Vendors - Conflict of Interest Questionnaire
Texas Local Government Code Chapter §176.003 requires vendors or potential vendors for the sale or purchase of property, goods, or services (as well as agents of such persons) (hereafter referred to as Vendors) of the Region One Education Service Center (ESC) to fill out and file a Texas Ethics Commission Conflict of Interest Questionnaire IF the person has a business relationship with Region One ESC AND:1. Has an employment or other business relationship with an officer of the ESC, or a family member of the officer, described by Local Government Code §176.003(a)(2)(A); OR2. Has given an officer of the ESC, or a family member of the officer, one or more gifts with the aggregate value specified by Local Government Code §176.003(a)(2)(B), excluding any gift described by Local Government Code §176.003(a-1).
If neither of these conditions exist, it is NOT necessary to file this form.If a form is required, the original Conflict of Interest Questionnaire must be filed with the ESC's Records Administrator.Vendors and Contractors shall include a copy of the form that was submitted to the Business Office as part of the bid solicitation package.The CIQ form can be found at the Texas Ethics Commission website: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/forms/CIQ.pdfChapter 176 of the Local Government Code requires every Vendor or Contractor with the Local ESC (“ESC”) to file a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire with the Records Administrator of the Local ESC by the seventh (7th) business day after:1. Any contract discussions or negotiations begin, or2. Submitting an application, responses to requests for proposals, bids, correspondence, or any writing related to a potential agreement with the ESC.
In accordance with Chapter 176 all questionnaires must be posted on the District's Web site. There will also be a list of the ESC’s Local Government Officers on the ESC’s website. Each covered person or entity who seeks to or who contracts with ESC is responsible for complying with any applicable disclosure requirements.Additionally, each Vendor or Contractor must file updated questionnaires no later than September 1st of each year that the Vendor or Contractor seeks to contract with the ESC, or the seventh (7th) business day after the date of an event that would render the questionnaire incomplete or inaccurate. However, a Vendor or Contractor is not required to file a new questionnaire in any year if the vendor has completed a questionnaire between June 1st and September 1st of that year, unless the previous questionnaire is incomplete or inaccurate.
If you have questions regarding the filing of this form, you should contact your lawyer or other legal representative.Completed forms should be sent to:Region One Education Service CenterPurchasing Department1900 W. Schunior St.Edinburg, Texas 78541-2233
Local Government Officers:
Local Government Code:Chapter 176 - Disclosure of Certain Relationships with Local Government Officers; Providing Public Access and HB 23 ChangesFrequently Asked QuestionsWhat is HB 914?Adopted by the 79th Legislature, House Bill 914 (HB 914) added chapter 176 to the Texas Local Government Code. HB 914 requires the disclosure of certain conflicts of interest by local government officers and by vendors who sell goods or services to local government entities.What does HB 914 require from local government officers?HB 914 requires “local government officers” (LGOs) to complete forms disclosing their relationships with actual or potential vendors. In a school district or ESC, LGOs must file these forms with the district’s superintendent or ESC's executive director.Who is considered a "local government officer" according to this law?A "local government officer" is a defined in districts and the ESC as a board member, the chief executive, or an employee of a local government entity. Texas Local Government Code §176.001(4).Who is considered a vendor according to this law?A vendor is a person who contracts, or seeks to contract, for the sale or purchase of property, goods or services with the Region One Education Service Center (ESC). An agent for such a person in the person's business with the ESC is also considered a vendor.The word "person" in this context includes a corporation, organization, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association and any other legal entity, but does not include another governmental entity.The law applies to a local government officer’s relationships with:
- Region One ESC Executive Director
- Region One ESC Board of Directors
- Local Government Officer Conflicts Disclosure Statement and Instructions (Form CIS)
What does the law mean by a “family member” of a local government officer?“Family members” include:
- Contractors, regardless of whether the contracts come before the board
- Individuals and businesses who seek to contract with the ESC, including bidders on solicitations (regardless of whether a bidder is awarded the contract)
- A person who acts as an agent for an individual or business that contracts with, or seeks to contract with, the ESC.
Who must file a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire?Chapter 176 requires that certain individuals and businesses doing business or seeking to do business with the Local ESC to file a Conflicts of Interest Questionnaire form describing certain business and gift-giving relationships the filers may have with Board Members, Executive Director or Employees.If an ESC board member, or family member, has a substantial interest in a business entity, the board member must file an affidavit of conflict and refrain from participating in the consideration of the matter for which the business entity has proposed to do business with the district. A person has a substantial interest in a business entity if: (1) the person owns ten percent (10%) or more of the voting stock or share of the business entity or owns either ten percent (10%) of the person’s gross income for the previous year. Texas Local Government Code §171.002.Where are Conflicts Disclosure Statements and Questionnaires filed and what is the deadline for filing?A local government officer must file a Conflicts Disclosure Statement with the Records Administrator not later than 5 p.m. on the seventh (7th) business day after the date on which the officer becomes aware of the facts that require the filing of the statement.A person who wishes to conduct business with the ESC must file a Questionnaire with the Records Administrator:
- the officer’s spouse
- the officer’s parents and children
- the officer's siblings, grandparents and grandchildren
- the officers great-grandparents, great grandchildren, aunt, uncle, nephew and/or niece
- the parents, grandparents, siblings and children of the officer’s spouse
- the spouses of the officer’s parents and children
What is the penalty for failing to file?A knowing violation of Texas Local Government Code §176.013(c) is a Class C misdemeanor if contract is less than $1 million, Class B if contract is at least $1 million but not more than $5 million, and Class A if contract amount is at least $5 million.
- no later than seven days after the date the person begins contract discussions or negotiations with the ESC
- submits an application or response to a request for proposals, bids, correspondence, or another writing related to a potential agreement with a ESC
Will filings be made public?Reports are required to be posted on the ESC’s Internet website.What is the ESC's obligation to notify vendors?The statue does not require school districts or other Local Governmental Entities to inform vendors of the disclosure requirements, nor does the statue impose a penalty on Entities for doing business with vendors who fail to file CIQs. However, the vendors face criminal liability. Reasonable steps to notify vendors of the requirement will be through bid documents, website postings, and other avenues of communication.If the ESC does business with another district or an ESC, does it have to complete a CIQ?No. The State of Texas, a political subdivision of the State, the Federal government, and foreign governments are not subject to the disclosure requirements.
Where should vendors go for assistance?Questions about compliance should be directed to your own legal counsel. Compliance is the responsibility of each individual, business and agent who is subject to the law's filing requirement.