Conflict of Interest Policy
The Library depends on the trust of the community to achieve its mission. It is therefore crucial for all employees to strive to maintain the highest ethical standards when conducting business on behalf of the Library. The standard of behavior at the Library is that all staff and Board members shall avoid any conflict of interest between the interests of the Library on one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding actual conflicts of interest as well as perceived conflicts of interest.
Unless the context clearly provides otherwise, the terms set forth below shall have the following meanings for this policy:
- A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee as a result of a contract with Saratoga Springs Public Library. For the purpose of this policy, a Library officer or employee shall be deemed to have an interest in the contract of:
- A spouse, minor children, and dependents, except as to a contract of employment with the Library.
- A firm, partnership, or association of which such officer or employee is a member or employee.
- A corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer, director, or employee.
- A corporation of which more than five percent of the outstanding stock is owned by any such officer, employee, or his/her relative.
- A matter which appears on the agenda of the Library Board of Trustees or on a committee thereof, on which any official action will be taken and shall include proposed or adopted acts, local laws, ordinances, or resolutions.
- Officer or Employee:
- An elected or appointed officer or employee of the Library whether paid or unpaid.
- A spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or legal guardian of any of said persons of an officer or employee.
- The husband or wife of an officer or employee unless living separate and apart pursuant to:
- A judicial order, decree, or judgment of separation.
- A legally binding written agreement of separation in accordance with the Domestic Relations Law.
Standards of Conduct
Every officer or employee of the Library shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
- Gifts: No officer or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit or receive any money, whether in the form of cash, check, loan, credit, or any other form in any amount, or solicit any gifts, or accept or receive any individual annual gift, having a value of $75 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loans, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could be reasonably inferred that the money or gift was intended to influence or could be reasonably expected to influence him/her in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action taken by such officer or employee.
- Confidential information: No officer or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired in the course of official duties or use such information to further a personal interest.
- Disclosure of interest in legislation: To the extent known, any officer or employee of the Library who participates in the discussion or gives an official opinion to the Library Board on any legislation before it shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he/she may have in such legislation, including any involvement in current or past legislation.
- Disclosure of interests in contracts: Any officer or employee of the Library who has, will have, or subsequently acquires any interest in any actual or proposed contract with the Library shall publicly disclose the nature and extent of such interest in writing to the Library Board as well as to his/her immediate supervisor as soon as he/she has knowledge of such actual or prospective interest.
- Investments in conflict with official duties: No officer or employee shall invest or hold any investment, directly or indirectly, in any financial, business, commercial, or other private transaction which creates a conflict.
- Private employment: No officer or employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her duties.
- Prohibited conflicts of interest: No Library officer or employee shall have an interest in any contract between the Library and a corporation or partnership of which he/she is an officer or employee when such Library officer or employee has the power to:
- Negotiate, prepare, authorize, or approve the contract or authorize or approve payment thereunder;
- Audit bills or claims under the contract; or
- Appoint an officer or employee who has any of the powers or duties set forth above, and, no chief fiscal officer, treasurer, or his/her deputy or employee shall have an interest in a bank or trust company designated as a depository, paying agent, registration agent or for investment of funds of the Library of which he/she is an officer or employee.
- Certain interests prohibited: No officer or employee of the Library who has an interest in any real property, either individually or as an officer or employee of a corporation or partnership shall participate in the acquisition or plan for acquisition of said property or any property adjacent to said property by the Library. The term participation shall include the promotion of the site as well as the negotiation of the terms of acquisition.
No Library officer or employee shall use or permit the use of property owned or leased to the Library for other than official purposes or for activities not otherwise officially approved.
It shall be the responsibility of the Library Director to ensure that:
- All staff (including the Director), and Board of Trustees members are given a copy of this policy to read and to sign the policy attestation.
- All employees and Board members will sign the policy attestation upon election, hiring, or appointment.
- Board members and employees who are in a position to make hiring or purchasing decisions will sign the policy attestation annually.
The signed attestations will be kept on file.
Approved July 14, 2014; Updated October 9, 2018