Policy GBEA: Code of Conduct for Public Employees

In compliance with State and Federal Procurement Codes, the schoolcommittees adopt the following “Code of Conduct for Public Employees.”This code, developed by the Office of the Inspector General, establishesstandards of conduct for all employees involved in the award oradministration of contracts for goods and services.

The Massachusetts conflict of interest law, Chapter 268A of theGeneral Laws, prohibits public employees from soliciting or acceptinggratuities of substantial value for, or because of, their officialduties. This Code of Conduct supplements the conflict of interest lawby setting standards of conduct for all employees with respect torelationships with individuals and entities with whom we conduct ourofficial business. The purpose of this Code is to preserve theintegrity of these relationships and to maintain the highest level ofpublic confidence in the impartial performance of our duties.

I. GIFTS AND GRATUITIES

School personnel may not solicit or accept any gift, gratuity, favor,entertainment, loan, or other item of monetary value from a person,public agency, or private entity who has had, has, or is seeking toobtain contractual or other business or financial relations with theschools; who conducts or is seeking to conduct business or otheractivities which are regulated or monitored by the schools; or who hasinterests that may be or may give the reasonable impression of beingsubstantially affected by the performance or non-performance of theirofficial duties.

Exceptions:
a. You may accept gifts in cases involving a family or personalrelationship when the circumstances make clear that the relationship isthe motivation for the gift.
b. You may accept non-alcoholic beverages from public or privateentities; and accept food and beverages at seasonal or celebratoryfunctions hosted by the public entities.
c. You may accept food and beverages in connection with attendance atworking meetings held in the office of a public entity; or at widelyattended meetings or gatherings held by a private trade or professionalassociation in an office or other business setting when you areattending the meeting in your official capacity for informational,educational, or other similar purposes.
d. You may accept unsolicited advertising or promotional materials of nominal value.

II. TRAVEL EXPENSES AND HONORARIA

School Personnel may not accept reimbursement for travel expensesfrom a person or entity which falls within the scope of Section I above.If you deliver a speech or participate in a conference or travel as anecessary component of a vendor evaluation process, the Schooldepartment may elect to accept reimbursement from the sponsor or vendorfor actual and necessary travel expenses. In this case, the Schooldepartment will reimburse you in accordance with its travel policy andbill the sponsor or vendor for the appropriate amount.

School personnel may accept honoraria or other monetary compensationfrom an outside source in return for a public appearance, speech,lecture, publication, or discussion only if all of the followingconditions are met:

a. Preparation or delivery of the public appearance, speech, lecture,publication, or discussion is not part of your official duties.
b. Neither the sponsor nor the source of the honorarium is a person or entity which falls within the scope of Section I above.
c. You do not use school supplies or take office time in preparation ordelivery of the public appearance, speech, lecture, publication, ordiscussion.

School personnel may, however, accept awards, certificates, or otheritems of nominal value given for a speech, participation in aconference, or public contribution or achievement.

III. TESTIMONIALS AND RETIREMENT FUNCTIONS

School personnel may not solicit contributions, sell tickets, orotherwise seek or accept payment for a testimonial or retirementfunction, or any function having a similar purpose, held for anyemployee if the contributor is a person or entity which falls underSection I above and the payment exceeds the actual per-person cost offood and beverages served at the function.

School personnel may not accept food, beverages, or gifts at anytestimonial or retirement function, or any function having a similarpurpose if their costs are paid for or subsidized by a person or entitywhich falls under Section I above.

IV. GROUNDBREAKING AND DEDICATION CEREMONIES

School personnel may not request or require any person or entitywhich falls under Section I above to sponsor or contribute to anygroundbreaking ceremony, dedication ceremony, or similar occasioninvolving a public works project if they are paid for or subsidized by aperson or entity which falls under Section I above.

LEGAL REF:

MGL 71:37h , 264:11 , 264:14

Region Voted to Approve:
Amherst Voted to Approve:
Pelham Voted to Approve:
Effective Date: