Administrative Services

Conflict of Interest Procedures

Western Illinois University, per the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500/50), does not enter into any type of contract with employees or businesses owned by an employee or members of their immediate family (spouse/child). However, when there is an operational necessity and it is in the best interest of the State to purchase commodities, equipment, or services from an employee or immediate family of employees, prior approval must be received from the State. The Purchasing Office will prepare the necessary paperwork and submit for approval from the State once a conflict of interest has been noted on a contract, Direct Pay Authorization or an Online Purchase Requisition. In addition to the approvals of the respective dean and/or vice president, a Letter of Justification from the requesting department is required and must be forwarded to the Purchasing Office. Prior approval is required in the following instances:

  1. Purchases from an employee or an employee's immediate family (spouse or children).
  2. Purchases from a business of which an employee or an employee's immediate family is a major officer or primary employee.
  3. Purchases from a corporation of which an employee or an employee's immediate family owns in excess of 7½ percent of the total income.

There are two types of conflict of interest to be addressed:

A technical conflict of interest (employee or employee's immediate family is not in a position to influence the selection of their firm).

A real conflict of interest (employee is in a position to influence the outcome of the selection of a vendor or an award of contract).

Departments that desire to purchase commodities, equipment, or services from an employee or members of an employee's immediate family must prepare a Letter of Justification and forward to the Purchasing Office in addition to completing the Online Purchase Requisition. The department will be required to justify the transaction as "essential" to University operations if the purchase is from an employee. If the purchase is from the employee's immediate family, the department will be required to justify the transaction as "beneficial" to University operations and in the best interest of the State.

If the conflict of interest is technical, the originating department must indicate in the Letter of Justification that the employee is not in a position to influence the selection of the employee's (or the employee's immediate family's) firm. Forward the Letter of Justification to the Purchasing Office in addition to completing the Online Purchase Requisition.

If the conflict of interest is real, or could be perceived as real, the originating department must indicate in the Letter of Justification that the employee is in a position to influence the selection of the employee's firm. The Letter of Justification also requires area dean/director approval and it must be forwarded to the Purchasing Office in addition to the Online Purchase Requisition. Once the document is received in the Purchasing Office, the necessary paperwork will be assembled and submitted to the State for approval. If the transaction is approved, a Purchase Order will be issued and all supporting documentation for the transaction will be filed in the Purchasing Office. If the transaction is not approved, the originating department will be notified and the Online Purchase Requisition will be canceled.

Blanket approvals may be requested for unique situations in which the individual/vendor will have an on-going relationship with the University during a particular time period within the fiscal year. Contact the Purchasing Office for further review.

Sample Justification Letter