19A.05.02.04

.04 Conflicts of Interest.

A. To be equivalent to the requirements of and similar to the Public Ethics Law, a board of education’s ethics regulations shall address conflict of interest restrictions as described in this regulation.

B. Disqualification.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the disqualification and participation restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §5-501, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The local law shall include a disqualification provision prohibiting a school official or school employee from participating, as a school official or school employee, in a school system matter that would have a direct economic impact, distinct from the impact on the public at large, on the school official or school employee, or that, to the knowledge of the school official or school employee would have a direct economic impact on:

(a) The spouse, parent, sibling, or child of the school official or school employee; or

(b) A business entity with which any of the following is affiliated:

(i) The school official or school employee; or

(ii) The spouse, parent, sibling, or child of the school official or employee.

(3) The regulations may include:

(a) A provision that allows participation when the potential conflict is disclosed and when no other school official or school employee may act;

(b) A provision which allows participation when the potential conflict is disclosed and disqualification would result in lack of board quorum; or

(c) Exception provisions allowing the entity implementing the law to waive the disqualification requirement when no conflict of interest exists or when the interest is too remote and insubstantial to affect the integrity of the public actions of the official or employee.

C. Outside Employment.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the secondary employment restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §§5-502, 5-503, and 5-504(a), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations shall prohibit, for school officials and school employees, outside employment that would impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the school official or school employee.

(3) The regulations may prohibit, for school officials and school employees, outside employment with an entity that:

(a) Is subject to the authority of school system or board of education; or

(b) Is negotiating or has entered a contract with or is a subcontractor on a contract with the school system or board of education.

(4) The regulations may include provisions to allow the entity implementing the regulations to grant an exception when the outside employment would not affect the official duties of the school official or school employee.

D. Financial Interest Prohibitions.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the financial interest restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §§5-502, 5-503, and 5-504(a), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations may prohibit, for school officials and school employees, financial interests in an entity that:

(a) Is subject to the authority of the school system or board of education; or

(b) Is negotiating or has entered a contract with or is a subcontractor on a contract with the school system or board of education.

(3) The regulations may include provisions to allow the entity implementing the regulations to grant an exception when the financial interest would not affect the official duties or the school official or school employee.

E. Post-Employment Restrictions.

(1) The regulations shall include, for former members of the school board, the post-employment restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §5-504(d), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations shall include a restriction on former school officials’ and school employees’ activities relating to cases, contracts, or other specific matters in which the former school officials or former school employees significantly participated in their school positions.

F. Prestige of Office.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the prestige of office restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §5-506, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations shall prohibit school officials and school employees from using their official positions or public positions for their private gain or the private gain of another.

G. Confidential Information.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the restrictions on the use of confidential information included in General Provisions Article, §5-507, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations shall prohibit school officials and school employees from using or disclosing, except in the discharge of an official duty, nonpublic information obtained in the course of official school duties for personal economic benefit or the economic benefit of another.

H. Gifts.

(1) The regulations shall include, for members of the school board, the gift restrictions included in General Provisions Article, §5-505, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) The regulations shall prohibit school officials and school employees from:

(a) Soliciting a gift; and

(b) Directly soliciting or facilitating the solicitation of a gift, on behalf of another person, from an individual registered as a lobbyist under the regulations.

(3) The regulations shall prohibit school officials and school employees from accepting gifts from persons regulated by or contracting with the school system with which the school official or school employee is affiliated.

(4) The regulations shall define “gift”:

(a) To include the transfer of anything of economic value, regardless of the form, without adequate and lawful consideration; and

(b) To exclude a contribution as defined in Election Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(5) The regulations may:

(a) Include exceptions similar to the exceptions included in General Provisions Article, §5-505, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(b) Include provisions to allow the person or entity responsible for implementing the regulations to grant exceptions and exemptions from the gift acceptance prohibitions similar to the exception and exemption authority granted to the State Ethics Commission in General Provisions Article, §5-505, Annotated Code of Maryland.