241.005 Conflict of Interest in Administrative Agencies

Policy Number  241.005
Effective Date  June 1, 2006
Revision Date  December 19, 2023
Subject Matter Expert Care Services Group Manager
Approval Authority  HIV/STD Section Director
Signed by  D’Andra Luna

1.0 Purpose

This policy defines conflicts of interest between Administrative Agency (AA) employees, board members, and their clients, contractors, and vendors.

2.0 Policy

The following is a list of some AA processes which may lead to conflicts of interest:

  1. Assessing community resources for HIV/STD services;
  2. Conducting a needs assessment and interpreting information from this process;
  3. Prioritizing and allocating resources to service categories;
  4. Evaluating the planning processes; and
  5. Subcontracting for HIV services.

The list is not exhaustive, and conflicts of interest may arise in other AA activities.

2.1 Prohibited Actions by an AA Employee

An AA employee may not do the following:

  • Have a stake in, or in any manner have a connection with, a contract or bid for the purchase of goods or services by the AA that may lead to biased decision-making during these processes;
  • Have dual employment by a contractor of the AA;
  • Accept or solicit anything of value, whether by gift, rebate, service, or favor, from a person who has the potential to receive an AA contract, directly or indirectly;
  • Contract for future reward or compensation from an actual or potential vendor in exchange for a promise or other obligation on an AA contract;
  • Work for, or agree to work for, a vendor or potential vendor; and
  • Knowingly disclose confidential information acquired during one’s official duties for personal gain.

2.2 Actions After Discovering a Violation

When an AA employee or board member discovers an actual or potential violation of an ethical standard, the person(s) involved must promptly file a written statement regarding the matter and request written instructions for the disposition of the matter from their immediate supervisor.

When a violation occurs and an AA employee does not disclose it, the AA may reprimand, suspend, or dismiss the employee. DSHS may bar funded staff or vendors found to have acted unethically from receiving future contracts and have existing contracts cancelled.

3.0 Minimizing Conflicts of Interest

To minimize the negative impact of conflicts of interest, the planning and subcontracting processes will be open, public, and based on clear policies. Planning and subcontractor selection policies and procedures must include the following:

  1. A definition of conflict of interest;
  2. A method of disclosure of conflicts of interest;
  3. A duration when a conflict of interest disclosure is effective; and
  4. A method of resolution when a conflict of interest action arises that violates planning policies and procedures.

4.0 Declaring a Conflict of Interest

An employee or board member of an AA who perceives a conflict of interest must take the following actions:

  1. Declare the conflict of interest prior to participating in business discussions or decisions regarding the affiliated person or entity;
  2. Refrain from voting or exerting influence on an issue in which the conflict of interest exists; and
  3. Refrain from influencing another person’s decision regarding the affiliated person or entity where the conflict of interest exists.

Upon request of other persons present, the person who declares a conflict of interest may provide technical advice and answer questions related to the issue in which a conflict exists.

When an employee or board member realizes a potential conflict of interest situation for another person, they will make the concerns known to the Board of Directors or the Executive Director. The board records potential conflicts of interest in the meeting minutes. Following the meeting, if the board did not resolve the conflict of interest to the satisfaction of a member, a member may then initiate a review of the decisions made by the board during the meeting by filing a request with the appropriate committee (see bylaws).

5.0 Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

Employees and board members of an AA must complete and sign a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form, which contains, at a minimum, the content of the Board Member and Employee Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form. DSHS requires board members and AA employees to sign a conflict-of-interest statement each year. The AA gives one copy of the signed statement to the employee and files one copy in the employee's personnel file.

The employee or board member completes forms annually before they participate in discussion, debate, or vote regarding business facing the AA. The AA keeps signed disclosure statements on file in the AA office. These forms must be available to DSHS upon request. Conflict of interest disclosure statements include professional affiliations, personal affiliations, or both with agencies or persons who provide goods or services to the AA or its clients.

6.0 Associated Requirements and Documentation

Board Member and Employee Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form


7.0 Revision History

Date Action Section
12/19/2023 Revised to be consistent with Section’s current organizational structure, and updated language for clarity. All
10/2/2014 Converted format (Word to HTML) -
6/1/2006 Policy created -