The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

0150 - ORGANIZATION

0151

Organizational Meeting

   
 

The School Board shall organize in November of each year by electing a Chair and Vice-Chair. In an election year, the organizational meeting must be held on the second Tuesday following the general election.

   
 

The Chair and Superintendent shall sign a copy of the proceedings of organization as provided in State law and these bylaws, including the schedule of regular meetings and the names and addresses of all District officers. The Superintendent shall file the document within two (2) weeks with the Florida Department of Education.

   
 

F.S. 100.041
F.S. 1001.371

   
 

Revised 6/18/14

   

0152

Officers

   
 

The Superintendent shall call the organizational meeting to order and act as presiding officer until the organization is complete.

   
 

Elections of officers shall require at least five (5) votes. A member may participate in the election of officers through communications media technology if a quorum is physically present. Participation by a physically absent member shall be allowed only in extraordinary circumstances as determined by a majority of members physically present.

   
 

A.

Officers shall serve for one (1) year and until their respective successors are elected and qualify.

     
 

B.

If the office of Chair or Vice-Chair becomes vacant, the School Board shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term at the next regular or special meeting and in the same manner as the election conducted at the organization meeting.

     
 

C.

When the Chair is absent for a meeting, out of the Board's jurisdiction, or is otherwise unavailable, the Vice-Chair may perform routine duties of the Chair as authorized by the Chair.

   
 

F.S. 1001.371, 1001.462

   
 

The Superintendent shall be the secretary and executive officer of the Board.

   
 

F.S. 1001.48

   

0153

Appointees

   
 

The Chair shall appoint members as necessary to organizations, committees, and/or councils as required by law, School Board policy, or as desired by the Board.

   
 

The Chair may appoint individual Board members to serve as liaison representatives from the Board to other official boards, agencies, and committees. Typical of such appointments are those to the Dade County Department of Public Health and the Dade County League of Cities. The Board Clerk shall maintain a record of the Chair's appointments and shall regularly update that record and ensure that it is accessible to the public.

   
 

Board members who desire to present reports of activities of these groups to the full Board may do so at any regular meetings of the Board under the agenda heading, "Office of School Board Members".

   
 

The Board shall elect one (1) citizen who owns a business occupying commercial space located within the School District to the Value Adjustment Board.

   
 

F.S. 194.015
HB 909

   
 

Revised 7/12/17

   

0154

Motions

   
 

At the organizational meeting, the School Board shall approve the schedule for regular and special meetings.

   

0155

School Board Committees

   
 

The objective of the School Board committees is to provide the opportunity for Board members to formulate, review, analyze, and deliberate policy recommendations prior to consideration by the full Board.

   
 

The Board is authorized to designate standing committees as necessary for formulating, reviewing, analyzing, and deliberating policy recommendations for particular organizational areas of the school system prior to consideration by the full Board. Subject to change or modification as deemed necessary by the Chair, five (5) committees are established with respect to the organizational areas listed below. In addition, specific strategies outlined in the District Strategic Blueprint will be explicitly tied to each committee.

   
 

A.

Academics, Evaluation, & Technology

     
   

Develops policy and considers matters related to curriculum, instruction, data analysis, testing, exceptional student education, Title I, adult/alternative education, evaluation, research, technology, student progression, instructional materials, professional development, schools of choice including charter schools and magnet/themes, student services, grants and related procurement and rulemaking. The District-wide Teacher of the Year may serve as a non-voting ex-officio member.

     
 

B.

Innovation, Government Relations & Community Engagement

     
   

Develops policy and considers matters related to legislative issues, District-wide innovations, intergovernmental relations, compacts, interlocal agreements, business and community partnerships, parental involvement, community relations, communications, and related procurement and rulemaking. The District-wide Principal of the Year may serve as a non-voting ex-officio member.

     
 

C.

Personnel Services & Student/School Support

     
   

Develops policy and considers matters related to supporting the delivery of educational services at the school site including transportation, attendance services and boundaries, food service, graduations, field trips, school naming, athletics, labor relations, succession management, personnel, student discipline, school police, and related procurement and rulemaking. A representative of the Coalition of Unions may serve as a nonvoting, ex-officio member.

     
 

D.

Fiscal Accountability

     
   

Develops policy and considers matters related to budget, audits, treasury management, procurement, resolutions, risk management, property/equipment and goods, services contracts, and related rulemaking.

     
 

E.

Facilities Construction

     
   

Develops policy and considers matters related to real estate, recycling, growth management, construction, maintenance, green energy, Office of Economic Opportunity, 21st Century Bond Program, Five (5) Year Capital Plan, capital budget, parking leases, and related procurement and rulemaking. A representative from the community may be appointed by the Chair of the Board to serve as a non-voting ex-officio member.

     
 

Membership

   
 

A.

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board will serve as voting, ex-officio members of each committee they do not directly serve on. Each committee will be composed of four (4) voting Board members, appointed by the Chair of the Board. The Chair of the Board shall also appoint the chair, vice-chair, and ex-officio members to each committee. Each Board member other than the Chair of the Board will serve on two (2) committees.

     
 

B.

Committee appointees will serve for one (1) year, and the appointments will be made following the November organizational meeting.

     
 

C.

Any Board member may attend any and all committee meetings but only the Chair, Vice-Chair, and four (4) appointed committee members may vote.

     
 

Powers

   
 

A.

The chair of each committee will call meetings of the committee and, in collaboration with the appropriate staff liaison, will establish the agenda for each committee meeting.

     
 

B.

The committee may consider agenda items or matters being presented by staff to the full Board for consideration, unless they are not appropriate for review. The committee may consider other issues within the organizational area which the committee chair believes should be addressed.

