It is essential to the proper operation of democratic government that elected officials and public employees be independent and impartial; that governmental decisions and policies be made in the proper channel in the governmental structure; that public office and employment not be used for private gain other than remediation provided by law; and that there is public confidence in the integrity of government. The attainment of one or more of these ends is impaired when a conflict exists between the private interest of an elected official or a public employee and his duties as such.
Ethics Code Section 1112 sets forth rules involving the participation of certain individuals, including elected officials and employees, in transactions involving governmental agencies. By participating in transactions that are prohibited under this section, a Board member could be unduly influenced in making decisions regarding the institutions he represents. Ethics Code Section 1116 A, B and C set forth guidelines regarding abuse of office, and Section 1118 provides guidelines for public employees who, directly or indirectly, influence actions by legislature or governmental authority .
In addition to the above, each Board member is required to take an oath of office, which states I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of this State and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as
. I hereby acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Code of Ethics as required by RS:42:1162.
Although current ethics standards as outlined above do meet compliance for this standard, in June 2004 the University of Louisiana System Board proposed a revision to its bylaws to include a system policy on conflict of interest. Part I, Section I.F, Conflict of Interest, reads as follows:
The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System is the governing board for all institutions that comprise the University of Louisiana System. All members of the Board are appointed officers of the State of Louisiana. As such, they are subject to the laws of the State as defined by the 1974 Louisiana State Constitution (Art. X. Public Officials and Employees, Part I., Sec. 2) and the State Code of Ethics which govern their conduct and responsibilities.
The Board approved this change August 2004.