Ethics Matters Newsletter header images for the three campuses of the University of Illinois. Also contains the Ethics Office Mission statement.

Procurement Communications Reporting, December 2010

December 2010 / Issue 6

MAIN MATTERS

Learn more about the Procurement Communications Reporting requirements by reviewing the training and FAQs available on the Procurement Policy Board's Web site.

New sections related to communications reporting and other procurement details can be found on the University Ethics Office Web site.

Review prior editions of Ethics Matters on the University Ethics Office Web site.

UPCOMING MATTERS

 

January 1, 2011
Procurement Communications Reporting at http://pcrs.illinois.gov

 

Statement of Economic Interests Filing:
March 14, 2011 the Secretary of State will mail Statements to required filers at their home address

Filing Deadline:
May 2, 2011

For more information, please visit the Statements section of the Ethics Office Web site.

University Ethics Office:
ethicsofficer@uillinois.edu
Ethics Help Line: 866-758-2146

Human Resources Bldg., Rm. 20
One University Plaza, HRB 20 Springfield, IL 62703-5407

Starting in 2011:

University Employees Required to Report Procurement Communications

Recent procurement reform legislation amended the Illinois Procurement Code, resulting in changes to the University processes used to procure goods and services and enter into contracts at the University of Illinois. Though most of the changes to the law impact vendors and the procurement structure within the State of Illinois, one of the more significant changes requires state employees to report procurement-related communications via an online mechanism. The employee reporting requirement becomes effective January 1, 2011. This edition of Ethics Matters will highlight the new procurement communications reporting requirement and provide employees with reference materials to ensure compliance with this change to the Illinois Procurement Code.

Who is required to report?

The Procurement Communications Reporting requirement applies to all state agency and public university employees, including faculty and staff, who are involved in discussions with potential and current vendors about procurement decisions presently under consideration or to be considered in the near future. This includes discussions related to change orders. The Executive Ethics Commission is expected to provide further guidance regarding application of the reporting requirements. Additional communication and instruction will be distributed as more information is made available.

Where do employees submit reports?

Effective January 1, 2011, the Procurement Policy Board's communication Web site will be available at http://pcrs.illinois.gov. Reports submitted to the Procurement Policy Board's Web site will be available for viewing by the general public. Please note the Procurement Policy Board will not activate this link until January 1, 2011, so employees will not be able to review the reporting system in advance of the implementation date. For University employees, self-registration will be required prior to accessing the site to submit a communications report.

What is required to be reported?

All material communications must be reported. A material communication is defined by law as, "any written or oral communication received by a State employee that imparts or requests material information or makes a material argument regarding potential action concerning a procurement matter, including, but not limited to, an application, a contract, or a project." Please note that communications regarding the administration and implementation of an existing contract, except communications regarding change orders or the renewal or extension of a contract, are not required to be reported.

Examples of communications employees might need to report include, but are not limited to:

Please note that since issuance of this newsletter in December of 2010, additional clarification has been provided by the Executive Ethics Commission. For the most recent interpretations regarding reporting requirements, please visit the FAQ section of our Web site at:/procurement/faqs

  • a P-Card holder or anyone contacting local restaurants for price quotes for boxed lunches for a multi-campus meeting
    Please see updated FAQ listing.
  • a Principal Investigator (PI) for a grant or someone assisting the PI contacting potential vendors to discuss equipment specifications for equipment to be purchased in the future using grant funds
    Please see updated FAQ listing.
  • an employee contacting potential vendors regarding the preparation of a request for proposal, request for information, sole source procurement justification, or other selection information
In situations where an entire group of employees is involved in the same meeting, EACH individual is required to post his/her own report on the Procurement Policy Board's Web site. Required reports must be submitted at least monthly.
  • a group of 15 researchers meeting with vendors who showcase their product and answer questions prior to the researchers considering whether to purchase this type of equipment
  • a construction project manager contacting a contracted vendor regarding a change order and updated project need

For more information related to reporting content, including what to report and how, please review the procurement section of the University Ethics Office Web site at www.ethics.uillinois.edu/procurement.

What detail must be included in my report?

A communications report can be of a telephonic, in-person, electronic, or paper communication, and must include the following:

Vendor Representative
University Participants
Communication Details
  • Vendor name
  • Representative name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date
  • Length of time
  • Action requested
  • Communication summary

Who do I contact with questions?

For questions regarding a decision to report a communication, please contact the University Ethics Office at ethicsofficer@uillinois.edu or by calling 217-206-6202. Please note that if the University Ethics Office can not immediately respond to your question regarding the reporting of a communication, the Ethics Office staff will consult with the Executive Ethics Commission to ensure proper direction is provided.

For technical assistance regarding use of the Procurement Communications Reporting System, you may call the Procurement Call Center at 866-455-2897 or send an email to ppb.pcrs@illinois.gov.

Is there any training available on this process?

The Procurement Policy Board has created a training program for state agency and public university employees. This training program and FAQs are available on their Web site at http://www2.illinois.gov/ppb/Pages/procurement-communications-reporting.aspx.

Additionally, the University Ethics Office will continue to add current information and update FAQs at http://www.ethics.uillinois.edu/procurement_reporting/communications_faqs/.

Are there penalties for noncompliance?

Penalties are specifically outlined in 30 ILCS 500/50-39 as follows, "An employee who knowingly and intentionally violates this Section shall be subject to suspension or discharge."