Compliance Guide

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Dear Members of the University of Münster,

There are numerous external and university-specific rules which apply to the research, teaching, transfer and support activities at the University of Münster. And their number and scope have only become more complex and diverse in recent years. Beyond our commitment to uphold the law, we as representatives of the University also pledge to follow the general principles of conduct, which are summarised in our Code of Conduct.

It is not always easy to recognise which requirements are integral to a lawful and value-based form of conduct at the University or how to translate current rules into concrete actions. The following Compliance Guide provides orientation concerning the most important rules and lists key contacts so that you can properly conduct your daily tasks in a lawful, rule-consistent and ethical manner.

The content of this guide is binding for all members of the University of Münster. Consequently, we ask you to read it carefully, and if you have any questions, require further guidance or are aware of potential violations, to contact the official representatives listed below.

The Rectorate

I. Code of Conduct of the University of Münster


II. Compliance Issues

II. 1 Ethics in science and academia

  • 1. Good scientific practice

    The University of Münster is committed to employing good scientific practice. In accordance with the decisions of the German Research Foundation (DFG), it has established binding rules to this end, to which every researcher at the University of Münster must adhere in the context of their work. This includes working lege artis, maintaining strict integrity with regard to one’s own and others’ contributions, exercising measured scepticism towards all findings, and allowing and welcoming critical discourse in the scientific community. If questions or difficulties arise, employees can speak with their supervisors, confidants in their departments and the University’s central support and counselling services, such as the ULB or the Graduate Centre. In addition, the central ombudsperson is available to all members of the University in case of conflicts.

    When should you seek advice?

    • if you have any questions concerning good scientific practice
    • if you suspect academic or scientific misconduct
    • if you yourself have been accused of scientific misconduct

    More information:

    Prof. Dr. Reinhard Hoeps
    T: +49 2533 589309
  • 2. Animal protection

    The University of Münster is aware of its special responsibility to protect laboratory animals and continuously advocates measures to improve, reduce and (whenever possible) substitute lab work in the interest of animal welfare. The Animal Welfare Officers [de] of the University of Münster provide advice to the participating research groups on all matters regarding animal husbandry and animal experimentation [de] and are happy to support them with application and approval procedures.

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Dr. Martin Lücke
    Animal Welfare Officer
    T: +49 251 83-25483
  • 3. Research with genetic resources / Nagoya Protocol

    The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) establishes binding rules for access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. It also defines rules for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use. Researchers at the University of Münster who make use of “genetic resources” (i.e. biological material containing DNA or its derivatives) are obliged to take special care in their use. The rules are stipulated in EU Regulation No 511/2014 on compliance measures for users from the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation, the amendment of the Patent Act, and the amendment of the Environmental Audit Act.

    The Office of Occupational Health and Environment Protection is the first point of contact for application procedures. It supports researchers at the University in cooperation with Dept. 6 in complying with the legal mandates. This should help employees avoid violations of EU Regulation No. 511/2014, which can be regarded as an administrative offense and result in significant fines.

    More information:

    Dr. Joachim Kremerskothen
    Occupational Health and Environment Protection Office, Section of Biological Security and Genetic Engineering
    T: +49 251 83-25780

II. 2 Financial compliance

  • 4. Procurement/purchasing

    Procurement processes (i.e. purchasing) are organised decentrally at the University of Münster. In other words, your (decentralised) department or facility is responsible for procuring goods with a net order value of max. 5,000 euros. The applicable legal regulations as well as the University’s rules and regulations must be observed. Central Purchasing is responsible for reviewing purchases over 5,000 euros in net value.

    The Central Purchasing department is your first contact for questions and matters which fall below this 5,000-euro limit.

    When should you seek advice?

