CEO 86-63 -- September 17, 1986
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
D.H.R.S. DEAF INTERPRETER EMPLOYED BY CORPORATION CONTRACTING WITH DEPARTMENT
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a deaf interpreter with the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services District Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to work part-time as a skills trainer for a corporation which contracts with the Department to provide vocational rehabilitation services. The employee played no role in the contracting process between the Department and the corporation and is not in a position to refer clients to the corporation. CEO's 83-85, 84-24, 84-49, and 85-72 are referenced.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were you, a Deaf Interpreter with the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, District 10, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, to work part-time as a skills trainer for a corporation which contracts with the Department to provide vocational rehabilitation services?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry and in a telephone conversation with our staff, you have advised that you are employed as the Deaf Interpreter for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, District 10, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. In that position you are responsible for acting as the interpreter using manual communication with deaf clients of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. You wish to be employed as a skills trainer for a corporation which has contracted with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to train handicapped individuals to become more independent. As a skills trainer, you would be training individuals in aspects of independent living skills such as emergency procedures, first aid, working skills, budgeting, menu planning, etc.
You also have advised that in your position with the Department you have absolutely nothing to do with awarding, monitoring, or auditing the contract with the corporation. Referrals to the corporation's programs are made by Vocational Rehabilitation counselors; as your role is strictly as an interpreter, you are not even in a position to make recommendations to the counselors regarding referrals. Finally, you have advised that in your part- time employment you would not be training deaf individuals, but rather would be working with clients who have other handicaps such as mental retardation or epilepsy.
We are of the opinion that your question is answered by the rationale of previous opinions CEO 83-85, CEO 84-24, CEO 84-49, and CEO 85-72. As was the situation in those opinions, you have played no role in the contracting process between the Department and the private employer, your public duties are unrelated to the employer and its contract with the Department, and you are not in a position to make referrals to the private employer.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were you to be employed part-time by the corporation as a skills trainer.