     
 

1.

Matters not appropriate for committee review include the names of candidates recommended by the Superintendent for assignment, transfer, or appointment to positions, employee disciplinary matters, matters to be considered in executive session, matters involving litigation, settlements, resignations, and attorney work product from the Board Attorney, and any other matters which the full Board deems inappropriate for committee review.

   

2.

Matters relating to personnel reorganizations shall be governed by Policy 1120 and Policy 1130.

     

3.

The annual budget may be considered by the Innovation, Efficiency and Governmental Relations Committee, at the discretion of the committee chair, prior to consideration by the full Board. If the committee chair calls a committee meeting to review the annual budget, the meeting will be held in a budget workshop format and all Board members will be invited to attend and participate.

   

4.

Board members may submit issues for discussion to the appropriate committee staff liaison in sufficient time to be included on the published committee meeting agenda. The issue submitted shall include a brief summary of the topic to be discussed.

   
 

This provision does not prohibit Board members from raising unpublished discussion issues under the committee's new business agenda section.

     
   

Discussion issues, whether published or not, shall not be forwarded to the full Board and no action may be taken on these issues by the committee.

     
 

C.

Each committee is authorized to invite public officials, public employees, or private individuals to appear before the committee for the purpose of obtaining information.

     
 

D.

For any matter which will be considered by the full Board, the committee may forward it to the full Board as:

     
 

1.

recommended;

   

2.

not recommended;

   

3.

recommended with modification; or

   

4.

no recommendation.

     
 

E.

The presence of two (2) or more members of a committee shall constitute a quorum for voting purposes. The Chair and Vice-Chair, if present, may be counted in determining if a quorum is present at any committee meeting. The Board Chair shall appoint two (2) alternate members to serve on each Board committee. In those instances where at least two (2) members of a committee are not present, any Board member who has been designated to serve as an alternate member of the committee may be counted as a member of the committee for purposes of establishing a quorum. In the event of an anticipated absence, committee members shall notify the committee chair, so that alternate members are advised that their attendance at the meeting is requested. In the absence of a quorum, all Board agenda items scheduled to be considered by the committee will be forwarded to the full Board with no recommendation.

     
 

F.

In the event that a monthly meeting is not called by the committee chair, the vice-chair or a member of the committee who wishes to convene a meeting may request the meeting through the chair of the committee, who shall then schedule the meeting according to the Sunshine Law. No scheduled committee meeting shall be canceled if any member of the committee wishes to convene the meeting.

     
 

G.

In the event that the chair of a committee is unavailable for a scheduled committee meeting, the vice-chair will serve as chair. In the event the chair and vice-chair are unavailable, either remaining member by agreement of the membership may serve as chair of the committee meeting.

     
 

H.

Once considered by committee, agenda items and matters to be considered by the full Board will be forwarded to the full Board. The full Board will be advised of the committee's recommendation in a manner to be determined by the committee chair.

   
 

Staff Liaison and Resource Persons

   
 

The Superintendent shall designate at least one (1) staff liaison to each committee who will be responsible for notification of meetings, preparation of agendas, documentation of meetings by tape recording and development of reports and data for use of the committee. The staff liaison shall prepare minutes of committee meetings in a uniform format and transmit them to the full Board prior to each regularly scheduled Board meeting.

   
 

Committee requests for reports, data, and information requiring monetary expenditures or excessive use of staff time and resources must be authorized by the full Board.

   
 

Miscellaneous

   
 

A.

Scheduling

     
   

The committee meetings addressing the monthly Board agenda shall occur after the publication of the official agenda and prior to the regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting. The chair of each committee is responsible for scheduling the committee meeting. The Board shall first consider Wednesdays to schedule all committee meetings in which Board members are requested to attend, recognizing that certain factors may impede consideration for Wednesdays including, but not limited to, advertisements, agenda publication deadlines, emergency meetings, annual organizational meeting, legislatively mandated periods for special meetings and budget public hearings, religious holidays, previously schedule calendared conflicts and travel, legislative session, Dade Days, and graduations.

     
 

B.

Agenda items from the Superintendent or staff and the Board Attorney shall include the name of the appropriate committee where the item will be discussed. Board members’ agenda items shall include the name of the committee where the item will be discussed. For convenience, Board members may take an agenda item to a committee to which they belong.

     
 

C.

Sunshine Law

     
   

All committee meetings shall be conducted under the Sunshine Law. (F.S. Chapter 286)

     
 

D.

Rules of Order

     
   

Robert’s Rules of Order will govern committee meetings.

   
 

Revised 1/18/12
Revised 10/10/12
Revised 6/18/14
Revised 10/11/17

   

0156

Legal Counsel

   
 

The School Board may employ or retain legal counsel to render legal services as needed by the Board or Superintendent for school matters. Prior to negotiation of the employment contract, the Board shall conduct a workshop to provide guidance to the Board’s designated negotiator.

   
 

The Board is also authorized to employ assistant Board attorneys and special counsel to assist the Board's attorney when, in the judgment of the Board, such assistance is necessary.

   
 

Any Board agenda item seeking Board involvement in litigation must be reviewed and approved by the Board Attorney prior to agenda publication and include a statement that the Board Attorney has been consulted and agrees with or recommends the proposed action.

   
 

All contracts to which the Board is a party shall be reviewed by the Board Attorney pursuant to Policy 6540.

   
 

Board members may request legal opinions regarding any matter related to the District or their responsibilities as Board members.

   
 

District staff requests for formal legal opinions shall be limited to official District concerns and must be made to the Superintendent through the offices of the appropriate area, assistant, associate or Deputy Superintendent. The Superintendent may then forward the request to the Board Attorney. The Chief Auditor may directly request legal opinions regarding the legal expenditure of funds. All requests must be signed by the appropriate District official.

