Purchases: Conflict of Interest

Type: 
Procedure
Category: 
Institutional Integrity
Department: 
Purchasing Services
Phone: 
(541) 463-5608
Primary Contact: 
Greg Holmes, CPA
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Chief Finance Officer
Purpose: 

This procedure lists the circumstances for which purchases may be considered to ensure that no conflict of interest exists. Purchases of products and services from College employees or their immediate family members (spouses, parents and children) are discouraged, except under certain circumstances.

Narrative: 

Purchases of products and services from college employees or their immediate family members (spouses, parents and children) are discouraged and will only be considered where:

  1. There is no other comparable source for the product or service; and
  2. It is demonstrably to the college's advantage to procure the product or service instead of pursuing another course of action such as doing without the procurement or changing the scope of work.

When it is desirable and advantageous for the college to procure a product or service from an employee or a member of an employee's immediate family, the following steps shall be taken to ensure that no conflict of interest exists and that there is no potential for the college to be subjected to criticism or adverse publicity.

  1. All procurement processes shall comply with all existing procedures and laws.  Procurements shall follow the "invitation/response/award" process.
  2. Any employee or employee's immediate family responding to a procurement invitation shall identify the relationship to the college in the response to the invitation  (as required in Oregon Revised Statutes 244).
  3. Following the selection process, if the desired provider is determined to be an  employee or immediate relative, Purchasing Services shall write a memo to the Chief Financial Officer stating the reasons for proceeding with the procurement (e.g. that no reasonable alternatives are available) and indicating desire to proceed with the procurement.  In the memo Purchasing Services shall rule on whether or not a conflict of interest is present.
  4. If the procurement is greater than the quotation threshold, the Chief Financial Officer shall confirm or reverse the ruling.  If the procurement is greater than the public bidding threshold, the board shall be notified in the recommendation for award that a college employee or relative is a potential participant in the contract.
  5. For contracts less than the public bidding threshold, if the award is denied on the basis of conflict of interest, the ruling may be appealed by the potential provider to the president of the college.  The president's ruling shall be final.  If award is denied on the basis of conflict with Internal Revenue Service regulations, there shall be no appeal.
  6. Where employee and immediate relatives are intended recipients of procurements in excess of the public bidding threshold, the college shall publish an advertisement in the legal section of the local newspaper(s) stating the process and the intended award parameters and setting a time limit for objections to be filed with the Purchasing Services department.  If no objections are received, the award shall proceed in normal fashion.  If objections are received, they shall be noted in the recommendation to the Board of  Education.

In all cases the college shall have the absolute right to reject, without explanation, any proposal, bid or contract award in which an employee or an employee's immediate family member(s) are potential participants.

Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, May 13, 2014