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3.2.3 The board has a policy addressing conflict of interest for its members. (Board conflict of interest)
✔ Compliance Partial
Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. North Carolina law imposes on its leaders (including members of the FTCC Board of Trustees) some of the strictest conflict-of-interest laws in the nation. In addition, the FTCC Board of Trustees has a Conflict of Interest Policy.
In 2006, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the State Government Ethics Act. (G.S § 138A et. seq.) The State Government Ethics Act imposes significant responsibilities on the individual voting members of the FTCC Board of Trustees that are intended to “ensure that standards of ethical conduct and standards regarding conflicts of interest are clearly established for elected and appointed State agency officials, that the State continually educates these officials on matters of ethical conduct and conflicts of interest, that potential and actual conflicts of interest are identified and resolved, and that violations of standards of ethical conduct and conflicts of interest are investigated and properly resolved.” (G.S § 138A-2).
Among other things, this law requires the annual submission of a detailed statement of economic interests to the NC Ethics Commission by each voting College trustee, the College President, and the College Vice President for Business and Finance (G.S § 138A-22). Staff of the Ethics Commission review the financial disclosures and report back to the College on the existence of any potential or actual conflicts based on the disclosures (G.S § 138A-10(a)(4)).
The law also requires each voting trustee, the College President, the College Vice President for Business and Finance, and each College employee who reports directly to the College President or Vice President for Business and Finance to participate in ethics training within six months of being appointed or hired and every two years of appointment or employment thereafter (G.S § 138A-14). The ethics training includes a component dealing with conflicts of interest. All voting trustees have received the ethics training or refresher training.
Article 4 of the State Government Ethics Act also imposes certain standards on voting Trustees, the College President, and the College Vice President for Business and Finance. The law specifically prohibits the use of a person’s public position for private gain (G.S § 138A-31), imposes substantial limitations on the receiving of gifts (G.S § 138A-32), and prohibits the use of information for private gain (G.S § 138A-34). In addition, the statute also requires each to “make a due and diligent effort, before taking any action, to determine whether the public servant has a conflict of interest," (G.S § 138A-35). Board members are given the opportunity to recuse themselves for reasons of conflict of interest before voting on issues. The law requires the presiding officer of boards to remind the board members (by reading the ethics statement at the beginning of each board meeting) of the responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest (G.S. § 138A-15(e)).
The FTCC Board of Trustees adopted a Conflicts of Interest Policy in November of 1999. The policy mirrors the Conflicts of Interest Policy recommended by the North Carolina Association of Community Colleges.
The enactment of the State Government Ethics Act has imposed on the FTCC Board of Trustees and other state leaders some of the strictest ethical and conflict-of-interest standards in the nation. In addition to this statute, G.S. § 14-234 declares it a misdemeanor for members of the Board of Trustees and close family members to derive a benefit from a contract with the College in certain instances (G.S § 14-234).
State law also requires each newly elected or reappointed trustee to complete a training session provided by the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees (G.S. § 115D-19
). The training session provides introductory material to trustees about conflicts of interest.
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