Rules on Handling of Public Research Funds at National University Corporation Tokushima University

Rule No. 20, established
Octorber 27, 2014

 

The entirety of the Rules on Handling of Competitive Funds at National University Corporation Tokushima University (Rule No. 21 of 2007) is hereby revised as follows.

 

Article 1: Purpose

These Rules are intended to ensure proper and effective use of public research funds at National University Corporation Tokushima University (hereinafter referred to as “University”) by properly establishing operation and management handling practices for those public funds.

 

Article 2: Definitions

    • In these Rules, the following terms have meanings specified as indicated respectively below.
    • (1)Public research funds
      Research funds and competitive funds appropriated within the University budgets, and all other expenses executed for research activities of the University researchers, etc.
    • (2)Competitive funds
      Research funds granted through open competitions by the national government or independent administrative entities managed by the national government
    • (3)Researchers, etc.
      Officers of the University, persons conducting research activities in the University (including part-timers), and others involved in research activities
    • (4)Misappropriation
      Use in violation of related laws and regulations, the University rules, etc., and rules, etc. established by organizations providing competitive funds (hereinafter referred to as “funding organizations”), and other acts of wrongful uses of public funds; excluding, however, errors not intentionally committed or uses based on different opinions
    • (5)Compliance education
      Education conducted for researchers, etc. of the University to ensure that they can fully understand how to handle public research funds made available to them, the accompanying responsibilities, and what kind of conduct will constitute misappropriation, etc., so that any misappropriation can be effectively prevented
    • (6)Accounting rules, etc.
      Any accounting-related laws and regulations, the Accounting Rules of National University Corporation Tokushima University (Rule No. 6 of 2004), and other accounting operation handling rules established by the University, and rules, etc. on uses of research funds, etc. established by funding organizations
    • (7)Departments
      Administration Bureau, Medical/Dental Administration Department, faculties, graduate school education division, graduate school research divisions, University Hospital, University Library, joint education/research facilities, etc. stipulated in Article 4 of the Bylaws of Tokushima University (Rule No. 9 of 1958; hereinafter referred to as “University Bylaws”), and Health Service and Counseling Center

 

Article 3: Scope

Public research funds at the University shall be handled according to the Rules stipulated herein, in addition to the provisions set forth in accounting rules, etc.

 

Article 4: Chef Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer shall be the President of the University.

2.The Chief Executive Officer shall have the ultimate responsibility for the operation and management of public research funds at the University.

3.The Chief Executive Officer shall exercise proper leadership to enable the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Compliance Officer to take responsibility for the operation and management of public research funds.

 

Article 5: Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer shall be a Vice President appointed by the President.

2.The Chief Operating Officer shall assist the Chief Executive Officer, and have substantive responsibilities and authorities to supervise the entire operation and management of public research funds at the University.

3.Vice Presidents (other than the one appointed as the Chief Operating Officer) shall offer cooperation to the Chief Operating Officer.

 

Article 6: Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant Chief Compliance Officer

The Chief Compliance Officer (hereinafter referred to as “Compliance Officer”) shall be, as a general rule, the head of each department.

2.The Compliance Officer shall have substantive responsibilities and authorities for operation and management of public research funds within the department.

3.The Compliance Officer may appoint the Assistant Chief Compliance Officer as an assistant for performance of the operations specified above

 

Article 7: Obligations of researchers, etc

Researchers, etc. shall observe these Rules and relevant accounting rules, etc., use public research funds properly and effectively, and receive appropriate compliance education.

2.Accounting operations for competitive funds shall be performed by the responsible person in charge of accounting, as stipulated in accounting rules, etc., and the relevant clerical staff, etc.

3.The responsible person in charge of accounting shall perform the accounting operations properly as stipulated in the accounting rules, etc.

4.The relevant clerical staff, etc. shall perform the accounting operations properly as stipulated in the accounting rules by following instructions of the responsible person in charge of accounting and the Compliance Officers.

 

Article 8: Raising awareness

In order to prevent misappropriation of public research funds and to ensure that public research funds are utilized and managed properly, the Chief Executive Officer shall make efforts to raise awareness of researchers, etc., so that they can realize that projects proposed and adopted at their personal initiatives must be managed by the University, and awareness of the responsible person in charge of accounting and the relevant clerical staff, so that they can be in charge of clerical tasks designed for efficient performance of researches, etc. while ensuring that public research funds are properly executed with their professional competency.

2.The Compliance Officer shall conduct compliance education under the guidance of the Chief Operating Officer, to raise awareness of researchers, etc.

3.In implementation of the education stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the Compliance Officer shall grasp the trainees’ attendance and understanding levels, and have them submit written pledges, etc. when they attend educational sessions, etc.

 

Article 9: Compilation and implementation of misconduct prevention plan

The Chief Executive Officer shall endeavor to determine causes of misappropriation of public research funds, and compile and implement misconduct prevention plans that can properly respond to those causes.

