federal programs and grants.
A Wittenberg credit card is available to faculty and staff if approved by respective department heads or supervisors. Possession of a university card obligates the cardholder to adhere to all transaction and recordkeeping requirements described in the Cardholder Agreement.
Wittenberg business is conducted on a tax-exempt basis. It is a violation of federal law and university policy for any person to use this tax-exempt status for personal purposes.
Failure by an individual or department to adhere to all purchasing policies and procedures may result in loss of authority to initiate Purchase Requisitions. Also, personal financial responsibility may result if purchases are made disregarding University policy.
The Purchasing Office will not approve any transaction for purchases of a personal nature for a faculty or staff member. Requisitions which appear to be of a personal nature will be questioned and will be returned to the originating department if deemed inappropriate. Wittenberg business is conducted on a tax exempt basis. Any person using this tax exempt status for personal business transactions violates the law.
Conflict of Interest
University employees have an obligation to conduct university-related business transactions without actual or potential conflicts of interest. In accordance with this policy, employees shall take all necessary precautions to avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest and to disclose any actual or potential conflicts that may exist. A conflict of interest arises when an employee may benefit personally from dealings with an entity or person conducting business with the college, including indirect benefits such as to family members(1) or businesses with which the person is closely associated.
Transactions on behalf of Wittenberg are to be conducted on a highly ethical basis. Purchasing decisions must not be influenced by the self-interest on the part of any employee. In order that conflicts, or the appearance of conflicts, are avoided, Wittenberg employees who have authority to initiate or approve Purchase Requisitions must disclose to the Vice President for Business and Finance any outside relationships for review and final determination. Examples include: additional employment elsewhere, business or personal relationships with vendors, or a family member’s employment.
In addition, it will be necessary for all Board members, members of the Executive Staff and selected administrative personnel to complete a Conflict of Interest questionnaire periodically through the independent audit engagement. The results of this questionnaire will be reported independently by the auditors to the Audit Committee.
All University employees must exercise caution in accepting gifts from vendor(s). The acceptance of occasional and/or complimentary tokens of appreciation does not necessarily constitute a conflict of interest. Examples of such items may include a complementary calendar, a Christmas fruit basket or box of candy, a publication, writing implement or business-related lunch. However, in all cases, prudent judgment must be used in deciding whether to accept any gift. The acceptance of a gift must in no way impact, or appear to impact, the nature of the business relationship between the University and the vendor. If in doubt, it is best to decline the gift.