SECTION CE.2


BUSINESS AND SUPPORT SERVICES
VENDOR RELATIONS

Procedure


REQUIRED VENDOR DISCLOSURE


The disclosure requirement applies to a person who enters or seeks to enter into a contract with a local governmental entity or is an agent of that person in the person’s business with a local governmental entity.

A person is not subject to the disclosure requirements if the person is a state, a political subdivision of a state, the federal government, or a foreign government; or an employee of such an entity, acting in the employee’s official capacity.

A person described by Local Government Code 176.002(a) shall file a completed conflict of interest questionnaire if the person has a business relationship with a local governmental entity and:

  • Has an employment or other business relationship with an officer of that local governmental entity, or a family member of the officer that results in the officer or family member receiving taxable income, other than investment income, that exceeds $2,500 during the 12-month period preceding the date that the officer becomes aware that a contract described by Local Government Code 176.003(a)(1) has been executed or the local governmental entity is considering entering into a contract with the person; or
  • Has given an officer of that local governmental entity, or a family member of the officer, one or more gifts with the aggregate value of more than $250 in the 12-month period preceding the date the officer becomes aware that a contract described by Local Government Code 176.003(a)(1) has been executed or the local govern-mental entity is considering entering into a contract with the person, excluding any gift that is:
    • Given by a family member of the person accepting the gift;
    • A political contribution as defined by Election Code Title 15; or
    • Food, lodging, transportation, or entertainment accepted as a guest.

The completed conflict of interest questionnaire must be filed with the appropriate records administrator not later than the seventh business day after the later of:

  • The date that the person:
    • Begins discussions or negotiations to enter into a contract with the local governmental entity; or
    • Submits to the local governmental entity an application, response to a request for proposals or bids, correspondence, or another writing related to a potential contract with the local governmental entity; or
  • The date the person becomes aware:
    • Of an employment or other business relationship with a local government officer, or a family member of the officer; or
    • That the person has given one or more gifts.

DEFINITION OF BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP


“Business relationship” means a connection between two or more parties based on commercial activity of one of the parties. The term does not include a connection based on:

  • A transaction that is subject to rate or fee regulation by a federal, state, or local governmental entity or an agency of a federal, state, or local governmental entity;
  • A transaction conducted at a price and subject to terms available to the public; or
  • A purchase or lease of goods or services from a person that is chartered by a state or federal agency and that is subject to regular examination by, and reporting to, that agency.

DISCLOSURE FORM


The Texas Ethics Commission shall adopt a conflict of interest questionnaire that requires disclosure of a vendor’s business relationships with a local governmental entity.


ELECTRONIC FILING


The required questionnaire, including signature requirements, may be filed electronically in a form approved by the Commission.


UPDATES


A person to whom this policy applies shall file an updated completed questionnaire with the appropriate records administrator not later than the seventh business day after the date of an event that would make a statement in the questionnaire incomplete or inaccurate.


LIST OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICERS


The records administrator for a local governmental entity shall maintain a list of local government officers of the entity and shall make that list available to the public and any person who may be required to file a conflict of interest questionnaire.


INTERNET POSTING


A local governmental entity that maintains an Internet website shall provide access to the conflict of interest questionnaires required to be filed under this policy on that website.


Approved: October 2, 2015