   
 

F.S. 1001.32(2)

   
 

Revised 9/7/11

   

0157

Inspector General

   
 

A.

Office of Inspector General

     
 

1.

Purpose

   
 

To effectuate the School Board's requirement that all District operations be carried out with honesty, integrity, efficiency, and legal compliance, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) shall serve as an independent internal "watchdog" that can seek the initiation of investigations by the School Police Investigative Division or applicable outside agencies, including the DOE and law enforcement agencies, and can aid in those inquiries through in-house access to personnel and documents. When appropriate, the OIG may itself conduct investigations and report the findings to the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee and Board.

     
 

2.

Selection of the Inspector General (IG)

   
 

The Board shall bear the cost of the search for an IG, including the costs and expenditures associated with the operation of an ad-hoc volunteer selection committee to screen applications for the IG position. The committee shall elect a chair and vice-chair and shall exist until the IG is appointed.

   
 

a.

Consistent with minimum qualifications for State-agency inspectors general under F.S. 20.055, and to ensure that audits and investigations are performed in accordance with applicable government auditing standards, the IG shall possess at least the following qualifications:

   
 

1)

a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in accounting, or with a major in business which includes five (5) courses in accounting, and five (5) years of experience as an internal auditor or independent postauditor, electronic data processing auditor, accountant, or any combination thereof; or

     
 

The experience shall at a minimum consist of audits of units of government or private business enterprises.

   

2)

a master's degree in accounting, business administration, or public administration from an accredited college or university and at least four (4) years of experience as required in paragraph 1); or

   

3)

preferably, a Florida certified public accountant license or a certified internal audit certificate issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors or earned by examination, and four (4) years of experience as required in paragraph 1).

     
 

b.

The IG selection committee shall be composed of the following individuals:

   
 

1)

the Inspector General of Miami-Dade County or designee;

   

2)

the chair of the District Ethics Committee or designee;

   

3)

the chair of the District Audit and Budget Advisory Committee or designee;

   

4)

the president of the Miami-Dade Police Chief’s Association or designee;

   

5)

the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or designee;

   

6)

the State Attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit or designee;

   

7)

the Public Defender for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit or designee; and

     

8)

a retired Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court or another retired justice or judge selected by the other members of this selection committee;

   

9)

a representative from the District's labor unions.

     
 

c.

With prior input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee in consultation with the Superintendent, the Board shall select by majority vote an IG from a list of at least three (3) qualified candidates recommended by the selection committee. If the Board does not appoint any of these candidates, the selection committee shall then recommend a new slate of at least three (3) candidates (which may include one (1) of the prior candidates if the committee determines that candidate to be worthy of reconsideration).

   

d.

Contract

   
 

An employment contract shall be negotiated and executed between the Board and the individual selected as the IG. Prior to negotiation of the employment contract, the Board shall conduct a workshop to provide guidance to the Board’s designated negotiator. This employment contract shall incorporate by reference the provisions of this rule.

   
 

1)

The IG’s salary shall be negotiated by the parties within a range established by the Board.

   

2)

The length of the contract may be up to four (4) years, with an option for renewal or extension by mutual agreement and action of the Board. The contract shall provide for an evaluation instrument to be used by the Board with input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee pursuant to 13) below.

     
 

3)

Termination for Cause

   
 

The Board may remove the IG from office according to the terms of the IG’s employment contract. The contract shall include a clause that any recommendation for the removal or transfer of the IG, and the reasons for such removal or transfer, shall be brought before the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee to obtain its advice; and the Board may, after thirty (30) days’ written notice to the IG, terminate its contract with the IG if the Board determines that the IG has failed to meet or fulfill his/her obligations as set forth in this rule, the IG’s contract, or the IG’s job description. This written notice will be transmitted after action of the Board at a regular Board meeting (or, if deemed necessary, at a special meeting with proper notice). Should a majority of the Board decide to terminate the IG’s contract, the thirty (30) days’ notice of termination will be issued subsequent to the Board’s action at the public meeting. The written notice should provide the IG an opportunity to cure the identified deficiency(ies). If the Board determines that the IG has not cured the defects within the allotted time, the termination shall be final, in which case the IG may retain the salary and benefits accrued up to the time of the termination, but shall not be entitled to any other compensation such as severance damages.

     

e.

The selection process described above shall also be utilized in the event of a vacancy in the position of IG.

     
 

3.

Office Organization

   
 

The OIG shall be provided suitable office space with adequate security. The OIG shall include an inspector general (IG), and such inspector/investigator/auditor and support positions as the Board deems appropriate, all of which shall be contract employees of the Board and shall be entitled to all salary, insurance, leave, benefits, retirement, and disability benefits and other rights and obligations as regular District employees.

   
 

a.

The OIG staff shall report to the Board through the IG. The IG shall have authority to recommend the Board’s hiring of the inspector/investigator/auditor staff and support personnel. The IG will assign tasks to the OIG staff, whose work shall be supervised and evaluated by the IG. The Board will establish job descriptions and salary levels, approve performance appraisals, and approve removal of employees.

   

b.

Although the IG and the OIG employees shall function independently of the Superintendent, the IG and OIG employees shall follow all the rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines which govern District employees, including without limitation the rules regarding payroll, personnel, and travel.

     

4.

Budget

   
 

The Board will provide the funding to operate the OIG and will establish its budget on an annual basis as part of the Board’s annual budget.

   
 

a.

