Boulder Valley School District

BC

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  • Board Governance and Operations
BC

File: BC (pdf)
Adopted:  March 9, 2010
Revised:  January 9, 2024


SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER CONDUCT AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Public office is a trust created by the confidence that the public places in the integrity of its public officers. To preserve this confidence, it is the desire of the Board to operate with the highest ethical standards. Board Members are by Colorado law nonpartisan elected officials, and should be interested in serving the School District for the best interests of all students. 

Fiduciary Duties

In carrying out their fiduciary duties, Board Members shall not: 

  1. Disclose or use confidential information acquired in the course of official duties to further substantially personal financial interests. 

  2. Accept a gift of substantial value or substantial economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value that would tend to improperly influence a reasonable person in the position or that it is known or should be known is primarily for the purpose of a reward for official action taken. 

  3. Engage in a substantial financial transaction for the member's private business purposes with a person whom the member supervises in the course of official duties. 

  4. Perform an official act which directly and substantially confers an economic benefit on a business or other undertaking in which the member has a substantial financial interest or is engaged as counsel, consultant, representative or agent. 

The phrase "economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value" includes a loan at a rate of interest substantially lower than the prevailing commercial rate and compensation received for private services rendered at a rate substantially exceeding the fair market value. 

Conflict of Interest

For purposes of this policy and in accordance with Colorado law, the Board declares that a conflict of interest is a personal, pecuniary interest that is immediate, definite and demonstrable and that is or may be in conflict with the public interest. A conflict of interest is not created simply through the existence of indirect relationships, such as having a family Member employed by the School District or a Board Member working for another educational entity or state or local agency.

A Board Member who has a conflict of  interest as defined by this Policy in a matter proposed or pending before the Board shall disclose such conflict of  interest to the Board, shall not vote on the matter, and shall not attempt to influence the decisions of other Board Members in voting on the matter. An exception applies if a Board Member has complied with statutory disclosure requirements by notifying the Colorado Secretary of State of an interest in the matter and the member’s vote is necessary to obtain a quorum or otherwise enable the Board to act. If a member votes under these circumstances, that member shall state for the record the fact and summary nature of the potential conflict of interest.

The Board considers it a conflict of interest for a Board Member to also be employed by the School District. The Board shall not hire any of its members as an employee of the School District prior to taking office.

Members may be compensated and reimbursed for authorized expenses in carrying out Board duties as provided by law and Board Policy.

The Board shall not enter into any contract with any of its members or with a firm or corporation in which a member has a financial interest unless one or more of the following apply:

  1. The contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder based on competitive bidding procedures.  
  2. The merchandise is sold to the highest bidder at a public auction.  
  3. The transaction involves investing or depositing money in a financial institution that is in the business of loaning money or receiving money.
  4. If, because of geographic restrictions, the School District could not otherwise reasonably afford the contract because the additional cost to the School District would be greater than 10 percent or if the contract is for services that must be performed within a limited time period and no other contractor can perform the services. 
  5. If the Board Member has disclosed a personal interest in the contract, has not voted or has only voted as allowed in state law following disclosure to the Colorado Secretary of State and to the Board.

Except as described above, a Board Member shall not be a purchaser at any sale or a vendor for any purchase made by the School District. A Board Member is not precluded from participation in fundraising activities supporting the School District.

Permissible Conduct and Gifts

 It shall not be considered a breach of conduct for a Board Member to: 

  1. Use school facilities and equipment to communicate or correspond with constituents, family members or business associates. 
  2. Accept or receive a benefit as an indirect consequence of transacting School District business.

 It is permissible for a Board Member to receive: 

  1. Campaign contributions and contributions in kind that are reported in accordance with state law. 
  2. An occasional nonpecuniary gift that is insignificant in value. 
  3. A nonpecuniary award publicly presented by a nonprofit organization in recognition of public service. 
  4. Payment or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for travel and subsistence for attendance at a convention or other meeting at which the member is scheduled to participate. 
  5. Reimbursement for or acceptance of an opportunity to participate in a social function or meeting that is not extraordinary when viewed considering the position.
  6. Items of perishable or nonpermanent value including but not limited to meals, lodging, travel expenses, or tickets to sporting, recreational, educational, or cultural events. Tickets to these events may have to be reported in accordance with the public official disclosure law. 
  7. Payment for speeches, appearances or publications reported in accordance with the public official disclosure law.

Guidance

When necessary to the Board’s business, the Board may seek a legal opinion on the existence of a conflict of interest for a Board Member from the School District attorney in accordance with Board Policy BDG.

 

LEGAL REFS.:
Colorado Constitution, Article X, Section 13 
C.R.S. § 1-45-101 (Fair Campaign Practices Act) 
C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(y) (duty of board to adopt bylaws on conflicts of interest)
C.R.S. § 22-32-110(k) (specific powers of boards) 
C.R.S. § 24-6-201 (Public Official Disclosure Act) 
C.R.S. § 24-18-104 (rules of conduct for all public officers) 
C.R.S. § 24-18-109 through 24-18-111 (government rules of conduct) 
C.R.S. § 24-18-201 (standards of conduct – interests in contracts) 
C.R.S. § 24-18-202 (standards of conduct – interests in sales)

 

End of File: BC