2016 Arkansas Code
Title 6 - Education
Subtitle 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 24 - Ethical Guidelines and Prohibitions
§ 6-24-107. Employees
(a) General Provision. Except as otherwise provided, it is a breach of the ethical standards of this chapter for an employee to contract with the public educational entity employing him or her if the employee has knowledge that he or she is directly interested in the contract.
(b) Exceptions. (1) Approval by Board. (A) In unusual and limited circumstances, a public educational entity's board may approve a contract between the public educational entity and an employee if the board determines that the contract is in the best interest of the public educational entity.
(B) (i) The approval by the public educational entity's board shall be documented by written resolution after fully disclosing the reasons justifying the contract in an open meeting.
(ii) The resolution shall state the unusual circumstances necessitating the contract and shall document the restrictions and limitations of the contract.
(C) Any board member directly or indirectly interested in the proposed contract shall leave the meeting until the voting on the issue is concluded, and the absent member shall not be counted as having voted.
(2) Independent Approval. (A) (i) If it appears that the total transactions with an employee for a fiscal year total, or will total, ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, the superintendent or other chief administrator of the public educational entity shall forward the written resolution along with all relevant data to the Commissioner of Education for independent review and approval.
(ii) The written resolution and other relevant data shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other method approved by the State Board of Education to assure that adequate notice has been received by the Department of Education and to provide a record for the school district board of directors sending the request for approval.
(B) (i) Upon review of the submitted data, the commissioner shall, within twenty (20) days of receipt of the resolution and other relevant data, approve or disapprove in writing the board's request.
(ii) (a) The commissioner may request additional information or testimony before ruling on a request.
(b) If additional data is needed for a proper determination, the commissioner shall approve or disapprove the contract within twenty (20) days of receipt of the additional requested data.
(iii) If the commissioner does not respond to the public educational entity within the twenty-day period or request additional time or data for a proper review of the contract, the contract shall be deemed to be approved by the commissioner.
(C) (i) If approved, the commissioner shall issue an approval letter stating all relevant facts and circumstances considered and any restrictions or limitations pertaining to the approval.
(ii) (a) The commissioner may grant the approval for a particular transaction or a series of related transactions.
(b) However, approval shall not be granted for a period greater than two (2) complete and consecutive fiscal years.
(D) No contract subject to the commissioner's review and approval shall be valid or enforceable until an approval letter has been issued by the commissioner or the commissioner fails to respond to the public educational entity within the time periods specified in this section.
(c) Documentation. The department and the public educational entity shall maintain, under their respective record retention policies, a record and copy of all documentation relating to transactions with employees.
(d) Providing False or Incomplete Information. Any employee or other person knowingly furnishing false information or knowingly not fully disclosing relevant information necessary for a proper determination by the public educational entity or the commissioner shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this chapter.
(e) "Contract" Defined. For the purposes of this section, the term "contract" does not apply to employment contracts issued to public educational entity employees or other transactions for the performance of teaching or other related duties such as, but not limited to, bus driving, sponsorship of clubs or activities, or working at school sponsored events.
(f) Technology Employees. All transactions involving the purchase, lease, acquisition, or other use of computers, software, copiers, or other electronic devices from family members of an employee responsible for establishing specifications or approving purchases of such equipment shall be approved according to the requirements of this section regarding the purchase from an employee with a direct interest in the transaction.
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