School board approves ethics policy

March 13, 1997

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday gave tentative approval to a stricter ethics policy that would tighten requirements for purchases.

The policy change, prompted by a recommendation in last year's management audit by KPMG Peat Marwick, was sought by the board's Ethics Panel.

The accounting firm had recommended that the school board's ethics policy require any employee perceived to have a conflict of interest to go through a bidding process for any purchase of goods or services, said Schools Superintendent Wayne F. Gersen.

The new policy removes the dollar limit from the purchasing requirement, Gersen said.

The existing policy requires the bidding process only for contracts of $1,000 or more.

The rest of the proposed changes stem from the five-member Ethics Panel's opinion that the policy needed an overhaul after going without review for several years, he said.


The panel had asked board attorney Richard F. McGrory to review and update the policy, Gersen said.

McGrory said he tried to address the ethics panel's concern that some of the policy's language was vague and ambiguous.

The old policy specifically excluded managers from its definition of school board employees subject to the ethics policy, McGrory said.

The proposed policy would cover all full- and part-time certified and non-certified employees, including student teachers, he said.

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