By March 15th of each fiscal year, the IG shall annually prepare and submit to the Superintendent and Board a proposed annual budget detailing anticipated employee salary and benefit costs and operating expenses. Upon approval by the Board, the budgeted amount will be allocated for the next fiscal year from general funds.

     
 

b.

If a significant investigation or audit scope would exceed the budgeted funding amount, the IG may request additional funding from the Board. In assessing the necessity for the IG’s request for additional funding, the Board should consider the related budgetary concerns or recommendations provided by the Superintendent. The Board may deny the increase or may grant it in whole or in part. In an attempt to limit the impact of unexpected fiscal needs, the IG may request that the Superintendent lend the assistance of existing qualified District staff as needed. The Superintendent will have the discretion to grant or decline such requests.

   

c.

All OIG expenditures and costs shall be properly documented for auditing purposes. Invoices related to services performed by the OIG will be reviewed, approved, and processed in accordance with school system procedures.

     

5.

Efficiency and Coordination

   
 

The Board, Superintendent, OIG, Chief Auditor, and School Police will cooperate to achieve the goals of preventing and detecting fraud, waste, financial mismanagement, or other abuses that might arise, and promoting accountability, integrity, economy, and efficiency in government.

   
 

a.

To avoid duplication of efforts, the OIG shall ensure effective coordination and cooperation with (but shall be separate and independent from) the Office of Management and Compliance Audits, the Office of Professional Standards, the Civilian Investigative Unit, and School Police. Similarly, the Chief Auditor should keep the OIG informed of relevant activities.

     
 

b.

The OIG will not investigate complaints about collective bargaining agreement matters or employee performance or misconduct allegations not involving fraud, waste, financial mismanagement, or fiscal abuse. OIG investigations should not be duplicative of matters more properly handled by the School Police Investigative Division General Criminal and Administrative Investigations, the District’s Civilian Investigative Unit (serious non-criminal allegations), or the District’s Office of Civil Rights Compliance. The OIG will not investigate complaints that would be more properly within the jurisdiction of those departments or some other agency such as the State Attorney’s Office, local police departments, or the State or Federal government.

   
 

1)

The OIG should refer matters to the appropriate agency but shall keep a record indicating: the name of the complainant; the date the complaint was filed; the nature of the complaint; the reason for the referral; the date of the referral; the outcome of the other agency’s investigation; and any other information believed to be pertinent or necessary.

   

2)

If a District department or outside agency to which the OIG refers a complaint later determines that the OIG is in a better position to, or has more appropriate jurisdiction to, investigate the matter, the OIG may accept the return referral and proceed with the investigation.

     
 

3)

If a complaint were to be filed against the IG individually or another OIG employee pertaining to matters other than fraud, waste, financial mismanagement or abuse, the complaint will be referred to the School Police Investigative Division and the District’s Civilian Investigative Unit to determine whether, and how, the complaint should be investigated.

     

c.

At the request of the OIG, the Board, the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, or the Superintendent, the IG will meet to discuss issues or concerns.

   

d.

OIG personnel will make every reasonable effort to minimize any disruption or interference with work activities being performed in the school system. Except where investigative requirements dictate otherwise, advance notice should be given of a need for the IG or other OIG staff to access areas not routinely accessed by the Board, employees, contractors, or subcontractors of the school. Visits to school sites should be coordinated with the principal and School Police and any access to students (e.g. interviews or requests for statements) must be consistent with the District’s procedures for investigations and the rights of parents and guardians.

   

e.

The OIG will coordinate media contacts regarding investigations or audits in its office, and other Board or District personnel should not discuss with the press any pending investigations, audits, or reviews being conducted by the OIG.

     
 

6.

Independence and Impartiality

   
 

a.

To promote the independence and objectivity of the IG function, the IG shall report to, and be selected and evaluated by, the Board, with input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee.

   

b.

The IG is an independent agent of the Board. Neither the administration nor any individual Board member may prevent or prohibit the IG from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation consistent with this rule.

   

c.

The OIG shall be impartial and free of organizational and political pressures that could limit its objectivity in investigating or selecting matters to be examined. The Inspector General shall not be involved in any political campaign for a Board elective office nor make financial contributions to any such campaign. Inspectors shall not have any line authority over, or responsibility for, the matters that they investigate or audit.

   

d.

No employee of the OIG shall conduct or supervise an investigation or audit of an activity or program for which s/he was responsible or in which s/he was employed during the prior two (2) years.

     
 

7.

Relationship to DOE’s OIG

   
 

The District OIG is an independent office created by, and reporting to, the Board. The Board recognizes, however, that the DOE’s OIG also possesses separate, independent authority under F.S. 1001.20(4)(e), to "detect fraud and abuse within school districts."

   
 

a.

To promote independent investigation in any case where the Board or a member is the subject of an allegation, the OIG may refer the complaint to the DOE’s OIG for handling under F.S. 1001.20(4)(e), which provides that the DOE’s OIG may "conduct, coordinate, or request investigations into substantiated allegations made by any person relating to waste, fraud, or financial mismanagement within school districts" when the Board "is unwilling or unable to address substantiated allegations made by any person relating to waste, fraud, or financial mismanagement."

   

b.

After consultation with the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, the IG may also refer other allegations to the DOE’s OIG in unique circumstances such as if the members of the OIG are disqualified under section (6)(d) or if the OIG itself were to be the subject of the kind of complaints normally handled by the OIG.

     
 

8.

