Communication with Governmental Agencies                   UPPS No. 06.02.01
Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 10/30/2006
Review: December 1 E6Y

 

 

01.       POLICY STATEMENTS

 

01.01  The importance of prompt and accurate communications with state and other governmental agencies makes it desirable that the University promulgate standard procedures and guidelines for communicating with these agencies. This UPPS is designed to help university personnel communicate with representatives of governmental agencies and avoid confusion and misleading information.

 

01.02  Related Laws and Policies: Additional information and guidance for complying with requests for information may be found in UPPS No. 01.04.00, Appropriate Release of Information.

 

02.       GENERAL GUIDELINES AND DEFINITIONS

 

02.01  For purposes of this UPPS, the terms set forth below have the following definitions:

 

a.   "Routine contacts" are communications made regularly in the course of university business pursuant to an established written procedure.

 

b.   "Exceptional contacts" are communications other than routine contacts. They are concerned with a particular end, purpose or case at hand and are not made regularly in the course of university business pursuant to an established written procedure.

 

c.   "Governmental agency" means:

 

1)   All departments, offices, boards, and agencies of the United States, the State of Texas, counties, and municipalities;

2)   All other state-supported institutions of higher education;

3)   Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas and their representatives; and

4)   Members of the United States Congress and their representatives.

5)   The term does not include, however, the Board of Regents, Texas State University System; individual Regents; or System Office employees. Section 2 of Chapter III of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents, Texas State University System, contains the policy with which the University functions.

 

d.   "University business" is the operation of the University in carrying out its mission. All communications described in this UPPS refer to those made in the course of university business.

 

02.03  Only the Board of Regents, Texas State University System, the President, and the vice presidents have the authority to commit the University to a particular course of action, position or policy. This authority may be delegated to other university employees only by specific direction. This authority cannot be implied or presumed to exist in others.

 

03.       PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING ROUTINE CONTACTS

 

03.01  University faculty and staff employees receiving routine contacts and requests for information from persons representing governmental agencies should comply with those requests promptly, fully and accurately.

 

03.02  University faculty and staff employees may initiate routine contacts and requests for information with persons representing governmental agencies.

 

04.       PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING EXCEPTIONAL CONTACTS

 

04.01  University faculty and staff employees receiving exceptional contacts or requests for information from persons representing governmental agencies should comply with those requests unless to do so would:

 

a.   Without authorization, purport to commit the University to a particular course of action, position or policy;

 

b.   Be unlawful or otherwise exceed the scope of authority of the university employee. (See UPPS No. 01.04.00, Appropriate Release of Information).

 

c.   Violate the standards of conduct for university employees established by the Board of Regents, Texas State University System; or

 

d.   Require substantial research or interfere materially with the university employee's discharge of his or her duties and responsibilities.

 

04.02  If complying with an exceptional request would commit the University to a particular course of action, position, or policy, or is otherwise outside the scope of authority of the employee, the employee should explain his or her lack of authority to the requestor, and refer the requestor to the person with authority to comply with the request. If the employee is not sure which office is best able to assist, he or she should refer the requestor to the President's Office.

 

04.03  If complying with an exceptional request would be unlawful or would materially interfere with the employee's duties, the employee should courteously explain that he or she must clear the request with his or her supervisor before responding.

 

04.04  When university faculty or staff employees receive an exceptional contact or request, they should summarize the contact for their immediate supervisors, and forward the summary through channels to the appropriate vice president.

 

04.05  University faculty and staff employees may initiate exceptional contacts with state agencies provided those contacts do not:

 

a.   Without authorization, purport to commit the University to a particular course of action, position, or policy;

 

b.   Otherwise exceed the employee's scope of authority;

 

c.   Violate the standards of conduct for university employees established by the Board of Regents, Texas State University System.

 

04.06  In all cases in which university faculty or staff employees initiate exceptional contacts or requests, they should, whenever practical, clear that contact or request with their supervisor in advance. When advance clearance is not practical, they should summarize the contact, in a timely manner, to their supervisors, and the contacts should be explained through channels to the appropriate vice president.

 

05.       REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

05.01    Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

Position                                                          Date

 

University Attorney                                        December 1 E6Y

 

06.       CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

 

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedures from the date of this document until superseded.

 

University Attorney; senior reviewer of this UPPS

 

Special Assistant to the President

 

President