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.
 

6460 - BUSINESS CODE OF ETHICS

This Business Code of Ethics ("Code") shall govern the conduct of all contractors, lobbyists, and consultants under contract with the School Board. These standards of conduct supersede all prior written ethics policies adopted by the Board which may be in conflict with these standards and are to be read in conjunction with the latest applicable Board contracting and procurement policies and procedures. All contractors shall ensure that their subcontractors comply with this Code. The Board will accept bids and proposals for contracts and procurement of goods or services only from firms or entities which agree to comply with this Code and all applicable Board contracting and procurement policies and procedures.

Definitions

 A.Consultant - an individual providing information and advice in an area of expertise, pursuant to a contract with the Board. This may include, but is not limited to, real estate brokers, developers, and experts in their field.

 B.Contractor Ė an individual, company, joint venture, or other corporate entity who has entered into a contract to provide goods or services to the Board in accordance with an invitation to bid, a request for proposal, or otherwise by the approval of the Board.

 C.Lobbyist Ė any individual, firm, or corporation compensated by or who contracts for economic consideration from any principal person or organization for the purpose of lobbying. See Policy 8150 for a more complete definition.

Intent and Purpose

 A.to protect the integrity of the school districtís procurement process;

 B.to provide a uniform statement of expected conduct for consultants and contractors doing business with the Board in an effort to ensure a fair and ethical environment throughout the procurement process.

Code is not Exhaustive/Non-Exclusive

This policy does not address all ethical issues that may arise through the School Districtís procurement process. Nonetheless, each person or entity is expected to act in an ethical manner at all times while engaging in business with the Board.

Enforcement of Code of Conduct

Violations of any provisions of this Code may be investigated by the Boardís Inspector General or by any other appropriate enforcement authority.  The Board may reject any bid or proposal, or impose other sanctions against any person, contractor, or entity, that has not complied with the requirements of this Code according to State laws or Board policies.

Prohibited Conduct

No bidder, proposer, contractor, or subcontractor shall fraudulently deceive or attempt to deceive any School District official with regard to any material fact pertinent to any pending or proposed Board contract.  Nor shall an individual, company, or other entity engage in conduct with the purpose or intent of placing any School District employee, official, or agent under personal obligation to the bidder, proposer, contractor or subcontractor by engaging in, but not limited to, the following acts or conduct: providing gifts or monetary compensation to a Board employee or promising gifts, or other compensation in return for a contract, or any other conduct that would place the employee in violation of the prohibitions contained in F.S. 112.313.

Avoidance of the Appearance of Impropriety

All contractors shall refrain from conduct which they know or reasonably should know is likely to create in the minds of reasonable, objective, fair-minded observers an appearance of impropriety.

Lobbyist Registration

All consultants and contractors must ensure that any lobbyist working on their behalf comply with Policy 8150.

Gifts and Offers of Employment to School Personnel

No consultant, bidder, proposer, or contractor shall offer, give, or promise to offer or give directly or indirectly, any money, gift or gratuity to any School Board employee whose duties involve authorizing and/or procuring contracts for goods and services for the school district. Policy 1210.01, Policy 3210.01, and Policy 4210.01 regarding gifts to school personnel are incorporated by reference in this policy.

Similarly, no person or entity covered by this Code, including, but not limited to, consultant, bidder, proposer, or contractor shall offer, or promise to offer, either directly or indirectly, any future employment or business opportunity to any Board employee or consultant, their immediate family, spouse, significant other, or business associates of such persons, if such offer of employment is conditioned expressly or implicitly on the awarding of a present or future contract, or preference in the awarding of a contract to anyone at any time by the Board.

Disclosure of Employment of Former Board Employees

To prevent current or former Board employees from using their relationship with the Board from improperly influencing procurement decision-making, all bidders, proposers, consultants, and contractors are required to disclose the names of any of their employees who serve as agents or principals for the bidder, proposer or contractor, and who within the last two (2) years, have been or are employees of the Board.  Such disclosures shall comply with current Board rules, but will include, at a minimum, the name of the former Board employee, a list of the positions the employee held in the last two years of his/her employment with the Board, and the dates the employee held those positions.

In addition, the Board will not contract with any bidder, proposer, consultant, or contractor that compensates any former Board employee or consultant to influence any action on a matter pending with the Board if that employee, within the last twelve (12) months, held a Board position in which they personally and substantially participated in the matter.

The Board will not contract with any bidder, proposer, contractor or sub-contractor that employs a former Board employee or consultant who, while serving in a Board position within the last two (2) years, substantially participated in the development of the invitation to bid or request for proposalís requirements or specifications, or who took part in contracting process for the specific goods or services being solicited by the Board. The Superintendent may waive this prohibition in writing for good cause with notification to the Board prior to awarding the contract. Good cause may be shown in circumstances where awarding the contract to another party will not be in the best interest of the Board.

Preclusion from Contracting for Individuals or Firms Involved in the Development of the Bid, Proposal, or Contract Specifications

No contractor or consultant who participates in the development of the scope of work, solicitation documents, contractual instruments, or of the technical specifications on behalf of the School District may participate as a proposer or sub-proposer or perform any work associated with that particular procurement.  The Superintendent may waive this prohibition for good cause in writing prior to the award of the contract.

Conflicts of Interest

All individuals, firms, contractors, and consultants, must take steps to avoid conflicts of interest, for example, but not limited to, those conflicts delineated in Policy 0141.2, Policy 1129, Policy 3129, and Policy 4129. The Superintendent, in consultation with legal counsel, shall determine whether a conflict of interest exists and recommend appropriate action that will resolve the conflict.  If it is determined that an actual or apparent conflict of interest exists, the Superintendent shall notify the contractor in writing of this finding and the actions that will be recommended to the Board in order to resolve the conflict of interest.

Non-Retaliation Policy

The Board encourages good faith reporting of all suspected violations of this Code. Anyone making a good faith report of a suspected violation of this Code shall not be subjected to any adverse action by the Board, nor shall anyone or any company, accused of violating this Code and subsequently found not to have committed a violation of this Code, be subjected to any adverse sanctions or penalties by the Board. The identity of any persons reporting violations of this Code shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

All suspected violations shall be reported to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation.  If the Inspector General determines that the allegations have merit, the matter will be referred to the appropriate authorities. If the Inspector General determines that the matter should be investigated by another department or by an outside entity, the Inspector General may refer the matter to the other department or outside entity for investigation or final disposition.

Resolving Violations of the Code

If it is determined that a violation of this Code has taken place, the Board may take one or more of the following actions:

 A.meeting with the consultant or contractor to discuss the violation, and any and all possible resolutions to the violation(s);

 B.suspending the consultant or contractor in accordance with the provisions of the contract in question, or by initiating debarment procedures as established by Policy 6320.04;

 C.directing the prime contractor to remove a subcontractor who has been shown to have intentionally violated the Code from the project;

 D.rescinding, voiding, or terminating the contract as may be permitted by law, Board rules, or the relevant contract; and/or

 E.any other reasonable sanction deemed appropriate, and which is permitted by law, Board rules, and by the provisions of the impacted contract.

Prospective Application 

This Code does not apply to contracts, written agreements, or published solicitations in existence at the time this Code was enacted. It will be incorporated into all formal bid solicitations, vendor applications, and to any Request for Proposals issued by the Board.

F.S. 112.313, 1001.41(1)(2), 1001.42(23), 1001.43(10)