    • when searching for suppliers
    • if you have questions concerning compliance with procurement laws (e.g. unique positions, selection procedure...)
    • when preparing purchases over 25,000 euros in net value (starting with soliciting tenders)
    • if you have questions regarding configuring purchase requisition and orders in SAP

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Bernd Nappert
    Head of Central Purchasing
    T: +49 251 83-22275
    Markus Kompa
    Deputy of Central Purchasing
    T: +49 251 83-30334
  • 5. Entertainment and gifts

    Expenses for entertaining, catering and other official purposes incurred by public-sector institutions are subject to particular scrutiny by the public and financial control authorities, which is why such expenditures must always comply with the principles of economy and efficiency (cf. § 5 HG NRW (2) and § 7 LHO (1)). They are to be chosen appropriately for the specific occasion or purpose and are not comparable with the standards in the private-sector. Expenditures should generally be limited to what is necessary and appropriate in each case. The Guidelines for Entertainment and Gift Expenses stipulate the rules that are applicable to all University employees.

    More information:

    Guidelines for Entertainment and Gift Expenses (DE)

    You can find the responsible contact for your organisational unit here:

    • Allowances/grant budgets and own contributions without faculty resources: contacts in Dept. 5.1
    • Third-party funding and own contributions provided by the faculties and research institutes: contacts in Dept. 6.3

    General information on economic planning and budget management:

    Annegret Peters
    Head of Dept. 5.1 – Business Planning and Budgets
    T: +49 251 83-22132

    General information on third-party funding management:

    Susanne Zurstegge
    Head of Dept. 6.3 – External Funds Management
    T: +49 251 83-22160
  • 6. Tax compliance

    Within the scope of its economic activities, the University of Münster must correctly fulfil its obligations under tax and customs law. It ensures compliance with these obligations through its Tax and Customs Compliance Management System (Tax CMS or TCMS). As a system covering the entire University, it is continuously monitored and optimised. To this end, the University aims to comply with all University-relevant tax regulations and take preventative action to avoid errors. If you have any questions or uncertainties regarding tax-related processes, please contact the Holdings and Taxes department (Dept. 5.4).

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Frederike Milde
    Head of Dept. 5.4 – Holdings and Taxes
    T: +49 251 83 22 299
  • 7. Export control

    Export control regulations serve to prevent proliferation (e.g. of nuclear weapons or the means to produce them), the uncontrolled transfer of conventional military equipment and the violation of human rights. Not only does this include military-grade finished goods, but also components and associated software used in such products, as well as goods (commodities, software and technology) which, in addition to civilian use, can also find a use or end use in the military field (dual-use goods).

    The export of such goods is subject to export control by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). In addition, the transfer of technical knowledge or software (or parts thereof) can be subject to export control regulations, especially in the context of research.

    At the University of Münster, Dept. 5.4 – Holdings and Taxes is responsible for this compliance area. If you believe that your project might be subject to export control laws, please contact Dept. 5.4 at an early stage. The responsible contact person will help you determine how to proceed, clarify whether you require a license and establish contact with BAFA.

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Jana Rohlfing
    Dept. 5.4 – Holdings and Taxes
    T: +49 251 83 -21 357
  • 8. Corruption prevention: Accepting gifts, sponsoring, secondary employment

    All University employees must avoid the appearance of being susceptible to personal gain in the performance of their duties. The corruption prevention guidelines of the University of Münster emphasise the importance of avoiding and combating corruption. Moreover, they specify the consequences of violating these rules and define exemptions on the ban on accepting gifts and other forms of remuneration. When employees take up secondary employment or plan sponsoring activities, they must avoid the impression that they are mixing official and personal interests. To this end, paid and unpaid secondary employment must be reported to the HR department and sponsoring projects to the Corruption Prevention Officer.

    When should you seek advice?

    • if you are uncertain whether you can accept gifts or invitations
    • if you are planning sponsoring activities
    • in cases of suspected corruption

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Ralph Harnacke
    Corruption Prevention Officer
    T: +49 251 83-24743

II. 3 Protection areas

  • 9. Occupational health and environment protection

    The University strives to actively implement occupational safety and environment protection measures. In addition to mandatory compliance with the relevant legal provisions, rules and requirements at the workplace and in the classroom[KS1] , forward-looking prevention plays a key role in the University’s aim to steadily improve working conditions and safety for employees and students. The University is keenly aware of its responsibility in this area. It works to integrate occupational safety and environment protection into all management levels. Supervisory staff are obliged to ensure compliance with occupational health and environment protection provisions in their area of responsibility and to implement prescribed protective measures in a timely and appropriate manner.