Authority and Responsibilities

   
 

Like State-agency OIGs under F.S. 20.055, the District OIG shall provide a central point for coordination of, and responsibility for, activities that promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in government. The OIG shall keep the Board and Audit and Budget Advisory Committee informed of fraud, abuses, and deficiencies relating to programs and operations administered or financed by the Board; recommend corrective action concerning fraud, abuses, and deficiencies; and report on the progress made in implementing corrective action. The OIG shall have authority to:

   
 

a.

report complaints to applicable outside agencies (including the DOE or law-enforcement agencies or the Florida Commission on Ethics, as appropriate, pursuant to subsection (5)(b), above), and aid in those inquiries through in-house access to personnel and documents;

   
 

This subsection includes authority to coordinate or request investigations by the DOE into substantiated allegations made by any person relating to waste, fraud, or financial mismanagement within the District, pursuant to F.S. 1001.20(4)(e).

   

b.

initiate, conduct, supervise, and coordinate investigations designed to detect, deter, prevent, and eradicate fraud, waste, financial mismanagement, fiscal misconduct, and other abuses in government;

   

c.

receive and consider complaints, and conduct, supervise, or coordinate such inquiries, investigations, or reviews as the IG deems appropriate with input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee;

     
 

d.

timely report to the appropriate law enforcement agency whenever the IG has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of criminal law;

   

e.

conduct investigations and other inquiries free of actual or perceived impairment to the independence of the IG or the OIG (this includes freedom from any interference with investigations and timely access to records and other sources of information);

   

f.

timely submit final reports on investigations conducted by the OIG to the Chief Auditor, Audit and Budget Advisory Committee and Board; and

   

g.

prepare reports as described in Section (12) below.

     

9.

Initiation of Investigations

   
 

a.

The Board, the Superintendent, and other interested persons may lodge specific complaints of alleged fraud, waste, mismanagement, misconduct, and other abuses. The Board and Superintendent must report all allegations or indications of fraud or other activities that may involve criminal conduct.

     
 

b.

Additionally, pursuant to F.S. 112.3187(6), the OIG shall be the designee of the District’s chief executive officer for purposes of receiving Whistle-blower’s Act disclosures under F.S. 112.3187(7).

   
 

1)

Whistle-blower’s disclosures may be made by a District employee, applicant, or independent contractor concerning:

   
 

(a)

any violation or suspected violation of any Federal, State, or local law, rule, or regulation committed by an employee or agent of the District or independent contractor which creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public's health, safety, or welfare; or

   

(b)

any act or suspected act of gross mismanagement, malfeasance, misfeasance, gross waste of public funds, suspected or actual Medicaid fraud or abuse, or gross neglect of duty committed by an employee or agent of the District or independent contractor.

     
 

2)

The Board recognizes the legislative intent to prevent retaliatory action against an employee or independent contractor who discloses information under the Whistle-blower’s Act on his/her own initiative in a written and signed complaint (or is asked to participate in a District investigation or inquiry), which the employee or contractor in good faith believes to be true. When the OIG receives a complaint or information that falls within the definition provided in subparagraphs (i)(A) or (B) above, the name or identity of the individual shall not be disclosed without the written consent of the employee, applicant, or contractor unless the IG determines that: a) the disclosure of the identity is necessary to prevent a substantial and specific danger to the public's health, safety, or welfare or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime; or b) the disclosure is unavoidable and absolutely necessary during the course of the audit, evaluation, or investigation, as stated in F.S. 112.3188(1).

     

10.

Administration’s Support for OIG Activities

 

To properly carry out its responsibilities, the Board and Superintendent shall ensure that the IG is reasonably granted:

   
 

a.

authority to coordinate and conduct investigations and audits of any departments, office, activity, or program under the control of the Board;

     
 

b.

complete and unrestricted access to all District records, documents, and facilities or other assets owned, borrowed, or used by the District, which should include District-related documents of District vendors, independent contractors, business partners, lessees, and lessors, as necessary in performing OIG activities;

   

c.

the ability to request reasonable assistance from appropriate District personnel, including the School Police, in locating assets and obtaining records and documents;

   

d.

the ability to request that the Superintendent provide additional staffing from the School Police, the Office of Management and Compliance Audits, the Facilities Department, and/or the Civilian Investigative Unit; and

   

e.

unrestricted interview privileges, both written or oral, with all Board members, District management, and employees. The IG may also obtain information from District vendors, independent contractors, lessees, lessors, and business partners when such information is needed while conducting an investigation or audit.

     
 

11.

Due Process

   
 

The OIG shall respect employees’ and contractors’ due process rights as prescribed by State law, Board rules, and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements.

   
 

a.

When investigations conducted or coordinated by the OIG bring to light apparent criminal violations or civil violations that could result in employee discipline or termination of a vendor’s contract, the IG shall provide relevant factual information to the appropriate agency or District department for further investigation and provision of due process. For example:

   
 

1)

Violations of the nature normally considered by the Civilian Investigative Unit will be referred to that department through the School Police for provision of due process to the implicated employee.

   

2)

If an independent contractor is implicated, the matter will be investigated and may include a recommendation for contract termination or debarment.

   

3)

Alleged criminal matters will be reported to the School Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency for provision of due process through the criminal justice system.

     

b.

The OIG shall strive to protect employees from false complaints. If the IG determines that an individual has filed a false report with the OIG, the IG shall refer that individual to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation and possible prosecution under F.S. 837.06, or other applicable laws. Any employee who knowingly files a false report with the OIG will be subject to disciplinary action as provided by law, Board rules, and applicable collective-bargaining agreements.

     
 

c.

