CEO 75-176 -- August 26, 1975
(Reconsidered; see CEO 75-176A)
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SELLING GOODS TO SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL BOARD
To: Randall N. Thornton, Wildwood
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Pursuant to s. 112.313(2), F. S. (1974 Supp.), a public officer may transact business with his own agency provided the business is contracted through competitive bid procedures with award being made to the lowest or best bidder. A school principal therefore may, in a private capacity, sell goods to the school board and schools within his county so long as competitive bid procedures are followed. A recent revision of the standards of conduct provisions of the Code of Ethics, which will take effect on October 1, 1975, however, prohibits a local public officer or employee from dealing with his own agency or with any agency within his political subdivision. Agreements entered into prior to the effective date of the act are "grandfathered" in, however.
May a Sumter County school principal sell goods to Sumter County schools and the Sumter County School Board after having followed appropriate bidding procedures until October 1, 1975?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 75-70, we advised you that Mr. Baxter is permitted to transact business with the schools and School Board of Sumter County so long as competitive bidding procedures are followed. This opinion was based on the language in s. 112.313(2), F. S. (1974 Supp.), which will remain in effect until October 1, 1975. Until that time there is no prohibition against Mr. Baxter selling goods to a Sumter County school or the School Board providing the necessary bidding procedures are followed.
A recent revision to the Code of Ethics will take effect October 1, 1976. That revision states in relevant part:
Nor shall a public officer or employee, acting in a private capacity, rent, lease, or sell any realty, goods, or services to his own agency if he is a state officer or employee, or, if he is serving as an officer or employee of any political subdivision, to that subdivision or to any agency thereof. The foregoing shall not apply to district offices maintained by legislators when such offices are located in the legislator's place of business. This subsection shall not affect nor be construed to prohibit contracts entered into prior to:
(a) the effective date of this act; . . . . [Section 112.313(3), F. S., as amended by Ch. 75- 208, Laws of Florida.]
Your client is an employee of the Sumter County School Board, a political subdivision of the State of Florida, and therefore will be prohibited from selling to that subdivision pursuant to the clear mandate of the above-cited statute. He will also be prohibited from selling to Sumter County schools inasmuch as they are agencies of the School Board. You will note from the foregoing also that this subsection will not affect the validity of contracts entered into prior to October 1, 1975.