Code of Ethics

The Purchasing Department at WSU has a specific Code of Ethics and information regarding a 16A letter you may receive.

  • Subp. A. State employees are covered by M.S. 43A.38 and M.S. 43A.39. It covers such topics as acceptance of gifts, conflicts of interest and use of confidential information. 
  • Subp. B. M.S. 15.43 states that no employee of the state in direct contact with suppliers or potential suppliers to the state, or who may directly or indirectly influence a purchasing decision or contract by establishing specifications, testing purchased products, evaluating contracted services, or otherwise has official involvement in the purchasing or contracting process, may:
    1. Have any financial interest or have any personal beneficial interest directly or indirectly in the contracts or purchase orders for goods or services used by, or purchased for resale or furnished to, the system office, college or university; or
    2. Accept directly or indirectly, from a person, firm, or corporation to which a contract or purchase order has been or may be awarded, a rebate, gift, money, or anything of value other than items of nominal value. No such employee may further accept any promise, obligation or contract for future reward.
  • Textbooks, software, and other course materials authored by an employee of the Minnesota State College and Universities may be used as required course material. Instructors may accept free samples of textbooks and related teaching materials." Minnesota State Policy 5.5.2 Part 12. Violation of the procedures above may result in reduced spending authority. 

Encumbrance and 16A Letter

  • Funds must be encumbered prior to making an obligation through an authorized employee certifying that the accounting systems show sufficient allotment or encumbrance balance in the fund, allotment, or appropriation to meet it. An expenditure or obligation authorized or incurred prior to encumbering funds is illegal and ineligible for payment until made valid and is violation of M.S. 16A.15, Subd. 3. An employee authorizing or making the payment, or taking part in it, is liable to the state for the amount paid. A knowing violation of M.S. 16A.15, Subd. 3 is just cause for the employee's removal. The state cannot agree to indemnify third parties or hold them harmless (M.S. 10.17); Minn. Const. Art. XI, Sec. 1." Minnesota State Policy 5.5.2 Part 5.