Before issuing a final written report, the IG will communicate with, and schedule a meeting to review the preliminary report and response with, the respective investigated or audited individual, office, department, or division. The affected person or entity shall have ten (10) working days to submit a response to the findings before the report or recommendation is finalized. This written response shall be attached to the final report or recommendation. This requirement shall not apply when the IG, in conjunction with the State Attorney or other prosecuting attorney, determines that supplying a report will jeopardize a pending criminal investigation. When investigating or auditing the services of a vendor, and/or in the event information and response is needed from a vendor, this step may include meeting with the vendor when the investigation or audit is near completion, and the vendor or affected person must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the preliminary/draft report reviewed in the meeting pursuant to applicable law, and shall enter into a written confidentiality agreement for the period until the investigation or audit is completed. Failure to enter a confidentiality agreement shall be deemed a waiver of the opportunity to respond to the preliminary report, and the investigation or audit shall be completed without the response.

     

12.

Reporting Procedures

   
 

a.

OIG reports shall be objective, clear, concise, constructive, and timely, and shall contain the professional conclusions and recommendations of the IG regarding the matter reviewed.

     
 

b.

Each investigation or audit conducted by the OIG will result in a written report to the Board, Chief Auditor, Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, and the Superintendent or other entity that is the subject of the OIG investigation or audit. Upon receipt of these reports, the Chief Auditor shall place the report on the next scheduled Audit and Budget Advisory Committee and/or Ethics/Advisory Committee meeting agenda. The Inspector General and/or designee may attend all committee meetings where the report is presented. However, whistleblower investigations are not subject to this rule and shall be reported consistent with State law. Additionally, matters referred by the OIG to other District investigative offices, DOE or other law enforcement agency shall not be reported in personally-identifiable form if a preliminary report could harm the integrity of that pending investigation.

   

c.

In response to OIG findings, the Superintendent, or other entity that is the subject of the OIG investigation or audit, shall prepare any required corrective action plan, report, or other requested information and submit it to the OIG within the time period requested by the OIG. The response shall also be simultaneously provided to the Board, the Board Attorney, the Chief Auditor, and any other individual or entity that was originally listed on the OIG’s final report distribution list. Upon receipt, the Chief Auditor will forward the response to the Ethics Advisory Committee and/or Audit and Budget Advisory Committee for continued monitoring.

     
 

d.

The OIG shall properly protect confidential information. For example:

   
 

1)

Pursuant to F.S. 119.07(3)(y), and F.S. Ch. 95-399 § 2, Laws of Fla., work papers, notes, and preliminary or draft audit reports shall be held confidential and exempt from public-records disclosure until the audit is completed by submission of the final draft of the report to the Board.

   

2)

Under F.S. 112.3188(2)(b), whistle-blower information is confidential and exempt "if the information is being received or derived from allegations as set forth in [subparagraphs (9)(b)(i)A or B, above] and the investigation is active," and such information can be disclosed only as allowed by F.S. 112.3188(2)(c).

   

3)

Under F.S. 1012.31(3)(a)1, "Any complaint and any material relating to the investigation of a complaint against an employee shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of §119.07(1) until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation or until such time as the preliminary investigation ceases to be active."

   

4)

Under F.S. 1002.22(3), student records are highly confidential and may be disclosed only as allowed by F.S. 1002.22(3)(d) and State Board of Education Rule F.A.C. 6A-1.0955.

     
 

5)

Under F.S. 119.071(2)(c)1, "Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information [as defined in 119.011(3)(a), (b) F.S.] are exempt." (Under F.S. 119.011(4)(c), the OIG would be deemed a "criminal justice agency" for purposes of records exemptions if it has "custody of criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information for the purpose of assisting such law enforcement agencies in the conduct of active criminal investigation or prosecution or for the purpose of litigating civil actions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, during the time that such agencies are in possession of criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information pursuant to their criminal law enforcement duties.")

     

e.

prepare an annual report summarizing the activities of the OIG during the immediately preceding fiscal year. The final report will be furnished to the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee and the Board. Such reports would include:

   
 

1)

significant abuses and deficiencies relating to the administration of programs and operations disclosed by investigations, audits, reviews, or other activities during the reporting period;

   

2)

the IG’s recommendations for corrective action during the reporting period with respect to significant problems, abuses, or deficiencies identified;

     
 

3)

significant recommendation described in previous annual reports on which corrective action has not been completed; and

   

4)

a summary of each investigation completed during the reporting period.

     

f.

To enhance the independence, objectivity, and effectiveness of the OIG function, the final report shall be submitted at the same time to all members of the Board and its Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, and such reports will be available as public records after redaction of any information remaining confidential or exempt.

   

g.

A follow-up evaluation of compliance with the prior year’s OIG recommendations should be performed, and any major recommendations not implemented should be reported to the affected department, the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, the Board, and the Superintendent.

   

h.

Additionally, the OIG shall submit a quarterly summary statistical report to the Board, Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, and Superintendent, stating the number of investigations initiated and concluded, the general category of complaints received and investigations conducted, and such other information about the productivity of the OIG as the Board, Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, or Superintendent may reasonably request.

   
 

Compliance with these reporting requirements shall be considered in evaluating the IG’s performance as specified in section (13) below.

     
 

13.

Annual Evaluation of the IG’s Performance

   
 

The Board shall annually evaluate the IG’s performance in fulfilling the responsibilities outlined in this rule and the job description, with input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee. An evaluation instrument shall be completed by each individual Board member through a private meeting with the IG by the end of May each year. The collection of all the individual members’ evaluation instruments will be forwarded to the full Board to be considered, along with input from the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee, at the regular June meeting. An unsatisfactory evaluation shall constitute grounds for termination for cause pursuant to paragraph (2)(d)(iv) above.

     
 

B.

Alternative Method for Securing the Services of an Inspector General

     
 

1.

As an alternative method to the selection and employment of an Inspector General for the Board, the Board may contract through an interlocal agreement with another governmental entity such as a state agency, county, or municipality to fulfill the role of the Inspector General for the Board.

