H.B.914 requires that vendors file a “Conflict of Interest Questionnaire” and “city officers” must file a Conflicts Disclosure Statement with the City Secretary within seven (7) days after the below situations apply.
The bill requires that "City Officers" must file with the City Secretary within seven (7) days of becoming aware of either of the following situations:
- A city officer or the officer’s family has an employment or business relationship that results in taxable income with a person who has contracted with the city or with whom the city is considering doing business.
- A city officer or the officer’s family member receives and accepts one or more gifts with an aggregate value of $250 in the preceding 12 months from a person who conducts business or is being considered for business with the officer’s city.
City officials who are subject to H.B. 914 include mayors and city council members, city managers, city board, commission and authority members, economic development corporation board members, executive directors of economic development corporations, and any other person who is designated as an executive officer of the city. The City is required to maintain a listing of officials considered to be subject to H.B. 914.
A family member is defined as a person related to another person within the first degree by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (marriage). This definition includes a spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, and so on.
Vendors are required to file the quiestionnaire with the City Secretary within seven days after contract discussions begin or a response to bid proposals, etc related to a potential agreement with a city is made. The following vendors are considered subject to HB 914:
- Any person who contracts or seeks to contract for the sale or purchase of property, goods, or services with a local governmental entity; and
- An agent of a person who contracts or seeks to contract for the sale or purchase of property, good, or services with a local government entity.
The bill also appears to apply to all persons or businesses who conduct business with a city, including those who submit bids on city contracts, make purchases of surplus city property, or participate in any other purchase or sales transactions with a city. Any written contract and any implied contract, such as purchase orders, procurement card purchases, utility purchases, and more appear to be covered.
The Texas Ethics Commission created and adopted the forms, but does not have enforcement or interpretative authority. Follow our links for a copy of the Conflicts Disclosure Statement or the Conflict of Interest Questionnaire. You may also find these forms by going to the Texas Ethics Commission’s website. An officer or vendor who knowingly fails to file the statement or questionnaire commits a class C misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $500. It is a defense to prosecution if the officer files the statement no later than seven business days after the officer receives notice of a violation.
Additional information is maintained in the City Secretary’s office.