 

Article 10: Misconduct Prevention Plan Promotion Office

Under the Chief Executive Officer, the Misconduct Prevention Plan Promotion Office (hereinafter referred to as “Promotion Office”) shall be established for compilation and implementation, etc. of the misconduct prevention plans stipulated in the preceding article.

2.The Promotion Office shall be composed of the Office Director and Office members.

3.The Office Director shall be the Chief Operating Officer.

4.The Office members shall be as indicated below.

    • (1)Executive Directors
    • (2)Executive Director for General Affairs
    • (3)Executive Director for Financial Managemen
    • (4)Director for Research and International Affairs
    • (5)Other members deemed necessary by the Office Director

5.The Promotion Office shall perform the following operations.

    • (1)Matters concerning identification of causes of misconduct relating to public research funds, drafting misconduct prevention plans, and implementation of the misconduct prevention plans.
    • (2)Matters concerning establishment of proper confirmation systems for uses of public research funds and proposals on unified handling approaches
    • (3)Matters concerning measures for promotion and thorough implementation of the Tokushima University Codes of Conduct (established on September 13, 2006).
    • (4)Other matters concerning promotion of prevention of research-related misconduct

6.Clerical tasks for the Promotion Office are performed by the Research and Community Collaboration Department/Research Promotion Section, in collaboration with the Finance Department.

 

Article 11: Competitive fund consultation contact office

As the contact point to receive internal and external consultation requests, the competitive fund consultation office (hereinafter referred to as “consultation office”) shall be established, to promote clear and unified implementation of clerical procedures and accounting rules, etc. for competitive funds.

2.The consultation office specified in the preceding paragraph shall be established at the Research Promotion Section, Research and Community Collaboration Department.

 

Article 12:Misappropriation whistle-blower contact points, etc.

Internal and external whistleblowing or consultation on misconduct concerning uses of public research funds (hereinafter referred to as “allegations, etc.”) shall be accepted at contact points for reports/allegations, etc., as stipulated in Article 4 of the Rules on Handling, etc. of Whistle-Blowing in Tokushima University (Rule No. 105 of 2005).

2.Upon receiving allegations, etc. concerning misappropriation, the Chief Operating Officer shall promptly report them to the Chief Executive Officer and the head of the department with which the researchers, etc. subject to the allegations, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “respondents”) are affiliated (if the head of the department is included in the persons subject to allegations, etc., the Vice President or equivalent personnel not included in the allegations, etc.; the same shall apply to the rest of the document).

3.If the persons subject to the allegations, etc. include those affiliated with other organizations, the Chief Operating Officer may deliver the reports, etc. to the heads of the organizations.

4.Cases in which misappropriation is pointed out by media, academic associations, or other organizations shall be treated similarly as in allegations, etc. stipulated in Paragraph 2.

 

Article 13: Thorough communication of report/allegation handling system, etc.

The Chief Executive Officer shall ensure that the whistle-blower contact points, methods for making allegations, etc., and other necessary matters are thoroughly communicated to all relevant internal and external parties.

 

Article 14: Preliminary investigation

Upon receiving reports specified in Paragraph 2, Article 12, the Chief Executive Officer instructs the head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated to conduct preliminary investigations, and report the results back within thirty (30) days from the date of receipt.

2.The head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated shall request the person who has made the allegations, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “complainant”), the respondent, and other relevant parties to provide necessary cooperation.

 

Article 15: Implementation of formal investigation, etc.

Within thirty (30) days from the date on which allegations, etc. were received, the Chief Executive Officer shall confirm the rationality of the contents of the allegations, etc., determine whether investigations are necessary, based on the results of preliminary investigations stipulated in the preceding article, and report the decision on the necessity of the investigations to organizations from which funding was provided (hereinafter referred to as “funding organizations”).

2.If the formal investigation is to be conducted, as stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the Chief Executive Officer promptly establishes an investigative committee, and has it conduct the formal investigations, and notifies the complainant, the respondent, and the funding organization about the actions taken.

3.If the formal investigation stipulated in Paragraph 1 is not to be conducted, the Chief Executive Officer notifies the complainant about the decision, with reasons attached.

4.If the allegations, etc. are found to be made out of malice as a result of the preliminary investigation stipulated in the preceding article, the Chief Executive Officer notifies the head of the department with which the complainant is affiliated (if the complainant is a member of another organization, the head of the organization) about the finding.

5.When an objection is raised by the complainant, etc. about the result of the preliminary investigation, the Chief Executive Officer may order the head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated to conduct a new investigation.

 

Article 16: Investigative committee

The investigative committee stipulated in Paragraph 2 of the preceding article is composed of the following members.

