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May14

Policy Alert: Board Member Conflict of Interest

ASBSD Policy Alert will be your source for the latest updates, commentary and information on school board policy.

 

SB 82: Increases the allowable financial level of purchases, sales, and contracts made by public officers of political subdivisions.

 

SDCL 6-1-2, the statute which identifies certain exceptions to the governing board member conflict of interest statute (SDCL 6-1-1), was amended by Senate Bill 82.

 

Currently, under the exceptions a school board member may enter into a contract with the school district for supplies or services, regardless of whether other sources of supply or services are available within the school district, provided the contract is for less than $3,000 (during the school fiscal year) and as long as the cost for the supplies or services is reasonable and just.

 

Effective July 1, 2014, the amount of the contract has to be $5,000 or less. Also effective July 1, 2014, there would be no conflict of interest if there is no other source of supply or services available within the school district and the amount of the contract is more than $5,000 but less that the amount for which competitive bidding is required.

 

ASBSD has amended sample policy:  BBFA:  Board Member Conflict of Interest (see below).

 


 

BOARD MEMBER CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

Public office is a trust created in the interest of the common good and for the benefit of the people. As public officials holding the respect and trust of the community, board members will not use the office for personal advantage.

 

A board member will not have any direct pecuniary interest in a contract with the school district or furnish directly any labor, equipment or supplies to the district unless the amount involved is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

 

Each member shall decide if any potential conflict of interest requires disqualification from participation in board discussion or action. No board member may participate in discussion or vote on any issue in which the member has a conflict of interest if the following circumstances apply:

  1. “Direct pecuniary interests,” when a school board member votes on a matter benefiting the board member’s own property or affording a direct financial gain;
  2. “Indirect pecuniary interests,” when a school board member votes on a matter that financially benefits one closely tied to the official, such as an employer, or family member;
  3. “Direct personal interest,” when a school board member votes on a matter that benefits a blood relative or close friend in a non-financial way; and
  4. “Indirect Personal Interest,” when a school board member votes on a matter in which an individual’s judgment may be affected because of membership in some organization and a desire to help that organization further its policies; or
  5. At least two-thirds of the Board votes that a member has an identifiable conflict of interest that should prohibit the member from voting on a specific matter.

See more sample policies at the ASBSD Policy Reference Manual website.

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