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    The Occupational Health and Environment Protection Office supports and offers advice on the following matters:

    • Workplace safety
    • Biological security and genetic engineering
    • Fire safety
    • Crisis management
    • Radiation safety
    • Animal welfare
    • Environmental protection

    Contact for general matters:

    Kornelia Hilla
    Head of Occupational Health and Environment Protection
    T: +49 251 83-2 57 98
    Contacts for specific areas:
    Björn Altberternst
    Workplace safety
    T: +49 251 83-2 57 54
    Dr. Ramona Pilz
    Radiation safety
    T: +49 251 83-2 57 57
    Dr. Joachim Kremerskothen
    Biological security/genetic engineering
    T: +49 251 83-2 57 80
    Dr. Martin Lücke
    Animal welfare
    T: +49 251 83-2 54 83
    Jennifer Käsekamp
    Fire safety
    T: +49 251 83-3 03 02
    Dr. Martina Johnen
    Environment protection
    T: +49 251 83-2 57 58
    Maik Holtkamp
    Crisis management
    T: +49 251 83-25759
  • 10. Data protection

    Everyone has the right to have their personal data protected. To this end, special legal regulations are in place, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stipulates how personal data is to be handled. All University employees are required to comply with the data protection guidelines put forth in the University’s data protection policy. You may only collect, store or process/use personal data if the consent of the data subject has been obtained or if there is a legal basis that permits such usage. This data must be protected by technical and organisational measures. You can obtain support from the data protection coordinator in your faculty or department or from the Data Protection Office, which also provides data protection templates.

    ! Data protection incidents must be reported to the authorities within 72 hours. In the event of an incident, contact the Data Protection Officer immediately, who will submit a corresponding report on behalf of the University.

    When should you seek advice?

    • when storing or forwarding personal data
    • when planning a research project which involves collecting or processing personal data
    • if you have specific questions on how to implement the data protection concept

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Nina Meyer-Pachur
    Data Protection Officer
    T: +49 251 83-22 446
  • 11. Information security

    In order to conduct research, teaching and administration at the University of Münster successfully, employees depend on the confidentiality, availability and integrity of information. As a result, information security is a fundamental requirement. Since the essential processes at the University are supported by information technology (IT), IT security plays a key role in information security.The University has implemented numerous measures to protect official information, data and systems. However, current events have demonstrated that even supposedly well-protected IT systems are vulnerable to internal and external attacks which can result in extensive damage. To prevent this, all members of the University of Münster must take measures to protect information and familiarise themselves with the rules of information security, e.g. by visiting the web pages on IT security and participating in IT security training.

    More information:

    Information security:

    Computer Emergency Response Team of the University of Münster (CERT-UM):

    ! If you suspect an IT security breach, please contact the responsible IT service provider first or call the IT hotline or the CERT-UM to determine how to proceed. Also refer to the information provided on the IT emergency card.

    Dr. Ludger Becker
    Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
    T: +49 251 83-38442
    Michael Engemann
    Deputy CISO
    T: +49 251 83-33750

II. 4 General standards

  • 12. Gender equality, diversity and discrimination        

    Gender equality

    The University of Münster regards gender equality as a strategically important goal. Reducing discrimination on the basis of gender and gender equality is a cross-sectional task of every individual, which is not only anchored at the management level, but also within the faculties, departments and central units. Moreover, equal gender opportunity is being implemented according to defined criteria and goals at all decision-making levels and in relation to all member groups.

    The University’s gender equality policy is firmly anchored in its mission statement as a voluntary commitment and is concretized in the Framework of Gender Equality and the Gender Equality Plans of the individual units. The University management regards gender mainstreaming and gender equality as important criteria for the sustainable development of higher education.

    More information:

    Framework of Gender Equality

    Prof.'in Dr. Heike Bungert
    Principal Equal Opportunity Officer
    T: +49 251 83-29701

    Diversity and equal opportunity

    Diversity at the workplace and in academic life is of central importance to the University of Münster. The University values all employees and students, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion. It promotes this philosophy by means of an active equal opportunity and diversity policy and rejects every form and manner of discrimination.

