You are here

217 GIFTS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board members  may receive  a gift on behalf of the school district.   Board members  shall not, either directly or indirectly,  solicit, accept or receive  a gift, series of gifts or an honorarium  unless the donor does not meet the definition  of "restricted  donor" stated below or the gift or honorarium  does not meet the definition  of gift or honorarium  stated below.

A "restricted  donor" is defined  as a person or other entity which:

Is seeking  to be or is a party to any one or any combination  of sales, purchases,  leases or contracts  to, from or with the school district;

Will be directly  and substantially  affected  financially  by the performance  or nonperformance

of the board member's  official duty in a way that is greater  than the effect on the public generally  or on a substantial  class of persons  to which the person  belongs  as a member  of a profession,  occupation,  industry  or region; orIs a lobbyist or a client of a lobbyist with respect to matters within the school district's jurisdiction.

A "gift" is the giving of anything  of value in return for which something  of equal or greater value is not given or received.   However,  "gift" does not include  any of the following:

Contributions  to a candidate  or a candidate's  committee;

Information  material relevant  to a board member's  official function,  such as books, pamphlets,  reports, documents,  periodicals  or other information  that is recorded  in a written, audio or visual format;

Anything  received  from a person  related within the fourth degree  by kinship or marriage, unless the donor is acting as an agent or intermediary  for another person  not so related;

An inheritance;

Anything  available  or distributed  to the general public free of charge without regard to the official status of the board recipient;

Items received  from a charitable,  professional,  educational  or business  organization  to which the board member  belongs  as a dues paying member  if the items are given to all members of the organization  without regard to an individual  member's  status or positions  held outside of the organization  and if the dues paid are not inconsequential  when compared  to the items received;

Actual expenses  of a board member  for food, beverages,  travel and lodging  for a meeting, which is given in return for participation  in a panel or speaking  engagement  at the meeting when the expenses  relate directly  to the day or days on which the board member  has participation  or presentation  responsibilities;

Plaques  or items of negligible  resale value given as recognition  for public service; Nonmonetary  items with a value of less than three dollars that are received  from any one donor during one calendar  day;

Items or services  solicited  or given to a state, national  or regional  organization  in which the state of Iowa or a school district is a member  for purposes  of a business  or educational conference,  seminar  or other meeting  or solicited  by or given to state, national  or regional government  organizations  whose memberships  and officers are primarily  composed  of state or local government  officials  or employees  for purposes  of a business  or educational conference,  seminar  or other meeting;

Items or services  received  by members  or representatives  of members  as part of a regularly scheduled  event that is part of a business  or educational  conference,  seminar  or other meeting  that is sponsored  and directed  by any state, national  or regional  government organization  in which the state of Iowa or a political  subdivision  of the state of Iowa is a member  or received  at such an event by members  or representatives  of members  of state, national or regional government  organizations  whose memberships  and officers are primarily composed  of state or local government  officials  or employees;

Funeral  flowers  or memorials  to a church or nonprofit  organization;

Gifts which are given to a public official for the public official's  wedding  or twenty-fifth  or fiftieth wedding  anniversary;

Payment  of salary or expenses  by a board member's  employer  or the firm in which the board member  is a member  for the cost of attending  a meeting  of a subunit of an agency when the board member whose expenses  are being paid serves  on a board, commission,  committee, council or other subunit of the agency  and the board member  is not entitled  to receive compensation  or reimbursement  of expenses from the school district;

Gifts other than food, beverages,  travel and lodging received  by a board member  which are received  from a person  who is a citizen of a country  other than the United States and is given during a ceremonial presentation  or as a result of a custom of the other country  and is of personal  value only to the board member;  or

Actual registration  costs for informational  meetings  or sessions  which assist a public official or public employee  in the performance  of the person's  official functions.   The costs of food, drink, lodging and travel are not "registration  costs" under this paragraph.   Meetings  or sessions  which a public official or public employee  attends for personal  or professional licensing  purposes  are not "informational  meetings  or sessions  which assist a public official or public employee  in the performance  of the person's  official functions"  under this paragraph.

An "honorarium"  is anything  of value that is accepted  by, or on behalf of, a board member  as consideration for an appearance,  speech  or article.   An honorarium  does not include  any of the following:

Actual expenses  of a board member  for registration,  food, beverages,  travel or lodging  for a meeting, which is given in return for participation  in a panel or speaking  engagement  at a meeting  when the expenses  relate directly  to the day or days on which the board member has participation  or presentation responsibilities;

A nonmonetary  gift or series of nonmonetary  gifts donated  within thirty days to a public body, an educational  or charitable  organization  or the department  of general services;  or

A payment  made to a board member  for services  rendered  as part of a private business, trade or profession  in which the board member  is engaged  if the payment  is commensurate with the actual services  rendered  and is not being made because  of the person's  status as a board member  but, rather, because  of some special expertise  or other qualification.

It shall be the responsibility  of each board member  to know when it is appropriate  to accept or reject gifts or honorariums.

 

 

Legal Reference:           

     Iowa Code ch. 68B (1995).

     1972 Op. Att'y Gen. 276.

     1970 Op. Att'y Gen. 319.

 

Cross Reference:           

     203      Board of Directors'  Conflict of Interest

     402.4  Gifts to Employees

     704.4  Gifts - Gratuity

 

Approved:  10/14/96                                              Reviewed:        9/18/2017                                   Revised: