(A) Each county family services agency (CFSA) and workforce development agency (WDA) shall maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the performance of their officers and employees engaged in awarding, recommending, approving, monitoring, administering contracts, other purchases of goods and services, and grants. The CFSA and WDA are responsible for the conduct of agents who are not CFSA and WDA employees. For the purpose of this rule, an "agent" is anyone that is acting on behalf of an agency in awarding, recommending, approving, monitoring, administering contracts, other purchases of goods and services, and grants. The CFSA and WDA shall also ensure that this code governs the conduct of such agents.
(B) The CFSA and WDA shall provide a copy of the written standards of conduct to each employee or agent engaged in awarding or administering contracts and shall ensure that such employees and agents receive sufficient training to understand how to apply the written standards of conduct.
(C) The CFSA's and WDA's written standards of conduct shall at a minimum comply with the following federal and state requirements:
(1) All provisions included in 2 C.F.R. 200.318, 2 C.F.R. 400.2(b), 29 C.F.R. 97.36(b)(3), and 45 C.F.R. 75.327(c); and
(D) In addition to meeting the requirements of state and federal law listed in paragraph (C) of this rule, the CFSA's and WDA's written standards of conduct shall, at a minimum, include all of the following requirements and prohibitions.
(1) The CFSA and WDA employees or agents shall not solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of value, as defined in section 102.01 of the Revised Code from anyone doing business with or seeking to do business with, or regulated by the agency, including:
(a) Contractors and potential contractors;
(b) Vendors and potential vendors; and
(c) Grantees and potential grantees.
(2) The CFSA and WDA employees or agents shall not participate in the following contract, purchase, or grant related activities if a real, potential, or apparent conflict of interest could arise:
(b) Award recommendations;
(d) Monitoring; and
(e) Administering contract, purchase, or grant.
(3) A conflict of interest could arise when the entities listed in paragraphs (D)(3)(a) to (D)(3)(c) of this rule have a financial, personal, or other interest in the individual or company selected for the award of a contract, purchase, or grant in the following instances:
(b) The partner or business associate of the employee or agent; or
(c) Any person or organization that employs or is about to employ the employee or agent, a member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner or business associates.
(4) The written standards of conduct shall ensure that each CFSA and WDA employee or agent engaged in awarding, recommending, approving, or administering a CFSA and WDA contract, purchase, or grant receives a copy of the Ohio ethics commission's Ohio ethics law (Chapter 102. of the Revised Code). The written standards of conduct shall advise such employees and agents on the following information:
(a) How to obtain educational information related to Ohio ethics law;
(b) The identification of the contact person in the CFSA, WDA, or the prosecuting attorney's office for any employee who is unsure as to whether any particular course of conduct violates the requirements of the CFSA's or WDA's standards of conduct or Ohio's ethics law; and
(c) Employees/agents may discuss concerns on the telephone or obtain an advisory opinion from the Ohio ethics commission. The advice should be obtained before the employee engages in the conduct.
(5) CFSA and WDA employees are prohibited from selling or attempting to sell any goods or services to the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS), a county department of job and family services (CDJFS), a public children's services agency (PCSA), a child support enforcement agency (CSEA), a WDA, or a one-stop agency with whom they are employed or otherwise affiliated.
(6) CFSA and WDA employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting employment from anyone doing business with such agencies unless the employee completely withdraws, with the agency's approval, from the CFSA or WDA activities regarding the party offering employment.
(7) CFSA and WDA employees and the employee's immediate family members and business associates are prohibited from benefiting from any contract, purchase, or grant authorized or approved by the CFSA and WDA unless all criteria established by section 2921.42 of the Revised Code are met.
(8) CFSA and WDA employees are prohibited from voting, authorizing, recommending, or in any other way using his or her position to secure approval of a CFSA and WDA contract, purchase, or grant in which any of the following have any interest:
(b) A member of the employee's immediate family; or
(c) Anyone with whom the employee has a business or employment relationship.
(9) CFSA employees, WDA employees, and previous employees that have left public employment for twelve months or less shall not act in a representative capacity, in any manner, before a public agency on behalf of any contractor or other person on any matter in which the employee personally participated in any of the following activities:
(b) Approvals or disapprovals;
(c) Recommendations; or
(d) Other substantial exercise of administrative discretion.
(10) Any contractor or grantee acting on behalf of the CFSA or WDA is prohibited from activities that could result in violations of this rule. A contractor, grantee, individual, company, or organization seeking a contract or grant or seeking to sell goods or services to a CFSA and WDA shall not:
(a) Promise or give to any CFSA and WDA employee anything of value, including employment or promise of employment within the scope of his or her job duties; nor
(b) Ask a CFSA and WDA employee to violate any of the standards of conduct requirements.
(11) A CFSA and WDA shall reserve the right to exercise civil remedies against a contractor that violates paragraph (D)(10) of this rule. Any contractor, sub-grantee, or potential contractor or potential sub-grantee who violates the requirements and prohibitions of paragraph (C)(2) or (D)(10) of this rule is subject to the following actions:
(a) The CFSA and WDA may refuse to enter into a contract;
(b) Contract termination; or
(12) Employees, contractors, and sub-grantees who violate the prohibitions or requirements in paragraph (C)(2) of this rule may be prosecuted for criminal violations.
(13) The signature of any CFSA and WDA employee on the following documents shall be considered to be a certification that he or she has complied with the requirements and prohibitions of this rule:
(b) Invoices; and
(c) Documents requesting or approving the purchase of or payment for goods and services.
(E) When a CSFA or WDA employee, agent, or contractor violates the standards of conduct, the CFSA and WDA shall enforce the requirements contained in the agency's written standards governing the following:
(2) Sanctions; and
(3) Disciplinary actions including suspensions and removal.
(F) All CFSA and WDA contracts and grants shall contain the following provisions:
(1) The contractor or grantee shall not promise or give to any CFSA or WDA anything of value that is of such character as to manifest a substantial and improper influence upon the employee with respect to his or her duties;
(2) The contractor or grantee agrees that it shall not solicit a CFSA or WDA employee to violate the county agency's standards of conduct or prohibitions or requirements in paragraph (C)(2) of this rule ; and
(3) The contractor or grantee shall not engage in direct or indirect conflicts of interest.
(G) The CFSA and WDA contract or grant shall also include the following:
(1) A certification by the contractor or grantee that it is in compliance with and will maintain compliance with the requirements described in paragraph (C)(2) of this rule;
(2) Portions of the CFSA's and WDA's standards of conduct applicable to contractors and grantees; and
(3) A provision stating that the contractor or grantee shall promptly notify the CFSA and WDA of any newly arising conflicts of interest or potential violations of state ethics law.
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.02
Rule Amplifies: 102, 187.01, 307.86 , 329.04 , 2921.42 , 2921.43
Prior Effective Dates: 9/20/80, 8/13/82, 5/1/96, 9/5/97, 9/12/05, 3/12/10