    • (1)Chief Operating Officer
    • (2)Vice Presidents appointed by the President (excluding the one appointed as Chief Operating Officer)
    • (3)Head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated
    • (4)Several members of the department with which the respondent is affiliated
    • (5)Learned person(s) specializing in the field of laws, etc., without any interest in the University: One or more
    • (6)Executive Director for Financial Management
    • (7)Director for Research and International Affairs
    • (8)Other members deemed necessary by the Chief Operating Officer

2.The investigative committee shall be chaired by the Chief Operating Officer.

3.The members stipulated from Item 4, Item 5, and Item 8 of Paragraph 1 shall be appointed or commissioned by the President from among those who have no direct interest in the complainant or the respondent.

4. The clerical tasks for the investigative committee are performed by the Research and Community Collaboration Department/Research Promotion Section, in collaboration with the relevant departments.

 

Article 17: Notification, etc. made in conjunction with establishment of investigative committee

When an investigative committee is established, the Chief Executive Officer notifies the complainant and the respondent about the names and affiliations of the members of the committee.

2.Upon receiving the notice about the member structure, the complainant or the respondent may raise an objection, if any, to the Chief Executive Officer within seven (7) days from the notification date.

3.If an objection is raised as stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the Chief Executive Officer examines the details, and if the objection is deemed to be reasonable, the members about whom the objection is raised shall be replaced, and the names and affiliations of the new members shall be presented to the complainant and the respondent.

 

Article 18: Methods of formal investigation

Formal investigations shall be conducted by scrutinizing data relating to researches in question and interviewing the relevant parties, etc. In this case, the respondent shall be given an opportunity to offer a defense.

2.In conducting the investigations, the investigative committee shall take measures to preserve materials, etc. that might be used as evidence

 

Article 19: Cooperation with funding organizations

In conducting the investigations, the investigative committee shall make reports to, and conduct discussion with, the funding organizations, concerning investigation policies, investigation targets, and investigation methods, etc.

 

Article 20: Determination

The investigative committee shall give its determination as to whether any misconduct occurred or not, the nature of the misconduct if any, the persons involved in the misconduct, and the degree of their involvement, and the misappropriated monetary amounts, etc.

 

Article 21: Reporting of investigation results

The investigative committee shall report the investigation results, etc. to the Chief Executive Officer, who shall submit the final report to the funding organizations within two hundred ten (210) days from the receipt of the allegations, etc.

2.Even if the investigations are not completed by the end of the period specified above, an interim report on the investigations shall be submitted to the funding organizations.

3.Even if the investigations are not completed, if any part of the misconduct is determined as a fact, the decision shall be promptly made and reported to the funding organizations.

4.In addition to the above three provisions, even prior to the end of the investigations, the progress status and interim reports of the investigations shall be submitted to the funding organizations, upon their requests.

5.Requests for submission of materials relating to the investigated cases and on-site inspections, etc. shall be satisfied unless otherwise prohibited by due causes.

 

Article 22: Notification of investigation results, etc.

Upon receiving reports on results of the investigations stipulated in Paragraph 1 of the preceding article, the Chief Executive Officer shall promptly notify the complainant, the respondent (including persons other than the respondent, determined to have been involved in the misappropriation; the same shall apply to the rest of the document), and the head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated (if the respondent is affiliated with another organization, the head of the organization), and the funding organizations about the investigation results.

2.If it is determined that the complaint was lodged out of malice, etc., the Chief Executive Officer shall notify the complainant and the head of the organization with which the complainant is affiliated (if the complainant is affiliated with another organization, the head of the organization) about the determination.

3.The Chief Executive Officer shall report the investigation results to MEXT.

 

Article 23: Appeal filing

A respondent found to have committed misappropriation or a complainant found to have lodged the allegations, etc. out of malice (including cases in which malice was determined during the investigation following an appeal by the respondent) shall be able to file an appeal to the Chief Executive Officer within fourteen (14) days from the date on which the notice of the investigation result was received.

2.If the appeal stipulated in the preceding paragraph is filed by the respondent determined to have committed misappropriation, the Chief Executive Officer notifies the complainant and the funding organizations about the appeal.

3.If the appeal stipulated in Paragraph 1 is filed by the complainant found to have lodged the allegations, etc. out of malice, the Chief Executive Officer notifies the head of the organization with which the complainant is affiliated(if the complainant is affiliated with another organization, the head of the organization), the respondent, and the funding organizations about the appeal.

 

Article 24: A reinvestigation

Upon receiving an appeal stipulated in Paragraph 1 of the preceding article, the Chief Executive Officer shall order the investigative committee to conduct investigations on the appeal. However, if the nature of the appeal concerns structure of the investigative committee, etc. and its fairness, the investigating committee members may be replaced or a new investigative committee may be established for a reinvestigation.