   

2.

Such interlocal agreement may contain terms, qualifications, and standards different from those in this policy as long as the terms are consistent with this policy and law. However, the interlocal agreement must incorporate the Reporting Procedures in this policy.

   

3.

If the services of an Inspector General are provided through an interlocal agreement, the contract shall specify the organizational and reporting structure and may include an intergovernmental exchange of employees under F.S. 112.24, if appropriate and if specified in an interlocal agreement.

     
 

4.

In the event that the services of an Inspector General are provided through a contract with another government agency, the contract should include the jurisdiction and scope of the Inspector General’s investigations, inspections, audits, and reviews.

   

5.

The Chair of the Board is authorized to enter into negotiations with the selected governmental entity to obtain an interlocal agreement for the purpose of securing the services of the entity’s Inspector General. Prior to negotiation of the interlocal agreement, the Board shall conduct a workshop to provide guidance to the Board’s designated negotiator.

   

0158

Ethics Advisory Committee

   
 

A.

Purpose

     
   

The purpose of the Ethics Advisory Committee is to serve as the guardian of the public trust by, among other things, informing the public, and educating candidates for the election to the School Board, members of the Board and employees of the District as to the required standards of ethical conduct and interpreting and applying those standards of conduct.

     
   

It is not the intent of the Board that the Ethics Advisory Committee serve as a personnel board resolving personnel matters involving employees of the District or that it have jurisdiction over claims for money damages against the District or over members of the Board.

     
 

B.

Membership

     
 

1.

Selection of Members

   
 

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall be composed of seven (7) members. The members of the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be appointed as follows:

   
 

a.

The Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida shall be requested to appoint one (1) former Federal judge, or former United States magistrate or former State court judge;

     
 

b.

The Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida shall be requested to appoint one (1) former U.S. Attorney or Assistant U.S. Attorney, former State Attorney or Assistant State Attorney;

   

c.

The dean of the school of education of the University of Miami, St Thomas University, Barry University, or Florida International University shall on a rotating basis be requested to appoint one (1) faculty member from his/her school who has taught a course in professional ethics for educators or has published or performed services in the field of professional ethics for educators. The dean of the school of education of the University of Miami shall be requested to appoint the first faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the dean of the school of education of St. Thomas University shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the dean of the school of education of Barry University shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the dean of the school of education of Florida international University shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Thereafter, each dean shall on a rotating basis select a faculty member from his or her school of education.

     
 

d.

The presidents of the University of Miami, St. Thomas University, Barry University and Florida International University shall on a rotating basis be requested to appoint one (1) faculty member from either the school of law or the school of business administration or management who has taught a course in professional ethics or has published or performed services in the field of professional ethics. The president of Florida International University shall be requested to appoint the first faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the president of St. Thomas University shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the president of the University of Miami shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Upon the expiration of said member’s term, the president of Barry University shall be requested to appoint a faculty member to sit on the Ethics Advisory Committee. Thereafter, each president shall on a rotating basis select a faculty member from his/her school of law, business administration, or management.

   

e.

The Dade County Council PTA/PTSA shall be requested to appoint one (1) parent who has or has had a child in a District school.

   

f.

The chairperson of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce shall be requested to appoint one (1) person from the business community.

   

g.

The director of the Center for Labor Studies at Florida International University shall be requested to appoint (1) retired public school employee.

     
 

2.

Additional Qualifications

   
 

Each member of the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be a United States citizen, resident of Miami-Dade County and shall be of outstanding reputation for integrity, responsibility, and commitment to serving the community. The membership of the Ethics Advisory Committee should be representative of the community-at-large and should reflect the diversity, gender, and makeup of the community. Prior to final selection of each member of the Ethics Advisory Committee those persons empowered herein to appoint members shall meet and evaluate the qualifications of each person under consideration to ensure (a) that said person is qualified to serve on the Ethics Advisory Committee and (b) that the membership of the Ethics Advisory Committee will be representative of the community-at-large and reflect the diversity, gender, and makeup of the community.

   
 

Members of the Ethics Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation.

   

3.

Terms

   
 

The members of the Ethics Advisory Committee shall serve terms of four (4) years each. Upon expiration of said term, any member may be re-appointed to additional four (4) year terms. Members of the Ethics Advisory Committee may be removed, upon majority vote of the Committee’s voting members, if they fail to attend three (3) consecutive regular meetings without good cause.

   

4.

Vacancies

   
 

A vacancy occurring during, or at, the expiration of a member’s term on the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be filled in accordance with the provisions above.

     
 

5.

Additional Requirements

   
 

No individual, while a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee, shall:

   
 

a.

seek or hold an appointed or elected political office or campaign for any elective political office a position on the Board;

   

b.

actively participate in or contribute to any campaign for election to the Board or any political action committee which contributes to such a campaign;

c.

be employed by the District or be an officer, director or owner of a one percent (1%) or greater interest in a business entity, whether or not for-profit, that has a contractual relationship with, or is regulated by, the District;

   

d.

grant permission for his/her name to be used by a campaign in support of or against any candidate for political office a position on the Board or any referendum or other ballot question related to the Board, or its business;

   

e.

lobby a member of the Board or an employee of the District on any issue.

     
 

Nothing herein shall preclude a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee from signing a petition in support of or against any referendum or other ballot question not related to the Board, or its business.

   

6.

Selection of Chair and Vice-Chair

   
 

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall elect one (1) of its voting members as chairperson who shall serve a term of two (2) years. No chairperson shall be permitted to serve two (2) consecutive terms. A vice-chair shall also be selected in the same manner and with the same length of term as the chair.

     
 

7.

