Business Ethics

Policy No: 
5.1
Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
January 1999
Review Date: 
January 2015
Policy Owner: 
Internal Auditing
Contact Name: 
Phil Hurd
Contact Title: 
Director-Internal Auditing
Contact Email: 
phillip.hurd@gatech.edu
Policy Statement: 

Georgia Tech policy is that the practice of accepting gifts or gratuities is unnecessary, undesirable, and contrary to the interest of the Institute.

Procedures: 

The purpose of this policy is to recognize the Institute's responsibility to maintain good relations with its suppliers and others with whom Georgia Tech may have business dealings, and to prevent gift-bearing businesses from interfering with and/or influencing employees.

Exactly what constitutes a conflict of interest or an unethical business practice is both a moral and a legal question. Georgia Tech recognizes and respects the individual employee's right to engage in activities outside of his or her employment which are private in nature and do not in any way conflict with or reflect poorly on the Institute. Management reserves the right, however, to determine when an employee's activities represent a conflict with the Institute's interests and to take whatever action is necessary to resolve the situation - including termination of employment.

It isn't possible in a general policy statement of this sort to define all the various circumstances and relationships that would be considered "unethical." The list below suggests some of the types of activity that would reflect in a negative way on the employee's personal integrity or that would limit his or her ability to discharge job duties and responsibilities in an ethical manner:

  1. Simultaneous employment by another business/organization, particularly if the other is a competitor.
  2. Carrying on Institute business with a firm in which the employee, or a close relative of the employee, has a substantial ownership or interest.
  3. Holding a substantial interest in, or participating in the management of, a firm to which the Institute does business with or makes purchases.
  4. Borrowing money from customers or firms, other than recognized loan institutions, from which our Institute buys services, materials, equipment, or supplies.
  5. Accepting substantial gifts or excessive entertainment from an outside organization or agency.
  6. Speculating or dealing in materials, equipment, supplies, services, or property purchased by the Institute.
  7. Participating in civic or professional organization activities in a manner whereby confidential Institute information is divulged.
  8. Misusing privileged information or revealing confidential data to outsiders.
  9. Using one's position in the Institute or knowledge of its affairs for outside personal gains.
  10. Engaging in practices or procedures that violate Board of Regents, Institute, or other state and federal laws regulating the conduct of the Institute.

REMEMBER: Employment by the Institute carries with it a responsibility to be constantly aware of the importance of ethical conduct. Employees must refrain from taking part in, or exerting influence in, any transaction in which their own interests may conflict with the best interests of the Institute.

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