Conflict of Interest Statements

Conflict of Interest Statements

(Legal)  (Local)

HB 914 is a new law that requires all local governments including school districts to have their officers file conflict of interest disclosure statements about gifts received from or business relationships with any vendor that is currently doing business or soliciting business with the school district.

Gifts received from vendors are cumulative over a 12-month period and are reported if they exceed $250 for an officer and their family members. The Texas Ethics Commission indicates on its Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement (form CIS), offers of gifts exceeding $100 are reported even if they are not taken. Business relationships include any business in which a district official or family member has employment, an interest or ownership.

Vendors must disclose their business and/or family relationship relationships with a school official that might cause a conflict of interest at the time they begin contract negotiations or are solicited for bids or proposals.  Definition of a school official: Board Trustee, Superintendent, or an agent of school district who exercises discretion in the planning, recommending, selecting, or contracting of vendor.  This is for business relationships in the first degree by affinity or consanguinity and family relationships in the third degree by consanguinity or the 2nd degree of affinity.  Vendors have 7 business days to file Ethics Commission's Conflict of Interest Questionnaire (form CIQ) or face the possibility of a Class C Misdemeanor. Vendors can file a form CIQ annually by September 1 of each year and need only update it by the seventh business day following an event where the person owns at least: 1)10% of the voting stock or shares of business entity; 2) either 10% or $15,000 of the fair market value of the business entity; OR funds received by the person from the business entity exceeds 10% of the person's gross income for the precious year; OR if the person's interest in the real property is an equitable or legal ownership with a fair market value of $250 or more.