Emeritus Members

   
 

Whenever a member’s term on the Ethics Advisory Committee shall expire or end through voluntary resignation or retirement, the remaining members may vote to offer the departing member the honorary title of "Emeritus" member of the Ethics Advisory Committee. Should such an offer be approved by majority vote of the existing membership of the Ethics Advisory Committee and accepted by the departing member, the individual bestowed the title of Emeritus Ethics Advisory Committee member may hold such title perpetually unless rescinded or unless its duration is limited by the bylaws. An Emeritus Ethics Advisory Committee member shall have the right to attend and speak at all Ethics Advisory Committee meetings, but shall not make motions or vote on any measure appearing before the Ethics Advisory Committee. The Ethics Advisory Committee may also request that a member holding the distinction of Emeritus Ethics Advisory Committee member appear at specified meetings of the Ethics Advisory Committee or sub-committee meeting to speak and provide his/her opinion on matters deliberated upon by the Ethics Advisory Committee. All Emeritus members will be provided with advance notice of upcoming or future meetings of the Ethics Advisory Committee.

     
 

C.

Meetings

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall hold regular meetings in accordance with this policy, and the Ethics Advisory Committee may hold such other meetings as it deems necessary. All meetings of the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be public and written minutes of the proceedings thereof shall be maintained by the Board.

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall make, adopt, and amend bylaws, rules of procedure which are consistent with the provisions of this rule and regulations for the Ethics Advisory Committee’s governance.

     
 

D.

Authority

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee was created as a result of the Board’s adoption on October 24, 2001 of a Commission on Ethics Policy. This rule incorporates and includes pertinent provisions of those policy guidelines.

     
   

The provisions of this policy shall be deemed supplemental to any other applicable District rule, State, or Federal law and are not intended to replace or repeal any provision of State or Federal law or any other rules of the Board.

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall advise on the application of the authorities listed below, and its jurisdiction shall extend to any person required to comply with those authorities:

     
 

1.

The Code of Ethics and the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida (State Board of Education Rules F.A.C. 6B-1.001 and 6B-l.006);

   

2.

Board Policy 1129, Policy 3129, and Policy 4129 (Conflict of Interest);

   

3.

All rules of the District; and

   

4.

The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees set forth in F.S. Chapter 112.

     
 

E.

Powers and Duties of the Ethics Advisory Committee

     
 

1.

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall be authorized to exercise such powers and shall be required to perform such duties as are set forth in this policy.

   

2.

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall be empowered to review, interpret, render advisory opinions, and make recommendations to the Board regarding the applicability of the matters contained above.

   

3.

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall be empowered to recommend changes to the rules it is charged with reviewing to the Board.

     
 

4.

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall prepare and make available to any person a copy of rules within the Ethics Advisory Committee’s jurisdiction.

   

5.

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall hear and make recommendations on complaints that are self-initiated or brought to the Ethics Advisory Committee by citizens.

   

6.

Receive and review reports from the Inspector General and receive, review, and monitor corrective action plans and responses submitted to the Inspector General reports and recommendations.

     
 

F.

School Board Action

     
   

Any recommendation or opinion issued by the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be forwarded to the Board and the Board may take action upon it.

     
 

G.

Reports and Recommendations to the School Board

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee may submit periodic reports on the work of the Committee to the Board and the Superintendent. The Committee shall also prepare and present an annual report to the Board summarizing the Committee’s accomplishments for the past year. The report shall include the goals and objectives for the coming year.

     
 

H.

Procedures to be Followed by the Ethics Advisory Committee in the Performance of its Duties and in Rendering Advisory Opinion on Matters Within its Jurisdiction

     
   

The Ethics Advisory Committee shall make, adopt and amend by-laws and rules of procedure within its purview subject to the following provisions:

     
 

1.

Counsel

   

The Ethics Advisory Committee may request the Board Attorney to render opinions relating to its duties, jurisdiction, or power.

 

2.

Public Meetings and Public Records

   
 

All proceedings conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be public meetings within the meaning of F.S. Chapter 286, and all other documents made or received by the Ethics Advisory Committee shall be public records within the meaning of F.S. Chapter 119.

   

3.

Quorum

 

A majority of the voting members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present before a vote is taken on any matter appearing before the Committee. Proxy or absentee votes are not permitted.

   

4.

Scheduling and Conduct of Meetings

   
 

Meetings shall be held in accordance with above and must comply with the requirements of the Sunshine Law. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Ethics Advisory Committee shall establish a schedule of its meetings for the year; such schedule may be changed as deemed appropriate by a majority of the members of the Committee. Notice of the date, time, and location of each meeting shall be provided to each member. All meetings of the Committee must be noticed at least five (5) business days before each meeting. An agenda shall be prepared for each meeting and shall be made available to anyone upon request. The Committee shall conduct all its meetings pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order, the most current revised edition. The chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee, in consultation with the designated School District liaison, shall develop the agenda for each meeting. All meetings shall be accessible and open to the public.

     
 

5.

Personnel Proceedings

   
 

Where an employee of the District is alleged to have violated a rule within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Advisory Committee and a written complaint is filed with the EAC, based upon the same set of facts, is subject to an ongoing disciplinary action initiated by the District, the Ethics Advisory Committee shall stay consideration of a complaint until the conclusion of the personnel proceedings. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding, recommendations with respect to the appropriate discipline of an employee shall be the sole province of the Board and shall be in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement or law.

   
 

F.S. 119.07
F.S. 286.011
F.S. 1001.32
F.S. 1001.41(1)(2)
F.S. 1001.42
F.S. 1001.42(25)
F.S. 1001.43(10)

   
 

Adopted 8/3/11

© Neola 2012