    Recognition across disciplines and organisational units and respect for personal individuality are decisive factors that influence university, academic and student action. The University supports the different characteristics, diverse talents and experiences of its employees and students. Through a variety of projects, programmes and funding measures[KS1] , the University of Münster is committed to equal opportunities and thus contributes to its future viability and competitiveness.

    More information:

    Contact for matters related to the diversity process:
    Tanja Beck
    Diversity project coordination
    T: +49 251 83- 2 12 89

    Discrimination – GETA Advisory Office and GETA Complaints Office

    The University of Münster rejects discrimination in all forms. For advice and support, there are various support offices at the University where employees affected by discrimination can seek confidential consultation. These include, for example, the Human Resources department, the Equal Opportunities Officer(s), the Representative of the Severely Disabled and the staff representatives. In particular, the Advisory Office with a focus on the General Equal Treatment Act (GETA) is also available to all employees in the event of experiences or perceptions of (multiple) disadvantage and discrimination.

    Doris Eberhardt
    Advisory Office with a focus on the General Equal Treatment Act (GETA) for employees and managers
    T: +49 251 83-22426

    If you want to lodge a GETA complaint on the grounds of § 13 (discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity) or are considering doing so and have questions about the process, you can contact the GETA Complaints Office directly.

    More information (momentarily in German only):

    Ann-Kathrin Bilda
    Compliance Office
    GETA Complaints Office for employees
    T: +49 251 83-21202
  • 13. Sustainability

    Sustainable development is one of the major challenges of our time, and science plays an essential role in addressing it. Universities are an important forum for discussing and exploring opportunities for sustainable action. Disciplinary as well as inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches contribute to addressing such global challenges as climate change, mobility and energy transition, and questions of peace and democracy. As educational institutions, universities play a central role in promoting competence among future decision-makers with respect to sustainability. At the same time, universities themselves are part of the problem, as they themselves consume considerable resources. The University of Münster is aware of its responsibility with regard to these issues and their relevant social, ecological and economic impacts, and strives to address sustainability in the central areas of research, teaching, transfer and operations.

    More information:

    Nico Schäfer
    Office for Sustainability
    T: +49 251 83-21554
  • 14. Press and public relations

    The University’s press and PR activities are organised by the Communication and Public Relations department, which is responsible for internal communication and external presentation.

    Naturally, all academics and researchers are welcome to carry out their own public relations work on topics in their area of research and teaching and – if necessary – seek the advice/support of this department. In this context, researchers and instructors should understand that they are perceived by the public as members or representatives of the University and consequently play a public role. Consequently, they must assume responsibility for their own statements.

    Administrative staff are not authorised to provide information to the press without consulting with the Communication and Public Relations department in advance.

    More information:

    Norbert Robers
    Press Officer of the University of Münster and Head of the Communication and Public Relations department
    T: +49 251 83-22232
  • 15. Regulatory issues and conflicts of interest

    Official decisions are to be made on the basis of the applicable regulations and always in the interest of the University of Münster. Official and private interests must be consistently separated. In the event of a conflict between the interests of the University and private interests, employees are obliged to report this conflict to their supervisor and work to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible. This especially applies to personal, familial or economic relationships between University employees and/or contractual partners. If you have general questions about regulatory issues, feel free to contact the Compliance Office or the Rectorate Compliance Representative, who can help you find the right contacts or guidelines.

    If you become aware of violations, we ask you to take responsibility and report them to your supervisor or the responsible departments. Alternatively, in the event of significant violations or concerns about personal disadvantages, you can contact the Compliance Office as the central internal reporting office.

    More information:

    Ann-Kathrin Bilda
    Managing Director
    Compliance Office
    T: +49 251 83-21202
    Prof. Dr. Theresia Theurl
    Rectorate Representative for Compliance
    T: +49 251 83-21202

III. Compliance Organisation

IV. Internal Reporting Office