Request for Exemption to Conduct Business With FAU

Florida Statute 112.313(12)(h)

Florida Statute 112.313 prohibits contractual relationships that create a conflict of interest between state employees and state agencies such as Florida Atlantic University (FAU). That includes ownership of, or consultation for, a company, even if it supports FAU-related research or teaching efforts. The statute also applies to employees starting a new company or licensing FAU’s intellectual property per the FAU Intellectual Property Policy.

In order to facilitate technology transfer and related research, the statute does permit exemptions to conduct business with the university in certain situations. To request an exemption, FAU requires employees to complete this form, which discloses the outside activities and business interests of the individual.

The following pages provide background information on the statute, instructions for completing the form, the Request for Exemption to Conduct Business with FAU form and an overview of the review process following completion of the form. For additional information, contact the Office of Technology Development at 561-297-0673 or techdevelop@fau.edu

 

Background

Pursuant to Section 112.313 of the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, a public officer or employee of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is not permitted to have an ownership interest in, or be employed by (as a consultant or otherwise), a business entity that contracts with FAU for the purchasing, renting or leasing of any realty, goods or services, including, but not limited to, supporting the employee’s research or teaching activities.

Similarly, a FAU employee may not have an ownership interest in, or be employed by (as a consultant or otherwise), a business entity licensing intellectual property from FAU or the Florida Atlantic University Research Corporation (FAURC) per the FAU Intellectual Property Policy.

However, in order to facilitate research and the transfer of technology, the Florida Legislature permits an exemption to these general prohibitions within certain contexts after approval by the president of the university and the chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. Details of this exemption are in subsection (12)(h) of section 112.313, Florida Statutes.

To request an exemption, employees must submit full disclosure of the outside activities and interests involved. This disclosure is made through the completion of the form called Request for Exemption to Conduct Business with FAU. Submission of the request form is required in order to allow a full evaluation of the nature and extent of the proposed relationship between FAU and the employee’s business entity. In evaluating the request, FAU will thoroughly assess any effect the proposed relationship may have on FAU’s mission of promoting academic and personal development through excellence and innovation in teaching, research, public engagement and distinctive scientific and cultural alliances.

A monitoring plan to mitigate the conflict(s) of interest presented by the proposed relationship between FAU and the employee’s business entity will also be created. Such plan will require the approval of the FAU employee, as well as their department chair or director and dean or applicable vice president. The FAU employee and their department chair or director will be responsible for the implementation of the monitoring plan. Such monitoring may include annual reviews and routine disclosures and/or confirmations of the plan’s applicability and effectiveness. During an annual review of the monitoring plan, the FAU employee will obtain written confirmation from their dean or vice president to ensure that the relationship between the business entity and FAU has not exceeded the parameters as provided in the approved request.

If the request is granted, it will become effective on the date signed and approved by the chair of the university’s Board of Trustees for the term requested. The exemption will cover only the proposed business relationship disclosed in the request. Any change which may affect the relationship between FAU and the employee’s business entity requires immediate disclosure to the employee’s department chair or director. The university is required to submit all exemptions approved during the preceding year to the governor and the Florida legislature annually by March 1.

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Process

  1. If a FAU employee:
    1. a. Plans to do business or contract with FAU in the context of sponsoring research or licensing intellectual property pursuant to Fla. Stat. 1004.22 or 1004.23, prior to engaging in the activity the employee must request an exemption per Fla. Stat. 112.313(12)(h) and submit the Request for Exemption to Conduct Business with FAU form and monitoring plan and receive approval as stated herein.
    2. b. Is already doing business or contracting with FAU in the context of sponsoring research or licensing intellectual property pursuant to Fla. Stat. 1004.22 or 1004.23, the employee must immediately request an exemption per Fla. Stat. 112.313(12)(h) and submit the Request for Exemption to Conduct Business with FAU form and monitoring plan and receive approval as stated herein.
  2. The FAU employee completes the request form and monitoring plan.
  3. The FAU employee routes the form for signature by the FAU employee’s department chair or director (or designee), dean or vice president (or designee) and the Office of the Provost (if employee is a faculty member).
  4. The FAU employee submits the completed form and monitoring plan to the Office of Technology Development.
  5. The Office of Technology Development submits the form to the Statute Exemption Review Committee consisting of representatives from the Office of Compliance & Ethics, Office of the Provost, Division of Financial Affairs, Office of Technology Development, Office of General Counsel, Office of Research Integrity and Office of Sponsored Programs. The purpose of the committee is to review the form and monitoring plan and provide input.
  6. The Statute Exemption Review Committee reviews the form and monitoring plan. If additional information is needed, the Office of Technology Development contacts the FAU employee.
  7. The Office of Technology Development presents the form and monitoring plan with input from the committee to the Office of the Vice President for Research for approval or disapproval.
  8. The decision of the Office of the Vice President for Research is communicated by the Office of Technology Development to the FAU employee.
  9. The Office of the Vice President for Research forwards the approved form and monitoring plan to the Office of the President for signature.
  10. Once approved by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President for Research forwards the approved form and monitoring plan to the chair of the Board of Trustees for signature.
  11. The signed form and monitoring plan are returned by the Office of the Vice President for Research to the Office of Technology Development.
  12. The Office of Technology Development notifies the FAU employee of the final decision by the chair of the Board of Trustees.
  13. A report of all approved requests is submitted by the Office of Technology Development to the Office of the Vice President for Research no later than January 31 for the previous calendar year.
  14. The Office of the Vice President for Research forwards the report to the chair of the Board of Trustees for submission to the governor of Florida and the Florida Legislature by March 1 each year.

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Instructions

  1. Complete all fields in sections I through V and sign the form. If a field is not applicable, please state N/A.
  2. Complete section VI and have your direct supervisor review and sign the form.
  3. Obtain the appropriate signature(s) for level 1 on the review and approval/disapproval page. Do not obtain signatures for levels 2 through 4.
  4. Send the partially executed form to the Office of Technology Development at techdevelop@fau.edu.
  5. The Office of Technology Development will return a fully executed form to you upon approval.

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Form

Download the Form