2.Ordered to conduct an investigation stipulated in the preceding paragraph by the Chief Executive Officer, the investigative committee shall promptly decide whether to conduct a reinvestigation on the case, and report the decision to the Chief Executive Officer.

3.The Chief Executive Officer shall promptly notify the complainant and the respondent about the decision results stipulated in the preceding paragraph, and determine whether or not a reinvestigation should be implemented, and, if the decision is in the affirmative, instruct the investigative committee to conduct a reinvestigation.

4.The investigative committee shall perform a reinvestigation within fifty (50) days from receipt of the appeal (thirty (30) days in the case of a reinvestigation in response to an appeal of the complainant found to have lodged the allegations, etc. out of malice), and report the investigation results to the Chief Executive Officer.

5.For notification of the result of the reinvestigation, the provisions of Article 22 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

 

Article 25: Announcement of investigation results

When it is determined that misappropriation has occurred, the Chief Executive Officer shall promptly make public the results of the investigation. However, if there are any rational reasons for not disclosing the result, the names of the persons involved in the misappropriation, etc. may not be disclosed.

2. When it is determined that misappropriation has not occurred, the Chief Executive Officer shall basically not disclose research results. However, if the allegations, etc. are determined to have been lodged out of malice, the investigation result may be disclosed, as required.

 

Article 26: Provisional measures during investigation

If the formal investigation is to be implemented, the Chief Executive Officer may order the head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated and other relevant parties to suspend the execution of the funds relating to the allegations, etc. and to take other necessary measures until receipt of the investigation results.

2.If the above measures are taken, the Chief Executive Officer shall notify the respondent about the order.

 

Article 27: Measure to be taken after decision

If any misappropriation is determined to have occurred, the Chief Executive Officer shall order the head of the department with which the respondent is affiliated and other relevant parties to extend the measures stipulated in the preceding article, and impose necessary punishment on the respondent, as stipulated in the Work Rules of National University Corporation Tokushima University(Rule No. 7, 2004; hereinafter referred to as “Work Rules”) or the University Bylaws.

2.In the case stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the Chief Executive Officer may order the respondent to return all or part of the expenses already consumed, in addition to those stipulated in laws and regulations, etc.

3.In the case of Paragraph 1 above, if the malicious nature of the conduct is deemed extreme, or in other similar cases, the Chief Executive Officer may take legal actions, including criminal and/or civil complaints, etc.

4.If the misappropriation is determined not to have occurred, the Chief Executive Officer shall promptly lift all measures imposed on the respondent, and notify all relevant parties and organizations that no misappropriation has been committed, and take other measures to ensure that the respondent can restore honor and be free from any disadvantage in that regard.

5.If the allegations, etc. were determined to have been lodged out of malice, and if the complainant is a staff member, etc. or a student of the University, the Chief Executive Officer may carry out necessary punishment against the complainant, pursuant to the Work Rules or the University Bylaws.

 

Article 28: Corrective measures and recurrence prevention measures

Article 28. If any misappropriation is determined to have occurred, the Chief Executive Officer shall order the head of the department where the misappropriation took place to promptly take corrective measures and recurrence prevention measures, and other necessary measures required to prevent any unnecessary impacts on performance of research activities of departments and researchers, etc. not involved in the misappropriation.

 

Article 29: Prohibition of disadvantageous treatment

The Chief Executive Officer and the head of each department shall not treat the complainant disadvantageously simply because he/she made the allegations, etc.

2.The Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, and the head of each department shall not provide the respondent with excessively disadvantageous treatments simply because of allegations, etc., including total prohibition of his/her research activities.

 

Article 30: Strict observance of investigation period

Preliminary investigations, formal investigation, and any reinvestigations must be expeditiously carried out with the respectively stipulated periods.

 

Article 31: Monitoring and audit

In order to minimize occurrence of any misappropriation, the Chief Executive Officer shall instruct the Audit Office to conduct monitoring and audits from the comprehensive University-wide perspective.

2.The Audit Office shall conduct monitoring and audit operations suitable for different causes of misappropriation, in coordination with the Promotion Office.

3.The audits stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be implemented, as required, in coordination with the Auditor and accounting auditors.

4.Matters concerning the monitoring and audit stipulated in the preceding three paragraphs shall be set forth in the Internal Audit Rules in National University Corporation Tokushima University (Rule No. 91 of 2004).

5.The Chief Executive Officer shall constantly review implementation of these Rules and the accounting rules, etc., and maintenance of the audit system.

 

Article 32: Miscellaneous

In addition to the provisions stipulated herein, any necessary matters concerning operation and management of public research funds shall be established separately by the President in accordance with the Guidelines of Management and Audit of Public Research Funds in Research Institutes (Implementation Standards) (Decision of Minister of MEXT, February 15, 2007).

 

Supplementary provision These Rules shall be put into effect as from November 1, 2014.