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.
 

4129 - CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Employees are governed by the statutory provisions contained in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, Part III of F.S. Chapter 112, and by certain other statutes in the Education Code. The following sections of this policy provides the principles, in simplified form, in the statutory mandates. They cannot be used as definitive rules to apply to different sets of circumstances or factual situations. In any given situation, the full statutory language must be consulted for applicable definitions, and for any exemptions.

Employees are required to comply with all provisions of the Code of Ethics, including those below. This requirement discourages the appearance of impropriety and the perception of undue influence upon the business functions of the District.

This policy applies specifically to conflicts of interest. Employees are reminded that other School Board policies exist that may also address an employee’s particular issue or question. It is an employee’s responsibility to refer to and observe all Board policies that may be applicable to his/her individual situation.

Provisions

 A.Gifts

  1.Employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting anything of value, such as a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor, or service that is based on an understanding that their official action or judgment would be influenced by such gift. (F.S. 112.313(2))

  2.No employee or his/her spouse or minor child shall accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when s/he knows, or with the exercise of reasonable care should know, that it was given to influence an action in which the employee was expected to participate in his/her official capacity. (F.S. 112.313(4))

 B.Misuse of Public Position
  No employee shall corruptly use or attempt to use his/her official position or perform his/her official duties to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself/herself or others. (F.S. 112.313(6))

 C.Doing Business with the School Board

  1.No employee acting in his or her official capacity shall directly or indirectly purchase, rent, or lease any goods or services for the Board from any business entity of which the employee or his/her spouse or child is an officer, partner, director or proprietor, or in which such employee or his/her spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest. (F.S. 112.313(3))

  2.Some case-specific exceptions to this provision may apply. Employees should review F.S. 112.313(12) for exemptions that may be applicable to their particular situations.

  3.Guidelines for Avoidance of Conflict of Interest
   To avoid conflicts of interests or the appearance of conflicts as it relates to personal purchases or private contracting, Board employees who are required to file an annual statement of financial interests (financial disclosure form) or who have the authority to make purchases on behalf of the District shall adhere to the following guidelines. These guidelines do not apply to purchases made in a private capacity of goods or services at a price and upon terms available to similarly situated members of the general public.

   a.When entering into a transaction or contractual relationship as described above, employees subject to these guidelines will make the following inquiries to the entity with whom they are contracting:

    1)Does the business entity have a contractual relationship with the Board for more than $500?

    2)Is the contracting individual a principal or employee of an entity with a contractual relationship with the Board for more than $500?

   b.If an affirmative answer is given to either inquiry above, the employee will request from the Board Attorney guidance on whether contracting with the individual or entity would constitute a conflict of interest pursuant to Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, or other statute or Board policy. The Board Attorney will issue a written opinion or will refer the employee to the Florida Commission on Ethics.

  4.Clarification and opinions regarding the application of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees can be obtained at any time from the Florida Commission on Ethics.

 D.No employee shall disclose or use information not available to members of the general public and gained by reason of his/her official position for his/her personal gain or benefit or for the personal gain or benefit of any other person or business entity. (F.S. 112.313(8))

 E.Employees may not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if s/he has a real or apparent conflict of interest. Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, any member of his/her immediate family, his/her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties described in this section, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract. The phrase "about to employ," as used herein, shall mean that, at the time of the selection, award, or administration of the contract, the employee is aware of an offer, promise, contract, or commitment of employment.

 F.Employment After Termination
  Employees are prohibited from personally representing another person or entity or acting as an agent or attorney for compensation in connection with any matter in which the District is interested for two (2) years after the Board employees’ service terminates. (F.S. 112.313(9))

  1.This restriction applies to all school senior level employees classified as Managerial Exempt Personnel, Pay Grade 22 and above, Dade County School Administrators Association, Pay Grade 47 and above, and other equivalent positions.

  2.Exception to this provision is provided by statute for the purpose of collective bargaining, and may be granted to former District employees who are employees or agents of not-for-profit organizations, other governmental agencies or those whose business relationship is determined by the Board to be in the best interest of the District.

  3.The District is prohibited from entering into any business relations or continue an existing business relationship with any person or entity determined to have engaged in a violation of the restriction contained in this provision.

  4.In addition to penalties outlined below, penalties for violation of this provision include a civil penalty equal to the compensation that the employee received for the prohibited conduct.

Self-Reporting Requirement

All employees, upon initial hire and annually thereafter, shall certify that they will comply with this policy, and that they will self-report any relationship that may implicate a potential conflict of interest or other violations of this policy. The certification shall be submitted according to a process determined by the Office of Human Capital Management.

Penalties

Penalties for violation of this policy and/or violations of the Code of Ethics include dismissal from employment, suspension from employment for not more than ninety (90) days without pay, demotion, reduction in salary level, forfeiture of no more than one-third salary per month for no more than twelve (12) months, civil penalty not to exceed $10,000, restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed, and/or public censure and reprimand. (F.S. 112.317)

F.S. 112.313, 1006.32

Revised 4/13/16

© Miami-Dade 2016