JCOPE

JCOPE

Joint Commission on Public Ethics

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) was created out of the Public Integrity Reform Act (PIRA) of 2011, which became effective August 15, 2011. (Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2011) PIRA established JCOPE and expanded the existing functions of the former ethics body in New York, the Commission on Public Integrity. The JCOPE Commission oversees ethics within New York State Agencies, including SUNY State-operated campuses (not community Colleges). There are many compliance mandates associated with the PIRA law, and JCOPE is the body charged with overseeing the administration of those mandates.  The compliance mandates administered by JCOPE are listed below.  For more information on the Commission and the resources they offer via the web, refer to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics website [www.jcope.ny.gov].

Scope of the Ethics Laws:
The ethics laws overseen by JCOPE apply to all SUNY employees at State-operated campuses (not Community Colleges), even those who are appointees serving on an unpaid or per diem basis, and those who do not meet the threshold to file a Financial Disclosure statement.  Therefore, with regard to ethics training, even though the law only requires those who are required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) to take the Comprehensive Ethics Training Course, all SUNY employees should receive some level of ethics training so that they understand the ethics laws that apply to them, and the potential outside activities and conflicts of interest that they may have to disclose to their employer and manage appropriately in accordance with the laws.

Click on the topics below for more detailed information on the following:

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JCOPE Applicable Laws and Regulations

Laws

Regulations

JCOPE Jurisdiction

JCOPE Resources

JCOPE Website  www.jcope.ny.gov
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics maintains a webpage that serves as a resource for Agencies, State Employees, and others.  The website features information on the ethics laws and regulations within JCOPE's jurisdiction, as well as advisory opinions, advice and guidance, information on training, and contract information for questions and individual ethics inquiries.

JCOPE Report Misconduct Tip Line
The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) maintains a dedicated tip line and State website that provides New Yorkers with convenient means to report misconduct by State officials and employees, lobbyists and their clients, and others who fall under the jurisdiction of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.  The website, reportmisconduct.ny.gov, and tip line, 1-800-87-ETHICS, are meant for securely reporting alleged violations of the State’s ethics and lobbying laws, including improper gifts, conflicts of interest, nepotism, abuse of official position, sexual harassment, failute to disclose, and other violations of the Public Officers Law, the Lobbying Act and other laws under the Joint Commission’s jurisdiction

JCOPE Resource Library of Materials, that features the following guidance and resources:


Compliance Requirements Overseen by JCOPE


Compliance Requirement for SUNY Campuses and Campus Employees 

FDS Filer List Amendments

According to the Public Officers Law Section 73-a(1)(c)(iii), each agency is required to update and amend the FDS filer list with the name of the new FDS Filer within thirty days of the date of the person becoming an FDS Filer.  The Ethics Officer is responsible for submitting such amendments to the FDS filer list within thirty dats of the date that the new officer or employee becomes an FDS filer.

Annual Financial Disclosure Statements 

All covered agency employees who are 'FDS Filers' under the Public Officers Law Section 73 must file their financial disclosures to JCOPE by May 15th of each year, OR September 15th if they are a SUNY FACULTY member.  The Ethics Officer at each campus location and System Administration is responsible for notifying the Agency Officers and employees of the requirement to file an FDS and to tame mandatory Ethics training.

Training - Mandated Comprehensive Ethics Training for FDS Filers:

Follow-up Training - Mandated Ethics Seminar for FDS Filers

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Ethics Officer Responsibilities

Each Agency must designate an Ethics Officer to serve as the primary liaison to JCOPE.  While no provision of New York law says that we must have an Ethics Officer, the role is recognized by the oversight authority, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and Ethics Officers have many roles to ensure compliance with the laws that are within JCOPE’s jurisdiction.  Each SUNY State-operated campus must formally designate one or two Ethics Officer for their campus location to serve as the primary liaison to the SUNY System-wide Ethics Officer, and JCOPE on ethics issues and questions at the campus.

OVERVIEW OF ETHICS OFFICER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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SUNY Policies and Procedures Regarding Ethics Laws 

SUNY JCOPE Ethics Procedures

Other SUNY Ethics Policies on Ethics Generally

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SUNY Upcoming JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training Sessions

SUNY System Administration offers JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training webinar sessions for all campuses to supplement the JCOPE training that occurs locally at each institution.  These sessions are being held every month, and are facilitated by the System-wide Ethics Officer (who serves as the Director of Compliance and Ethics within the Office of General Counsel) in conjunction with the U-Wide Human Resources Office, the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of Information Technology. The goal of these system-wide sessions is to help campuses ensure that their new employees who are required by statute to complete the JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training, receive that training in a timely fashion, and in accordance with the statute.  This training also fulfills the every-three-year re-training requirement.  Therefore, new employees, and those who have not completed the training in the last three years must complete the training.

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The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.

Compliance