policies under 7A apply to the public universities, but not to the community colleges, as required by the statute. They are required to contain work time requirements, documentation of time worked, documentation for travel reimbursement of state business, compensation policies, and earning accrual of state benefit policies. These policies were developed by the Executive Director, the Board of Ethics Officer Sharon Ward, and myself in consultation with representatives of the public university boards. They are designed to accomplish three things: assure compliance with the act, preserve the tradition and legal role that the universities have in administering their own personnel policies, and ensure that there will be access to all of those by the public and by the Executive Ethics Commission.
“It should be stressed that policies that we suggested in the recommendation for the public universities for the most part are already in place. The travel reimbursement policies are policies the universities use, which have been adopted by the Higher Education Travel Control Board as required by statute. Most of the other policies are policies that exist at each individual university. They vary from university to university, but address the same major components that are required in the statute.
“There is one key new initiative. Individual employees are now required to periodically submit timesheets, documenting the time they spend each day on official state business to the nearest quarter hour, which is a substantial new requirement.
“With that one exception, virtually everything else that you see in those policies are things that are already in place. The Board of Higher Education also has to adopt policies for itself. Item 7B contains fairly extensive policies. Virtually all those policies already exist and apply now to the Board staff. The only major new exception is that timesheets be submitted by the employees. As far as the Board of Higher Education is concerned, we contemplate handling that by having Board employees submit those electronically at the end of each week to the nearest quarter hour. We keep time records on those employees, so it will not represent a major imposition on the staff of the Board of Higher Education. After these policies are adopted, they become effective in about thirty days.”
Chairman Kaplan said, “Do the time reporting requirements apply to the Members of the Board as well?”
Mr. Feurer said, “Yes, they do. This act was adopted after a great deal of bartering back and forth between the Governor and various members of the General Assembly. When it was adopted, it was very long and complex. It was well crafted and drafted, but it also appears that there may be some unintended consequences as a result of that. One of those consequences appears to be that it applies to Board Members of the Board of Higher Education. The Governor’s Office has taken the position that it applies to members of boards and commissions under his jurisdiction. While the Board of Higher Education is an independent commission not normally under the jurisdiction of the Governor, for purposes of the Ethics Act, the Board of Higher Education is under the jurisdiction of the Governor.
“The Governor’s Office has taken the position that the time reporting requirement applies to all members of boards and commissions and it takes that position because that is what the act appears to say. The Governor’s Office is not probably incorrect in making that statement. The purpose of that is not quite clear. The way we hope to handle that, as far as members of this Board are concerned, is at each Board meeting we would pass out to Board Members the timesheet for the previous two months and ask you to fill it out, and turn it in at the end of the meeting. That would take care of compliance as far as we see it. That is what is contained in the recommendation.”
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