Ethics in Government Regulations
Graduate School and University Center faculty and staff are public employees subject to regulations by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).
Staff members who earn $99,394 or more annually or who are designated as policy-makers are subject to filing Annual Financial Disclosure Statements. These staff members are also required to receive an initial Comprehensive Ethics Training and an ethics refresher training every three years.
All employees are subject to regulations concerning the receipt of honoraria and travel, gifts, outside activities, nepotism and political activities. Please see links below for comprehensive information about JCOPE regulations and frequently asked questions.
New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics - JCOPE
Comprehensive Ethics Training
Comprehensive Ethics Training Course (CETC) developed by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) is mandatory for every Graduate School and University Center Faculty member who earns $99,394 or more annually and staff designated as policy-makers who file an annual Financial Disclosure Statement. The CETC is a two-hour, live, instructor-led training that covers the Public Officers Law and other related ethics laws and regulations.
Everyone who has taken the CETC is required by law to take an ethics refresher every three years thereafter. This means, for example, those FDS filers who first took the CETC in 2016 must take an ethics refresher in 2019.
Dates for the Comprehensive Ethics Training Course and Refresher Training offered at the Graduate Center will be posted on the website and announced by email. A training compliance report is issued to the JCOPE every year.
Travel and Honoraria
In accordance with the regulations of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), all CUNY employees must report on the receipt of honoraria and travel reimbursement from non-CUNY sources each year. You are obligated to report on any honoraria and travel reimbursements received between April 1st and March 31st of each year. The Office of Diversity and Compliance will contact you in March each year and ask you to submit an annual report by May 1st. There is no need to complete a report if you did not receive any honoraria or travel reimbursement during the reporting period. Below is an excerpt from a memorandum from the CUNY Office of the General Counsel that provides details on the JCOPE requirements:
“All CUNY employees are required to comply with the law and regulations governing the receipt and reporting of honoraria, regardless of their designation as policymaker.”
JCOPE generally defines honorarium as “a speaking fee or compensation received from writing an article, or reimbursement for travel expense not related to official duties.”
Annual Financial Disclosure
JCOPE describes Financial Disclosure as follows:
- An annual Statement of Financial Disclosure (FDS) is a publicly available record containing financial and professional information about the FDS filer and his or her spouse.
- The purpose of the FDS is to provide transparency in order to prevent conflicts of interest between a person’s professional duties and his or her private financial interests and affiliations.
- The process of completing an FDS also assists an FDS filer in identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest.
FDS Filing Deadlines and Salary Threshold Information
||Filing Due Date*
||CSEA SG-24 Job Rate/
||May 15, 2019 (non-academic),
November 15, 2019 (academic)
||May 15, 2020 (non-academic),
November 15, 2020 (academic)
State employees or officials whose annual salaries surpass the threshold or who are designated policy-makers after the applicable filing due date must file within 30 days of the change in their salary or policy-maker designation. New State employees or officials who (1) have annual salaries above the threshold or are designated policy-makers, and (2) commence employment after the applicable filing due date must file within 30 days of hire.
New FDS Online Filing System (FAQs)
JCOPE REMINDER- WRITING A LETTER?
Use of Agency Letterhead (read more)
Click here to visit CUNY’s Ethics website.
Pinar Ozgu, Ethics Officer
Camille Gordon, Ethics Coordinator