14-2 Contacts with Covered Federal and State Government Officials

 

1.0 Preamble

This policy governs University contacts with covered federal and state government officials. Covered federal government officials include any member, officer, or employee of Congress or the President, Vice President, officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President, and various high-level officials and uniformed officers in the executive branch.  Covered state government officials include any member, officer, or employee of the state legislature, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, officers and employees of the Executive Office of the Governor, and various high-level state officials. 

This policy applies to WSU employees who interact with covered federal and state government officials on behalf of Wayne State University or its schools and colleges (University).

2.0    Official Policy Positions And Contact On Behalf Of The University: 

Under the direction of the President, the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs shall have primary responsibility for representing the University with the federal and state governments on official policy positions.

 

2.1       The deans or their designees shall serve as the primary point of contact for the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs to address government affairs issues for their respective schools and colleges.

2.2       The deans or their designees shall not register as federal or state lobbyists for the University without the express written approval of the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs.

 3.0    Contact By University Employees With Covered Federal and State Government Officials: 

3.1      For purposes of this policy, the phrase “lobbying activities” shall be defined as “communicating directly with an official in the executive branch of federal or state government or an official in the legislative branch of federal or state government for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.”  

3.2      Prior approval from the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs is required before any employee may initiate a lobbying-related contact with covered federal and state government officials on behalf of the University.  The following circumstances also require advance approval by the President or the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs:

3.2.1   Appearances on behalf of the University before federal and state bodies, including testimony before congressional/state legislative committees or participation in meetings with federal/state executive personnel.  University employees appearing before such bodies as representatives of other agencies, such as professional societies, are requested to notify the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs prior to the appearance.

3.2.2   Any request on behalf of the University to a covered federal/state government official, including requests for congressionally-directed funding, support for grant proposals, state appropriations, amendments to federal/state law, or nominations to federal/state advisory committees.

3.2.3   Invitations to covered federal/state government officials to visit campus in an official capacity. If the visit is school or college specific, the invitations and subsequent visit should be coordinated with the Office of the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs.

3.2.4   Participation in press events with covered federal/state government officials intended to promote federal policy or funding priorities.

3.2.5    Nothing in this Policy shall be deemed to apply to the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Internal Audit, or other authorized university representatives in their representation of the University or its Board of Governors, employees, agents, or students before federal or state judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative entities.

3.3      After contacts or visits have been made with covered federal/state government officials by an employee on behalf of the University, a short report on the contact should be made to the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs.  This may be done online through a form on the Government and Community Affairs website – http://govaffairs.wayne.edu/report_form_for_contact_with_elected_official_v2.pdf

 3.4      Prior approval is not required for responses to requests, on behalf of the University, for information, reports, and statistics from covered federal/state government officials and their staffs, including responses to inquiries from investigative congressional committees.  However, the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs should be notified of such requests and provided with a copy of the material provided.

4.0    External Consultants Retained for Lobbying: 

4.1       Only the President or the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs may hire or approve the hire of an external consultant to lobby federal/state government officials on behalf of the University.   

4.2       No other executive official or employee of the University may approve the hire of an external consultant whose actions could be reasonably interpreted as lobbying on behalf of the University.

4.3       All expenditures for external consultants who lobby must be reported as “lobbying activities” as appropriate.

5.0     Lobbying For Federal and State Grants

5.1      The Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs will coordinate with the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Deans to identify and report grant and contract related lobbying activities.

5.2       University employees are allowed to carry out routine grant-related duties--for example, OVPR staff and faculty activities involved in identifying and pursuing sources of funds. 

5.2.1    Legislative liaison activities are permissible, such as providing information necessary for an agency to make an award decision, and holding technical discussions about an application or proposal.

5.2.2    Applicants may also hire outside professional and technical assistance for grant preparation and to smooth out the logistics of a grant or proposal submission or contract negotiation.

5.2.3    Communications with the intent to influence the selection process made by such professional or technical consultants is not allowable under these regulations, as such actions may be deemed as lobbying activities.

6.0     Personal And Professional Society Contacts: 

6.1      University employees may make personal and professional society contacts with elected officials or governmental agencies, whether in person or in writing, without the approval of the President or the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs; however, the contact must be done in the name of the individual or the professional society under the following conditions:

6.1.1    University letterhead may not be used.

6.1.2    In each instance, the employee makes it clear that the contact is personal and/or not made on behalf of the University.

6.2       Nothing in this policy shall in any way restrain or prevent faculty or staff from expressing personal views with personal resources.

7.0     Disclosure Of Lobbying Activity: 

7.1       Employees who are approved to engage in federal or state lobbying activities on behalf of the University, whether or not registered as lobbyists, shall file a brief report online with the Division of Government and Community Affairs at http://govaffairs.wayne.edu/report_form_for_contact_with_elected_official_v2.pdf

7.2     Completion of lobby disclosure reports:

7.2.1  The Vice President for Government and Community Affairs or his/her designee is responsible for filing all required federal lobbying reports, as well as the mid-year and year-end contributions reports. 

7.2.2  The University is required by law to submit to the State of Michigan a Financial Report Summary and Itemized Expenditure form to report its lobbying activities.  The Vice President for Government and Community Affairs is responsible for filing state lobbying reports for the University. 

7.2.3  The Vice President of Government and Community Affairs will notify the University of changes to state and federal lobby regulations.

 8.0     University Events: 

8.1      University events that require tickets for which there is a charge to the public may be extended to Members of Congress and their staff free of charge. Invitations to free University events are also appropriate and may be extended to Members of Congress and/or other covered federal or state government officials. University employees must notify the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs in advance of invitations sent to Members of Congress and/or covered federal and state government officials.

8.2       The deans or designees and the directors of Federal Affairs and State Affairs are required to complete the appropriate forms to report University expenses, contributions or donations to entities or events related to a covered federal or state official including: 

8.2.1    Events held to honor or recognize a covered legislative or executive branch official.

8.2.2    Entities designated by, or established, financed, maintained, or controlled by, such an official. 

 9.0     Record Retention

9.1      The University will retain all records as required by the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-65; 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.), as amended for a period of no less than six years from the date the reports are filed or registrants are terminated. 

10.0    Duration

10.1   This University Policy is revocable by the President at any time and without notice.

11.0    Effective Date

11.1   This university policy is effective upon issuance.

11.2   University Policy 2002-4 is hereby revoked, effective immediately.

 

Signed by President M. Roy Wilson, October 20, 2014