PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF DR. STEVE GALLON III
October 26, 2020
The School Board of Miami-Dade County remains committed to promoting and maintaining a high level of accountability, integrity, and transparency in the operation of the school district, including those that involve solicitation of donations from organizations doing business with the district, business ethics, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
Therefore, at the School Board Meeting of October 21, 2020, the School Board approved, on a 7-2 vote, Good Cause Agenda Item H-25, proffered by Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III.
This item directs the Superintendent to initiate rulemaking to amend, in consultation with the School Board Attorney and Chief Auditor, applicable School Board policies governing DSOs, Business Ethics, and Procurement, to: 1) prohibit any District employee who is an officer or registered agent of a DSO from soliciting or accepting a donation on behalf of the DSO from a vendor for whom there is a pending contract award, and/or payment for goods or services and in which the employee has direct authority to coordinate, direct, and/or recommend the award of a contract and/or payment for District goods or services; 2) require a quarterly written report to the School Board at a School Board meeting of any and all donations made to all DSOs by vendors that exceed $5,000.00 and for whom there is a pending or current contract award, purchase order and/or payment for District goods or services; and 3) require a quarterly written report to the School Board at a School Board meeting of any and all district resources used during the reporting quarterly period in support of the DSO and its operations.
In addition, the Superintendent shall immediately review the governance structure and composition of all District DSOs and identify if any District employee is a DSO member and also has direct authority to coordinate, direct, and/or recommend the award of a contract, purchase order and/or payment for District goods or services and report back to the Board at its meeting of November 18, 2020.
“Recently, questions and concerns have arisen regarding the relationship between the District and one of the Board’s approved DSOs wherein an employee of the District who has purchasing authority for the District may also serve as an officer on the DSO’s Board of Directors,” said Dr. Steve Gallon III.
“Such questions and concerns necessitated further review of Board Policy and District practices governing the solicitation of donations to a DSO from vendors that may seek or are currently doing business with the District.”
“As this issue is critically important to members of the School Board, as well as members of the public, it was incumbent upon the School Board to begin addressing this and related issues from its position as policy-makers and I am proud of the support of my colleagues whose support indicated their unwavering commitment to such issues of transparency, accountability, and the avoidance of potential conflicts,” said Gallon.
To read the full item, click here: http://schoolboard.dadeschools.net/documents/agenda/h25rev.pdf